Current Students

The Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science is shaping leaders who will be charged with maximizing healthcare's value in the future. Meet the recent classes of students moving into—or advancing—their careers in digital health science, healthcare administration, health information technology and other areas.

Class of 2019

"I chose the MHDS program because I knew I would gain practical skills that would allow me to help improve poor health outcomes of vulnerable patient populations."

Onyemaechi is a proud San Francisco native and medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is a student of the highly selective PRIME Program, a dual-degree program that trains physician leaders and advocates interested in addressing medical needs of underserved populations. Onyemaechi completed her undergraduate education at Temple University before conducting research in reproductive neural circuits at Stanford University. Her areas of interest include women's reproductive health, quality improvement, and global health. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.

"I chose the MHDS program for the prospect of gaining advanced skills and building relationships."

Kade is a cardiovascular clinical pharmacist for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in biology from Concordia College. He received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. He completed his pharmacy practice residency and cardiology pharmacy residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. He received a teaching certificate from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and he is a graduate of the Cedars-Sinai Clinical Scholars Program. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy and an instructor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai. His research interests have focused on team-based care and digital health. In his personal life, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, the outdoors and riding his bicycle.

"I am enthusiastic about the MHDS program as it presents a unique opportunity to expand my analytical and financial acumen as it relates to healthcare while I work on a highly practical capstone project."

Alden is a member of the Government Incentives team for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network. The team helps physician groups and administration adapt to a fast-changing regulatory environment where there are financial implications, by providing project management support and expertise to assess where action is required for success. Alden was a PhD candidate in health behavior research at University of Southern California and holds a BS degree in public health promotion. He maintains an interest in population health, in addition to innovation in healthcare, and performance improvement and analytics. Alden is from Los Angeles and enjoys biking and outdoor activities, discovering new music, and traveling and learning about other cultures.

"I chose the MHDS program because I wish to enhance my current knowledge of the healthcare landscape and leadership experience so that I can implement valuable change, foster innovation and encourage growth within clinical research and healthcare transformation. My ultimate goal in this program is to focus my interests and prepare for a future role in advanced healthcare management."

For over 15 years, Jeena has held several positions within the healthcare industry in inpatient and outpatient settings. She currently holds a key position in Clinical Research for Cedars-Sinai. In recent years at Cedars-Sinai, Jeena has created the infrastructure for the business of research across multiple specialties within the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group by implementing research systems, optimizing workflows and launching interactive solutions that resulted in a threefold increase in grant funding for the Medical Group. In addition, she has been awarded a Standing Ovation for her commitment to clinical and administrative realms of the business. Beyond her work-related interests, Jeena enjoys volunteering at homeless help clinics, senior communities and youth ministries. Jeena holds a BS in biology and advanced education in clinical research management from University of California Riverside and Berkeley.

"As I pursue a career relating to data-driven healthcare delivery, the MHDS program will allow me to couple my engineering background with the innovative clinical practices at Cedars-Sinai."

Sam was born and raised on the Gulf Coast in Fairhope, Alabama. Sam recently moved to Los Angeles after completing his undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2017. During this time, Sam worked as a data analyst at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Neuroscience, where he recorded and measured in vivo changes to cerebral vasculature networks in mice. His senior design project focused on the development of an attachable device that facilitated the automatic repositioning of wheelchair users into the far-forward leaning position in order to reduce the likelihood of pressure ulcer development. During the summer of 2016, he worked as an intern at the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Florida, where his duties ranged from data analysis in the biomechanics lab to assisting surgeons and fellows with cadaver lab studies.

"I chose to join the MHDS program because I realized how the potential to incorporate new technologies and big data into orthopedic trauma research could advance the field and my career."

John is a Midwesterner from Kansas who attended Saint Louis University for college and the University of Kansas for medical school. As an intern, he realized that orthopedic trauma was his future. In addition, he found a new interest in research, specifically by incorporating big data to assess outcomes in fracture care. During his second year of residency, he spoke with his program director, Guy Paiement, MD, about a dedicated research year. Paiement agreed and advised him to take the Cedars-Sinai Clinical Scholars program. Through the Clinical Scholars program, he met exciting and enthusiastic researchers who encouraged him to apply for the MHDS program. John realized the program's curriculum would give him the tools to provide new insights into orthopedic trauma research.

