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A Commanding Advantage

At Owen, Captain Kyle Clay led healthcare teams to success

Kyle Clay
President at Signature Dental Partners

Vanderbilt MBA 2009

During his second tour in Iraq, Captain Kyle Clay led a unit of combat engineers engaged in "route clearance"—removing bombs and IEDs from roads. Perhaps that is where he refined a valuable strength—the ability to "keep a positive, can—do attitude in front of your team"—that served him well when he switched careers after a decade in the Army.

Seeking to build his business acumen, he says, "I chose Owen because it has a strong healthcare program that focuses on the business of healthcare rather than just hospital administration or healthcare policy. Nashville is at the crossroads of healthcare services, and Owen's program has support from senior healthcare executives who want to see it grow.

"I don't know any other program where I could take three different classes with a congressman, senator and former healthcare CEO all in the same day."

The program also enabled Kyle to become deeply involved in the local health care community. He served on the board of Leadership Healthcare. He also chaired the Healthcare Business Alliance Conference, leading a team that worked for eight months to put together an event involving 225 attendees, eight panels and 24 top industry leaders. Being empowered with such responsibility gave Kyle confidence that he had gained the skill set to become a captain of the healthcare services industry.