Our Stories

Opening the Next Big Door

MMHC Program Propelled Aspiring Health Care CEO

Mary Duvanich
Administrative Director, Orthopaedic Patient Care Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt MM Health Care 2009

For anyone who doubts that nurses make hospitals run, meet Mary Duvanich. Mary, who began her career as a nurse in 1990, serves today as administrator of 10 (yes, 10) surgery clinics and physician practices at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In that capacity, she works closely with the management team and physician leaders in each of those 10 areas on operational issues and strategies.

Given Mary's ambition to become a CEO or COO, and given that VUMC had partnered in creating the program, it was only natural that she chose the Master of Management in Health Care degree at Owen, virtually next door.

The one-year program—which Mary describes as "challenging, fun, crazy and very, very rewarding"—began paying on-the-job dividends almost immediately. Her new knowledge of accounting and finance, for example, helped her create accurate business plans. The operations courses strengthened her ability to assess the daily work. What she learned about economics helped her contribute to conversations across the organization about aligning strategies with the direction of health care.

Most of all, Mary says, the program "gave me the knowledge, skill and courage to take my career to the next level. This not only shapes my world, but my family's world. Owen has opened the door to the next phase of my life."