"I foresee remote monitoring as the future of providing cost-effective healthcare and want to focus on making medical therapies more available to marginalized populations."

Sandy graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from UCLA and conducted transplant immunobiology research in the Dumont Liver and Transplant Department of Surgery. As an undergraduate, she studied the role of T-cell costimulatory pathways and their relation to the pathophysiology of liver ischemia, reperfusion injury and allograft rejection. Sandy transitioned into clinical research by becoming a coordinator for the California Allergy and Asthma Medical Group Inc. and led trials focused on allergic rhinitis, severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and medical therapies involving inhaled corticosteroid therapies and oral immunotherapy tablets. Sandy continued to pursue clinical research in stem cell therapy at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute where she discovered her passion in cardiology at the institute's Regenerative Medicine Clinic. She continues to coordinate trials at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center focusing on heart disease in women. Sandy's long-term goal is to focus on promoting affordable care to underprivileged communities around her local area. Sandy finds it important to understand the challenges of providing healthcare to populations in great need. In her free time, Sandy loves to train daily in muay thai.

"I am excited to enroll in Cedars-Sinai's one-of-a-kind MHDS program because the curriculum will build upon my practical experience in healthcare, business and IT, equipping me with the knowledge necessary to innovate, implement and effectively scale the next generation of healthcare IT products advancing the world of digital health."

Jason is a pharmacist and software sales executive for Becton Dickinson & Company, with a background in pharmacology and work experience in management consulting, health outcomes and healthcare IT. He is most passionate about leveraging innovative technologies and real-world data to improve the safety and cost of healthcare. Jason works to implement technologies that support hospitals' efforts to achieve clinical goals and business objectives, and improve health outcomes. Prior to his current role, Jason worked at a management consulting firm specialized in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. He had his research on bariatric surgery, diabetes and other metabolic disorders published, which provided an opportunity to present his research at several international conferences. In addition to earning his PharmD from the University of Southern California, Jason holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacology from the University of California Santa Barbara, with minors in technology entrepreneurship and group fitness. Jason stays active in his spare time running, traveling abroad and getting outdoors. You might find him backpacking on the trail, rock climbing, exploring the Pacific Northwest, practicing yoga on the beach in Venice, wake surfing, playing guitar, cooking or competing on his fantasy football team.

"I am very excited for the opportunity to learn; gain valuable new skills; realize personal and career goals; and to explore, discover, and expand my possibilities."

Harlem is an employee of over 10 years at Cedars-Sinai as a management assistant in Nursing Administration. He received his bachelor's degree in East Asian studies and business administration at UCLA. He was awarded entrance into the MHDS program as a "nontraditional" candidate. His goal is to learn as much as he can from all that is offered regarding the latest trends and practices in healthcare delivery; and to gain proficiency and skills in the latest tools and technologies to maximize his utility and impact amidst rapidly changing needs in the workplace.

"I am looking forward to building relationships with my new classmates and instructors while acquiring new knowledge and skills, as we pursue the highest quality of service for our patients and the community."

Anthony has been a staff physician in the Cedars-Sinai Emergency Department since 2001. Early in his career, Tony realized there was an opportunity to improve the care of emergency department patients with palliative care needs, particularly patients at the end of life. Improving his practice became a passion project that has expanded to include efforts to improving patient care on a larger scale. In his role as the director of Emergency Department Palliative Care, he educates other clinicians in didactic and clinical settings. As leader of the Emergency Department End-of-Life Task Force, Tony collaborates with the hospital's leadership, performance improvement department, chaplaincy, nursing, social work and Supportive Care Medicine. Tony's current quality improvement project is aimed at increasing the rate of emergency physician goals of care discussions for end-of-life patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Tony graduated from Stanford University in 1991, UCLA Medical School in 1997 and the UCLA Emergency Medicine Residency in 2001. He enjoys quality time with his wife and two sons, particularly outdoors or traveling.

