Allison McGuire, student
Allison McGuire entered the Executive MPH program eager to focus on policy, but she has come to appreciate the program’s emphasis on management. “The best of policy will not be implemented unless you know how to manage change within an organization,” she stresses. This awareness has allowed her to make significant changes within the department she manages. Ms. McGuire is the Vice President of the Office of Community Health and Public Policy at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Since joining NSLIJ in 2004, she has developed the System’s Community Benefit Program, established the Office of Sponsored Programs, standardized and expanded the Healthcare Access Center, and developed the Health System’s plan for addressing the needs of patients with limited English proficiency. Most recently, Ms. McGuire and her team have been working on the deployment of system wide public health initiatives related to obesity, smoking cessation and falls prevention.
The EMPH program’s schedule has allowed Ms. McGuire to continue working while taking courses. “The structure of the executive program is the only possible way I could have gone to school,” she says. Another feature of the program that appealed to Ms. McGuire was the cohort. “I wanted to be with peers; I did not want to be with people who did not have life experience.” Now in her second year in Columbia’s Executive MPH program, Ms. McGuire appreciates the perspectives of her experienced classmates, “We have doctors, dentists, public health professionals and lawyers. I get to hear their perspective. It is vital.” This program and the diverse cohort have helped provide more than just the basics, they have offered the nuance that Ms. McGuire had been looking for. The cohort also provides opportunity to implement management strategies, “Learning how to work in groups and use the classroom as a safe space to manage group dynamics is to learn new ways of being to bring back to the office.”