Testimonials from Executive MBA and Healthcare Alumni

Alumni Testimonials

Centered on Excellence

Portrait image of MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, MBA

MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, MBA

Executive MBA in Healthcare
Vice Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery – UPMC
Senior Medical Director, Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Services, UPMC Health Plan
Medical Director of Outcomes – UPMC Wolff Center for Quality, Safety, and Innovation 
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

“The Executive MBA (EMBA) in Healthcare brings to the forefront the fabric of how healthcare comes together and functions as a business—how the different aspects of a large academic and integrated care delivery network weave together,” says MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, and a member of the first class to graduate from the program in 2018. “You gain a broader understanding of how the various sectors of the business enterprise—operations, finance, implementation—factor into the ultimate success of an organization.”

While in the program, Hogan was Chief of Orthopaedics at UPMC Mercy. For his practicum project in the EMBA program, he focused on improving clinical outcomes of the surgical delivery model, including efficiency and quality metrics.
“I wanted to understand how excelling in clinical outcome and cost metrics could drive reinvestment in the organization and aid in its evolution,” he says.
The results included a 10 to 15 percent improvement in cost efficiency of orthopaedic care delivery, significant improvement in hip fracture care outcomes, including a 10 percent increase in clinical volumes, and best in system time-to-OR rates for hip fracture care.

Recently, Hogan has taken on a new role as Senior Medical Director of Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Care Services for UPMC Health Plan, where he will help to drive integrated delivery finance systems strategy for such care. In addition to continuing his earlier work, this opportunity also will focus on expanding UPMC’s successful bundle care program for joint replacement. This has already led to the development of the UPMC Orthopaedic Centers of Excellence program for UPMC network hospitals and facilities that will serve as a model for other specialties.

“The EMBA degree expanded my knowledge and respect of the complexities of a large health system and the steps required to make programs such as our Centers of Excellence possible,” says Hogan. “I now have that broader understanding of the framework and stronger foundation of knowledge to facilitate collaboration and progress. That’s what drives me.”

Learn more about our Executive MBA in Healthcare program or schedule a time to talk with a member of our outreach team.

Determining the Path for an Energy Giant

Zach McDaniel

Executive MBA

Advanced Fuel Manager

“The Executive MBA [EMBA] program provided Zach with the necessary business tools to better determine the products needed to position Westinghouse for continued leadership in the fuel market,” says Ken Canavan, Chief Technology Officer, Westinghouse. “Specifically, his market intelligence and valuation skills provide a critical analysis of our existing investments to ensure that we are aligned with future market and economic realities.”

Zach McDaniel is making a difference at Westinghouse using the knowledge and skills he gained in the EMBA program at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. Shortly before receiving his degree, McDaniel was asked to develop the digital transformation initiative for Westinghouse. More recently, he became an advanced fuel manager for the company. He oversees employees in one of the largest innovation initiatives at Westinghouse in collaboration with the Department of Energy. Collaborating with other energy partners, Westinghouse is championing the goal of improving plant operations and safety performance.

“The EMBA program made me more well-rounded to tackle these new responsibilities,” says McDaniel, “adding product development/management, finance, economics, marketing, business management and leadership to my skill set. Now I can better manage partners and coordinate activities, oversee international testing initiatives, and work with international teams and nuclear plant utilities to find the right solutions.”

McDaniel is also helping Westinghouse’s future business development. Among his many responsibilities, he provides business context to PhDs who are performing research on the future of the industry. “Valuation of proposed solutions and market viability gives them a perspective on why we’re investing in these programs,” he says. “It’s useful for our researchers to understand whether the value to our customer is balanced with the underlying development costs.”

Portrait image of Zach McDaniel

Transforming Liver Transplantation in a Hepatology Desert

Portrait image of Corrie Berk

Corrie Berk

Executive MBA in Healthcare

Clinical Director
Loma Linda Transplant Institute, Las Vegas Campus

A nurse practitioner at UPMC when she began the Executive MBA (EMBA) in Healthcare program, Corrie Berk accepted an offer to become Clinical Director of the Las Vegas campus of the Loma Linda Transplant Institute. Moving across the country and completing her degree from a distance, Berk found an opportunity that extended beyond transplantation, leveraging her skills to enhance the quality of hepatology care in Southern Nevada.

“EMBA was empowering,” says Berk. “Working alongside physicians and other healthcare professionals in my cohort improved my confidence, and changed the way I approach senior-level clinicians and administrators. Feeling respected and valued in my own right helped me transform Loma Linda Las Vegas and expand hepatology care in southern Nevada.”

Las Vegas liver transplants increased tenfold and the clinic became an embedded part of the community. Berk credits her success in part to the marketing skills she acquired in EMBA; enabling her to get into the headspace of consumer decision-making to understand what patients and referring providers really needed.

Soon, Berk’s role will expand further. “We are so impressed with Corrie’s outreach efforts in Las Vegas that we plan to extend her business development expertise in a broader geography and to other service lines, including heart, kidney, and pancreas,” says Dr. Michael de Vera, Professor of Surgery, Chief of Transplant Services, and Director of the Transplant Institute at Loma Linda University Health. “Her natural abilities, along with the skills she acquired in the EMBA program, will help us to improve the lives of countless more patients.”

Learn more about our Executive MBA in Healthcare program or schedule a time to talk with a member of our outreach team.

Leaping from Biology to Business

Portrait image of Sai Patil

Sai Patil

Executive MBA

Director of Project Management
Mylan Pharmaceuticals

With a PhD in molecular biology and a healthcare diagnostics background, Sai Patil was interested in learning more about business and making a career shift. After taking a brief break when her family moved to Pittsburgh, she soon enrolled in the Executive MBA (EMBA) program to expand her knowledge and skills.

“The most enriching part of the program was my cohort,” says Patil. “When discussing cases or projects, each person brought their own perspective—IT, marketing, healthcare and many different backgrounds. I’m a biologist, with no knowledge of accounting, marketing or finance. I learned a lot through my colleagues, the courses and the professors.”

“I learned a lot through my colleagues, the courses and the professors.”

Interested in stretching beyond her comfort zone, Patil applied for a position as a director of project management at Mylan Pharmaceuticals while in her last semester in the program. “Having the EMBA experience helped me to take a leap of faith and try something new,” says Patil. “I’m still learning this role, but in the future I may want to explore other new possibilities, such as in business development, finding new partners and markets for the company.”
“Sai was given an opportunity to take a position intended for someone with several years in the industry in various functions,” says Arnd Annweiler, Head of Complex Product R&D and Scientific Affairs at Mylan. “Sai’s EMBA background helped her to effectively manage global projects with partners across the globe and a focus for global markets. It also helped her to navigate across organizational functions and boundaries, drive decisions by providing concise analysis of the situation and recommending solutions to governance bodies and steering committees. Sai is an effective team player and clear communicator who diligently applies her skills to create value for Mylan and our partnering companies.”


It was very clear to me that Katz was the perfect option for my education and future career. Great medical care strikes a balance between both business and medicine. My time at Katz allowed me to shadow and connect with UPMC doctors and get an inside look at the business side of medical startups.

Tom Cwalina

MBA '20

As I have grown in my career, my curiosity about quantitative research has grown. For the first time in my life, I wanted to dive into the math and science of marketing. Thanks to Professor Jennifer Shang and my Katz education, I am now confident that I am BOTH a words and numbers person, which has opened up avenues in my life and career that I would never have found without Katz.

Rebecca Farabaugh

MS '22