"I applied to the program to gain new and exciting skills to manage the explosion of patient data while learning from innovative professionals to improve patient care."

Donna was born in Vietnam and immigrated with her family to Orange County, where she spent most of her childhood. She completed her undergraduate work in University of California, Berkeley, then moved across the bay to University of California, San Francisco for pharmacy school. After completing a pharmacy practice residency at UCSF, Donna continued her education as a pharmacy management resident at Cedars-Sinai. Donna has stayed at Cedars-Sinai ever since and has been involved in many roles, including medical/surgical pharmacist supervisor, compliance supervisor and the Medication Safety Coordinator/Transitions of Care manager for the past 17 years. She was responsible for the implementation of smart infusion pumps in 2005 and in 2011 implemented the first smart PCA pumps. She has assisted in the safe implementation of infusion pump integration with the electronic health record system. She also assists with hospital preparation and readiness for regulatory surveys. Donna assumed oversight of the Pharmacy Transitions of Care program in 2014 and initiated the first transitions of care pharmacy residency program in 2016. When not at work, Donna enjoys running half marathons and traveling.

"My goal for attending the MHDS program is to contribute to the transformation of the practice of oncology research into an information science, which will modernize the processes of oncology drug discovery and clinical trials and, ultimately, lead to improved patient care."

Parisa was born in Tehran, Iran, and graduated from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences with a bachelor's degree in nutrition sciences. She was a member of her university basketball team. She moved to Los Angeles in July 1999 and completed her course requirements for registered dietitian at California State University, Northridge. She then started her master's degree at UCLA School of Public Health where she worked as a research associate. Since graduating from UCLA, Parisa has worked in oncology clinical research for more than a decade. For the past six years, Parisa has led the Breast Surgical Oncology Research Program at Cedars-Sinai. Parisa is a bicycle commuter and also participates in charity bicycle tours. Parisa and her husband recently completed their third California Climate Ride, a 330-mile ride from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo to raise funds for organizations that work to reduce the effects of climate change. Parisa has run the L.A. marathon once. During her free time, Parisa enjoys playing tennis, going for hikes, swimming and other outdoor activities.

"I chose the MHDS program to improve my skills to become a leader who can lead effectively in this ever-evolving healthcare system."

Cecille graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1999. She has been a staff nurse at Cedars-Sinai since 2003, first in a cardiac telemetry/stepdown unit and since 2008 in the operating room, specializing in cardiothoracic surgery. She has been involved in several patient safety initiatives such as preventing HAPU's in cardiac patients, thermoregulation for cardiac surgical patients. She has been instrumental in developing a therapeutic packing label to prevent retained surgical items. Created for cardiac surgical patients, the label has been rolled out to trauma and liver specialties, including intensive care units. She presented a poster of this patient safety initiative at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and an O.R. manager conference. She has received the Ralph Parsons Nurse Excellence Award and the Nursing Excellence Award for New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvement. She has also been involved in medical and surgical missions in Los Angeles and in the Philippines.

"The U.S. healthcare system is undergoing a profound transformation, and as a clinician, trainee instructor and part of a large healthcare organization, I am responsible for understanding these dynamic changes. I believe the MHDS program will arm me with the right tools and skillset to succeed and lead in this new model of healthcare delivery."

Lili is an internal medicine physician who practices hospitalist medicine at Cedars-Sinai. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University in ecology and evolutionary biology. She earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Cedars-Sinai Internal Medicine Residency training program and served as chief medical resident from 2014-15, when she learned and honed important leadership and team-building skills. She is a recipient of the Leo Rigler Award for Academic Achievement as well as the Golden Apple Faculty Award in Teaching. Lili serves as an associate program director for the Cedars-Sinai Internal Medicine Residency training program. In addition to her passion for clinical medicine and teaching trainees, her areas of interest include creating a structured, effective curriculum in systems-based practice for internal medical residents, improving the detection and treatment of delirium in the hospitalized patient, end-of-life care, and resident resilience and wellness. She is involved in Cedars-Sinai-based and nationally recognized quality and patient safety initiatives. In her spare time, she enjoys running with her two rambunctious dogs and exploring the wilderness that the Southern California landscape has to offer.

