WCU Graduate Spotlight: Gisele Gauthier, MHA

Posted on 03/01/2017

Gisele Gauthier says she's inspired by people who "dedicate themselves to their customers or patients by showing empathy, professionalism and efficiency."

Since graduating from West Coast University's Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, Gauthier has been hired by as a product quality analyst by a global healthcare and research company.

"The MHA program taught me to think critically of how a healthcare organization functions, where the strengths and weaknesses are, and how to help make improvements that benefit stakeholders," Gauthier said.

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What made you interested in health administration?

I have always had empathy for others and wanted a career that reflected this compassion and commitment to customers, be it students at a university setting or patients in a healthcare setting. Furthermore, when I came to work for Dr. Stanley Hartgraves in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, he saw my potential to be an excellent administrator and encouraged me to pursue this career. I therefore saw the Master of Health Administration program (MHA) at West Coast University as a wonderful opportunity to realize my passion. In addition, Dr. Justin Ako has been instrumental and supportive towards his MHA students. He made sure that we had the proper tools in order to become effective healthcare administrators. In this sense, West Coast University was very helpful in communicating career opportunities and organizing healthcare job fairs for us. I am therefore very happy that I chose to do my master’s degree here.

What do you feel differentiates you and your skill set from other graduates who went to other institutions?

I have an international background, having lived in Japan and Argentina that allows me to appreciate and understand how effective it is to have a diverse team at work. Having different viewpoints that can help problem solve issues is critical, and having a collaborative spirit allows this to happen.

I am also committed to providing customer satisfaction with the services that my team has to offer. I therefore approach a challenge from an analytical viewpoint, and dedicatedly pursue a solution with my team that benefits stakeholders.

Did you do any volunteer work while at WCU?

During my time at West Coast University, I worked as a full-time employee and student. This dedication earned me the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for being at the top of my class.

In the past I have volunteered at a hospital and physical therapy clinic where I assisted physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with their patients. I therefore received exposure as to how a healthcare organization operates and how important it is to work as a team in order to better serve patients.

´┐╝In addition, I have recently applied as a volunteer at a local hospital in order to continue to gain more healthcare experience and dedicate time to ensuring the wellbeing of patients.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Probably, the most valuable lesson was how to efficiently achieve my personal goals in tune with those of my organization. I was able to learn from the rich experience of my MHA professors who shared with the students their successes and challenges.

Did you have any impactful experiences during your program?

I had the opportunity to act as an interpreter at different healthcare settings, which allowed me to connect with patients and their healthcare providers. In this sense I appreciated what it was like to act as a bridge/middle person in order to ensure that the patients felt that their medical needs were being tended to in an efficient manner. I therefore enjoy being a part of a team that goes above and beyond their regular job tasks in order to better assist their patients.

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