Trisha Farmer ’23
MBA for Executives
Vice President for Children’s Care Transformation Services, Hackensack Meridian Health
Most people in healthcare have either a clinical or a business-related background. As a former clinician who had begun to work on the business strategy side, I realized I could have a much bigger impact with a business degree. I personally aspire to be a strategic visionary who can help influence and execute positive, progressive change in the healthcare of children and families in the United States. Yale SOM’s EMBA program aligned perfectly with my goal to improve business and society. In the end, healthcare is about people. But to have a sustainable mission, healthcare needs to function as a business.
In our classes, I’m not only learning new ways to think about operations, finance, and strategy; I’m learning more about myself. In Power and Politics, we took an assessment to characterize our leadership styles. I was not surprised when my results indicated that I’m a transformational leader with a secondary “charismatic” style. But I was surprised to learn that as a transformation type, I need to be careful to not become overconfident. This was a complete blind spot for me. Now I’m keeping this tendency in mind as I lead my team.
I wasn’t interested in just checking a box to say I had an MBA. To make change in the world and improve healthcare, I was committed to the full extent of the MBA journey. This program requires some juggling, but once you figure out a schedule that works, it’s amazing how much you can do in a day.
I’m a morning person, so I wake up before my family and get in several hours of schoolwork. I then focus on my workday and come home at night and give full attention to my family. When we travel, my husband drives, and I get to do some schoolwork in the car. Then we enjoy our destination together.
Keith Churchwell, the president of Yale New Haven Hospital, came to speak to our healthcare colloquium class last year. As he told his story, I began relating to what he was saying. His career path paralleled mine. At the time, I was contemplating a job change. Dr. Churchwell spoke about the way, early in his career, he was always being asked to take on new roles, and how eventually he decided it was time for him to pursue what he was most interested in.
I’ve always been promoted through “taps on the shoulder.” I’m forever grateful for those “taps,” because they led to amazing opportunities. But Dr. Churchwell’s story inspired me to pursue what I wanted, not what someone else wanted for me. After listening to him, I made a major job change and have not looked back since.
Interviewed on April 4, 2022