"I chose to join the MHDS because I want to learn how to evaluate and improve the delivery of healthcare through the application of classroom theory from practitioners who are in the forefront of healthcare financing, information technology and data analytics."

Mani earned his degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine and is pursuing an MD degree from the PRIME program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Prior to medical school, he worked on multiple research projects with Lillian Gelberg, MD, at the UCLA Department of Family Medicine. As the lead research coordinator and data manager/survey designer and later project director, he helped develop and execute two major National Institutes of Health clinical trials, the Quit Using Drugs Intervention Trial (QUIT) and the binational U.S.-Mexico QUIT study. QUIT was a single-blind randomized controlled trial of a brief intervention designed to reduce illicit drug use among adult patients attending federally qualified community health centers in Los Angeles County. The binational QUIT study looked at drug use in community health centers in Tijuana, Mexico, and East Los Angeles. The aim of both trials was to use physician and health educator brief interventions to interrupt the progression to addiction. He also worked extensively on the development of an innovative management technology for community-based health services research called the Electronic Materials Management Application (EMMA), and he contributed to professional presentations and manuscript writing. EMMA utilizes a touch-screen interface running on a tablet PC with consideration for portability, limited screen space, wireless connectivity, and potentially inexperienced and poorly literate users.

"As a third-year medical student, I am transitioning into my clinical years of medical school. The MHDS program at Cedars-Sinai is an ideal fit because it is an applied master's program allowing me to learn and apply the knowledge in a clinical setting."

Mark is a third-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is originally from Oakland, and was raised in Fairfield. He attended California State University, Hayward, where he majored in biochemistry. Health equity and patient advocacy led him to medicine. He was an eligibility worker at San Francisco General Hospital before medical school. His job was to help patients enroll in medical or other city programs that would give them access to care. Outside of school, he enjoys playing basketball and chess.

"I chose the MHDS to try to better understand ways to consider analyzing health information data and to develop solutions that allow all patients to get the best possible care."

Melissa is an assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellow in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai. She graduated from Columbia University (cum laude) with a bachelor's degree in classics. She earned her medical doctorate at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she served as chief resident during her fourth year. Pursuant to her passion for medical education, she completed a medical education fellowship program at UCLA as well as training nationally in the APGO Scholars and Leaders program. Dr. Wong has received numerous academic achievement and teaching awards, including the Arnold P. Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award, the Hilger Perry Jenkins teaching award, an Alpha Omega Alpha appointment, and the APGO Excellence in Teaching Award. At Cedars-Sinai, her positions have included being the associate residency program director as well as co-chairing the Medical Staff Leadership Development program. Dr. Wong has presented original research at multiple national scientific meetings. Outside of the hospital, her interests include ukulele, photography, and national parks.

"As a physician, I will strive to provide the most effective and efficient healthcare to my patients—I believe it is essential to gain an understanding of best practices in value-focused healthcare delivery and apply this knowledge to my future career."

Yuliya is a medical student at UCLA and is pursuing the MHDS degree between her third and fourth year. She grew up in a small Connecticut town. When she was 15, her family moved to La Jolla, California, where she attended high school. She graduated from University of Califorina, Berkeley in 2012 with a major in molecular and cell biology. At Berkeley, she was interested in global and public health. She taught health classes to high school students, facilitated an elective in biomedical ethics, and spearheaded a project that supplied motorbike ambulances to a hospital in rural Tanzania. In addition, she worked in an evolutionary biology lab studying sex chromosome development. Upon completing college, Yuliya moved to Boston and worked for two years in a cancer genomics lab at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. There she realized she wanted to pursue medicine as a career and, upon applying, found herself at UCLA Medical School. At UCLA, Yuliya was president of her class for the past three years, a teaching assistant for anatomy and a coordinator for women in surgery and cardiology interest groups. After completing a year of clinical training, she became interested in the research and business aspects of healthcare delivery. In her free time, Yuliya enjoys ocean swimming, hiking, playing tennis, traveling, skiing and watching movies.

