ACHE Early Careerist Network Spotlight
Matthew MacDougall, R.T.
James T. Santoro, MBA, R.T.
Matt MacDougal is a C.T. technologist with a master’s degree in Music / Jazz Studies from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music; and he is pursuing a second master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at George Mason University (GMU).
Jim Santoro is a healthcare executive with a clinical background in radiology, and senior leadership experience in ambulatory, acute care, and private physician practice operations.
Matt and Jim began meeting virtually at the end of October 2021, and followed a biweekly schedule through the winter holidays, after which, they began meeting every three weeks. Their mentorship strategy began with Matt’s developing a summary document of his goals, skills, and desired topics of discussion. This was followed by Jim’s suggesting specific homework and research for Matt to complete.
Over the course of the first 4 months, they discussed and/or developed the following:
- A target profession role list – roles to which Matt aspires.
- A target company list – organizations for which Matt would like to work.
- A 30-second elevator pitch for networking discussions.
- An understanding of the hierarchical organization chart of the two hospitals in which Matt currently works.
- An understanding of Patient Experience, The Press Ganey organization, and Value-Based Care fundamentals.
Jim introduced Matt to two other senior-level professionals in the areas of hospital administration and compliance, and Matt had valuable discussions/meetings with each of them. Matt also contacted professors at GMU to discuss the profession of healthcare consulting.
Matt began developing a 5-year growth plan that included shadowing and consulting with professionals, his educational pursuits, and his desired long-term employment. He completed a networking profile that outlined his skills, desired professional roles, and desired organizations for employment. Jim also suggested that Matt explore internship programs as part of his master’s program.
Matt and Jim discussed the use of LinkedIn as a professional tool for learning and networking, and Jim conducted demonstrations of some of the tools LinkedIn offers.
Over the next 5 months, Jim encouraged Matt to hone his five-year plan, which he did. Among other things, Matt’s plan included robust professional networking and seeking an internship program that could complement his graduate studies. Matt explored a number of internship possibilities and was fortunate to be accepted into a paid internship program with Noblis. As a contractor for the federal government, Noblis leads advisory and technology solutions for CMS and other agencies. (www.noblis.org).
In April, 2022, Matt began working for Noblis; and he was assigned a health equity project with a focus on how data management can improve quality, reduce utilization and equitably serve a diverse population.
Matt engaged in client-facing support on information systems initiatives, and explored Artificial Intelligence (AI) by evaluating the CMS playbook on AI. This included methods to introduce AI into health organizations via balancing technology and human intervention. The internship was his first “work from home” experience, and he has grown to like the flexibility it affords.
As the Vice President of the student group “Rising Healthcare Leaders at George Mason University” where he is pursuing his graduate degree, Matt will be involved in coordinating a meet-and-greet on the university’s campus in conjunction with a large, Virginia-based health system, and GMU’s nursing and social work programs. In the spring semester, he will participate in coordinating the annual Spring Symposium which will include guest speakers in a variety of leadership positions from the healthcare industry.
Matt is very appreciative of the internship experience and this mentoring program over these last 9 months. The regular mentorship meetings, the professional connections Matt has made, his master’s program, and the experience of the Noblis internship program have all melded together in Matt’s pursuit of professional growth and higher-level exposure.
Overall, the mentorship has been quite engaging and very educational for both the mentee and mentor.
Matt and Jim continue to meet monthly, and the meetings are now in-person since they are both local to the Wilmington, Delaware area.