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Napa EMBA Visit

In Napa, EMBA Students Bond—and Explore Health Equity

Alicia Hardy’s classmates traveled to California to cheer her on—and learn about her work leading Northern California’s OLE Health. 

When Alicia Hardy ’23, an MBA for Executives student and a recipient of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership, decided to run a marathon in California’s Napa Valley, she mentioned it to a few friends. Soon, she was joined and supported by a legion of classmates—who also got the chance to learn about Hardy's work expanding healthcare access at OLE Health, where she is CEO.

Napa Run
three students
Students in Napa

Jennifer Wynn ’23

This was my first vacation by air since pre-COVID. We flew in from Connecticut to learn about Alicia’s organization and spend time with my incredible cohort. Plus, it’s tough to beat Napa! I think this trip speaks to the closeness of our cohort. I’m not sure how many of us wound up linking altogether in Napa in total, but that it was in the dozens is a testament to the friendships that have formed in a relatively short amount of time. I didn’t anticipate that becoming such a central theme of my #YaleEMBA experience when applying, but it’s one of the best parts. There were so many great moments of this trip. One of my favorites was Alicia’s tour of OLE Health. The patient centricity was unlike anything I’ve ever seen! Alicia’s presentation and tour demonstrated to me such admiration and care for her community. It made me even more proud to know her than I already was.

EMBA group photo
Jennifer Wynn and friends
two people holding a wine glass

Iris Chau ’23

I had four main reasons to attend the Napa trip.

  • Napa is an amazing destination, and the ability to create memories in such a beautiful location with my cohort was an opportunity of a lifetime.
  • I had the opportunity to cheer for my classmates who were running in the Napa Marathon. It was so inspiring to see them cross the finish line.
  • Our team decided to represent Yale in the regional Venture Capital Investment Competition remotely from Napa, where we were able to immerse ourselves in the two-day competition.
  • Most importantly, it was an opportunity to learn more and tour the facilities of OLE Health, where Alicia is the CEO.
Taking part in virtual case competition
Taking part in virtual case competition
EMBA Group Photo
Frank Family Vineyard
Two people sitting on chair
Two people in winery
four people in Napa
People eating at a table
Students at winery

Alicia’s work in building health equity for everyone in Napa is so important and impactful for her community. I was filled with pride and inspiration to see the result of her work through the years. OLE Health has beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities that are open to the community. I learned that it is possible to build a model like OLE Health, where everyone, no matter what economic status or race, can receive superior health services.

In addition, Alicia was so gracious to have arranged several wine tastings for the cohort. Because of her connections with the owners of these vineyards, many of who are donors to OLE Health, we had the opportunity to spend time with them to learn more about their history and their vineyard and wine produced.

I left my home in Connecticut for a long weekend in Napa. I came back refreshed and filled with inspiration and many beautiful memories with my wonderful EMBA classmates.

Alicia Hardy ’23

I would have never imagined when we first started talking with our Yale running group about “destination Napa marathon” that so many of my classmates would have decided to make the cross-country trip. What started off as a handful of three to four runners turned into a group of 35 classmates, many of whom brought their partners and significant others to run, walk, cheer, taste wine, or simply enjoy the company of good friends.

I loved that I got to share Napa with my cohort, many of whom were visiting the valley for the first time. One of the highlights of the trip for me was giving a tour of OLE Health, a federally qualified health center that serves more than 40,000 low-income members of our community. I was especially excited to show the facility to the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows who share my passion for health equity and ensuring that all members of the community have access to care. Several members of OLE’s Foundation board of directors who are donors and winery owners were gracious enough to host all 35 of us at their wineries, which made our wine-tasting experiences so special and personalized.

I think people came away with a true understanding of the level of engagement, support, and philanthropy that we have here in Napa. My classmates have already asked if we can make this an annual trip, so I am starting to think ahead to next year about what might be possible. More than anything, I am grateful for the closeness of our cohort and the memories that we continue to create together.