Class of 2020

Brandon is a project scientist working on virtual reality (VR) clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai. He has been researching the use of immersive technology (VR/AR) within healthcare for the last 3 years. He began his work with therapeutic VR by helping providers in restricted head movement clinical settings, such as dentistry, using the technology for pain and anxiety relief. He then created a pilot research study at Mayo Clinic to examine the effect of VR on pain using the cold pressor test. He has collaborated with researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center to assess the use of VR in medical education. He is working with Brennan Spiegel, MD, and a cohort of international therapeutic VR experts to create guidelines for future clinical trials within the field. This committee of researchers is called the VR-CORE (Virtual Reality – Clinical Outcomes Research Experts). Brandon received his medical degree from Mayo Medical School.

"I chose to attend the MHDS program because I seek new opportunities to expand my view of healthcare beyond my scope of a bedside practitioner with a goal of improving its value, efficiency, and patient outcomes."

Janine is a physical therapist at Cedars-Sinai. She rehabilitates patients throughout the hospital from the intensive care unit to medical-surgical floors. Her areas of interest include vestibular and neurological rehabilitation in the acute care setting. She is a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, CA where she majored in Human Biology and minored in Hispanic Studies. She obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. Previous to practicing at Cedars-Sinai, Janine worked at Glendale Adventist Medical Center and California Hospital Medical Center where she initially realized the necessity to develop new ways of providing holistic healthcare at a lower cost systemically. In her free time, Janine enjoys hiking and cycling with her husband.

"I chose the MHDS Program to obtain a skill set that would allow me to maximize the cost effectiveness and quality of the healthcare around me."

David is in his second year of gastroenterology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. He grew up in San Diego but has spent the past several years in New England, attending medical school at Dartmouth and completing his residency at Tufts. Quality improvement and healthcare innovation have always been his chief interests outside of clinical work.

Jennifer has over ten years of experience working with the cardiac surgical patient population at various academic medical centers. Most of this time was spent in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit serving as a charge nurse and mentor for new nurses entering the ICU. She has been with Cedars-Sinai since 2010 and has been working as an MCS Coordinator since 2014. The MCS Program serves a small group of heart failure patients who are implanted with a left ventricular assist device or total artificial heart as a bridge to heart transplant. The MCS Coordinator is the "catch all" for this group: participating in daily inpatient rounds to troubleshoot issues with devices and provide input during multidisciplinary rounds; pre and post-op education for the patient and their families; provide all initial and annual training for physicians, nurses and all staff in various areas of the hospital that manage the MCS population; present in OR for all device set-up and management; interrogate heart pumps and oversee driveline management in the outpatient clinic twice weekly; on-call support to patients and staff (rotated weekly between 4 coordinators); provide education and training for all outpatient areas that our patient may encounter: ERs, local first responders, family practitioners; collaborate with MCS pharmacist for anticoagulation management; actively participate in research projects and data collection/management; ongoing revision and implementation of policies and procedures related to patient management.

"I have chosen to study Health Delivery Science because I have seen so many changes in healthcare and the health delivery system. I would like to have a better understanding of the changing health delivery system so I can apply this knowledge to my practice as an occupational therapist."

Leslie is an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development. She continued her education at the University of Southern California and received her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy. She has worked across three service lines while being employed at Cedars-Sinai. She has worked for the Department of Acute Therapy Services where she provided occupational therapy to multiple floors throughout the hospital, the Acute Rehabilitation Unit where she served as an admissions coordinator and is currently working for Outpatient Rehabilitation Services in the hand therapy clinic. She has obtained her advanced practice certification in Hand Therapy (HTC), her advanced practice certification in Physical Agent Modalities (PAMs) and her Certification in Hand Therapy (CHT). She is an adjunct professor at CBD College for the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and she is a per diem occupational therapist at Marina del Rey Hospital. Her past work experience also includes pediatric therapy, school based therapy, home health therapy, transit evaluation and utilization review. Outside of the hospital, Leslie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking and watching movies.

"I applied to the MHDS program because I wanted to expand my skill set into the field of healthcare operations and management. As an example, I am currently involved in a research project using the TrueBeam radiotherapy system to study lung motion in patients receiving radiation for cancer in the chest. In working with the technicians performing these scans, I have seen how busy the machine is, and how difficult rescheduling the scan is if a patient is late. I could imagine that I can apply what I learn in the MHDS program to develop a novel technological and/or management solution to maximize the efficiency of the machine for the hospital and the ability of patients to be rescheduled for the same day. I envision that a hybrid career in research and operations would amplify the positive impact I can bring to healthcare, and I am sure that the MHDS program and my capstone project would help me develop and realize this goal."

Elizabeth is a Research Associate III in the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute (BIRI) at Cedars-Sinai. In her position, she coordinates a broad range of clinical and pre-clinical imaging research projects, as well as interfacing with IACUC, IRB, and grant and contracts management.

"In this Master's Program, I'm looking to learn how to identify, simplify and effectively deliver scientific discoveries from research bench to bedside. Also, I would like to design a value-based, health-problemoriented approach to care, that would optimize usage of resources, time and investment, enhancing patient experience and clinical outcome. Knowledge of health analytics, performance improvement, digital health science, economics and health financing are key components for developing a model that would provide appropriate care, for the right patient, at the right time, using only necessary resources at a reasonable cost."

Helena works for the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Department of Neurosurgery. She is a multi-disciplinary professional with extensive experience in business development, financial management, operations and sales.

Daria is the cardiovascular genetic counselor at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. She combines her specialized education in medical genetics and counseling skills to provide cardiovascular genetic risk assessment and genetic testing options for people with heart disease. Genetic testing results in opportunities for more personalized management for the affected individual, as well as identification of at-risk family members for predictive testing, which can save lives. Prior to joining the Cedars family, Daria practiced genetic counseling in the field of prenatal and preconception in both the public and private sectors in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Technology is revolutionizing healthcare at an accelerating pace, particularly in the field of medical genetics and genomics, an integral part of precision medicine. After graduating from the MHDS program, Daria hopes to use her new acquired mindset and leadership skills to leverage her clinical experience in medical genetics to achieve better clinical outcomes while providing improved patient experiences.

"I understand that the program is truly designed to further advance my knowledge in health financing, cost-effectiveness analysis and performance improvement. This would be an amazing opportunity to hone my understanding of these topics and apply them to develop strategies for effective and efficient management of clinical research operations in large health systems. After graduating from the program I see myself in the leadership role with a team of health system professionals working diligently to improve the quality of healthcare services and operations."

Ripa is a trained foreign medical graduate with over 12 years of experience in research. She graduated from Yerevan State Medical University (Republic Armenia) in 2003 with honor, and later specialized in Endocrinology. In addition to her medical degree, she obtained a Master of Public Health degree at the American University of Armenia (AUA) in 2005. The program was affiliated with the John's Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and she had a great opportunity to work with different international organizations and interact with many exceptional professors from various universities in the U.S. After graduating from AUA, she started working at the Center of Health Services Research and Development at the School of Public Health in AUA, as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator. She was involved in designing and implementing various public health research projects evaluating access, quality and utilization of various areas of healthcare and providing recommendations for improvement to the different stakeholders of the health system.

"I decided to apply to the Master's Program in order to understand health systems, financial issues, and how to better educate our fellows and junior colleagues. Completion of this program will allow me to be a better leader in my team and to better support the institution in a constructive way."

Monica is a medical oncologist with experience in early drug development. She is a Clinical Professor at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA, and the Co-Director of Experimental Therapeutics in the Cancer Center (SOCCI). She also specializes in the treatment of Breast Cancer. She have been at Cedars-Sinai since 2011.

"The number of patients who showed up in the ED with non-emergent complaints [where I used to work] and the number of calls I get now from patients trying to enroll in studies because they are otherwise unable to be seen by a specialist, have highlighted the downfalls of the healthcare system for me. This is my main interest in joining the MHDS program. I am interested in gaining a better understanding of the system as a whole and trying to find ways to make healthcare more affordable and accessible."

Tahli has a BS in biochemistry. She is currently a clinical research associate with the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program, predominantly studying the gut microbiome. Prior to coming to Cedars-Sinai, she worked in an emergency department.

"I am excited to join the MHDS program because not only will I be able to make invaluable relationships with my colleagues and instructors, but I will also be better equipped to implement data applications and incorporate big data in order to provide better medical care to the population. As I move onward in my healthcare career, I look forward to being a helpful resource to all patients regardless of the barriers they face in pursuing a healthy outcome."

Chetana started her journey in healthcare in 2011 as an enthusiastic foreign medical student in the Philippines. As a medical student, she was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to witness the practice of medicine in various parts of the world including the Philippines, India and the U.S. After graduating, she was eager to continue her education in the medical field and became a part of Dr. Raj Makkar's team at Cedars-Sinai as a Clinical Research Associate in 2017. As a research associate, she was further exposed to the perils of healthcare and the innate understanding that her knowledge of how the American healthcare system works is incomplete.

Dr. Gaurav Syal completed his initial medical training in India before moving to the U.S. for his internal medicine residency and fellowship training in gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel diseases. He currently serves as an academic faculty member at the Cedars-Sinai Inflammatory Bowel Disease center. In addition to providing clinical care to patients with IBD, he is interested in clinical research, particularly the use of big data analytics in evaluating quality of healthcare and improving outcomes in patients with IBD.

"This Master of Health Delivery Science (MHDS) is aligned with leadership career path I foresee in my future. A modern applied training in health analytics, health information technology, healthcare financing, and performance measurement and improvement – all vital, integrated disciplines required to deliver high quality, low cost healthcare in post-ACA America."

Nai Yu is Chinese-Taiwanese raised in Paraguay, learning Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, and English to come to America to pursue her career. She is currently working at Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute as a Pediatric Cardiologist and Pediatric Cardiac Intensivist since 2015. She completed medical school at the Nacional University of Asuncion in Paraguay; Pediatrics at Miami Children's Hospital and Pediatric Cardiology / Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

As a young physician in practice who saw first-hand how different healthcare systems impact the population, she sees the need for physicians or nurses to be actively involved. In order to do so, it is important to understand healthcare systems, the management and interpretation of "big data," learn how to implement health information technology in clinical practice, perform continuous self-assessments to ensure high quality, safe, and effective care, measure and address patient preferences and values, and ultimately ensure all these activities are cost-effective.

"Predictions indicate that current healthcare delivery models are no longer sustainable and will undergo significant changes in the coming years. I hope pursuing this degree will provide me the tools necessary to be involved in creative solutions to this crisis as well as new leadership opportunities in this changing dynamic."

Angie has been part of the transplant nursing management team with the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute for the last 8 years. She has over 23 years of experience in Heart-Lung Transplant Coordination. Angie received her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and began her training in the Cardiothoracic Surgical ICU at Duke University. She continued her career in Cardiothoracic Surgery ICU at UCLA working with adult as well as pediatric congenital heart disease populations eventually moving into the role of transplant coordinator in 1995. Currently, Angie is responsible for program and protocol development and participation in the committees associated with such development which include pre-transplant, in-hospital, outpatient, and donor management. She is highly involved in the innovative research development for heart transplant patients. She has been coauthor of numerous papers that have been presented at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation or published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. Angie is also co-author of the heart transplant chapter of the "Core Curriculum for Transplant Nurses" published in 2017.

"I chose this program to better understand the intricacies of the healthcare system and more effectively integrate data with clinical practice."

Hali is an antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at Cedars-Sinai. After graduating from Purdue University College of Pharmacy, she completed a general pharmacy practice residency at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, TX, followed by an infectious diseases pharmacy residency at Western University in Pomona, CA. In her current role at Cedars-Sinai, Hali is involved in the quality council work related to antimicrobial stewardship. Her professional interests include fostering multidisciplinary relationships to advance the knowledge and awareness of antimicrobial stewardship and resistance, stewardship in skilled nursing facilities, and population health. In her free time, Hali enjoys rock climbing and spending time outdoors.

Have Questions or Need Help?

If you have questions or wish to learn more about the MHDS program, please contact:

Atrium Building
8700 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048