The President’s Desk

Contributor: John Barkett, WG’09
To learn more about John, click here.


Barkett-photo.jpghad coffee recently with an HCM alum I’d gotten to know when he was a student and I was five years out.  Our conversation then was the same five years later:  what’s happening in healthcare?  Where will it be in five years?  How do I make an impact?  How do I help people?  I’ve had this conversation with hundreds of HCM students and alumni over the years.  I never tire of it.

The WHCMAA mission includes as one of its three pillars “contributing to healthcare through service, leadership, and education.”  Outsiders might find this an odd choice for an alumni association mission statement, but get to know us and you learn this is core to our community, whether it’s in writing or not.   

What a privilege it’s been to serve this community for the last five years.  I’ve chaired our Finance and Awards and Grants committees, co-chaired an alumni conference, and served as Vice President and then President of the Board.  In that time we gave out $250,000 in scholarships, supported LDI during their 50th anniversary, and raised the profile of the WHCMAA with other Wharton graduates interested in healthcare.  These are the accomplishments of our Board – as committed to their peers, the program, and the current students as ever – and the alumni community – which topped 2000 members as I started my term as President.  

When I step down from the Board on June 30, Maria Whitman WG’05 will take over as President. We will be in good hands.  The rest of the Executive Committee – Bob McDonald WG’92 and David Kibbe ’80 – will complete their terms on the board as well.  David’s service as treasurer should be lauded; he took over Tom Kupp ’85, which was like volunteering to play shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls in 1999.  He’s been more than capable, leaving our association in its best financial position to date.  

One could write a small novel on what Bob has done as a Board member.  An alum more devoted to our community does not exist.  He is a servant leader, living by the credo that setting others up for success sets one up for success as well.  Thank you, Bob.  

If Bob gets a small novel, June Kinney deserves a shelf of encyclopedias.  Chris Aleszczyk always has our back as well.  Thank you both, for everything.  

Z. Colette Edwards WG‘84 and Kate Reed WG’87 will complete their third and final terms in June as well.  Colette has been the Managing Editor of the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly since 2012. That she has been able to publish four editions per year, each year, speaks volumes about her dedication to the program.  Kate has chaired our Career Development Committee since 2017.  She was instrumental in providing Wharton alumni with access to healthcare jobs listed by major recruiting firms on the WHCMAA website.  Colette and Kate – thank you for donating your time and energy to the WHCMAA.

One last person to acknowledge – Meagan Untalan Barkett WG’10.  June suggested I ask Meagan out during the year we were both on campus, and while it took a couple years (nothing happens quickly in healthcare), June’s instincts were, again, proven right.  Thank you, Meg, for supporting my five year commitment to this volunteer board.

To the HCM community - I look forward to being in touch.  Start thinking about your answers – you already know the questions.


John Barkett, WG’09
WHCMAA President
[email protected]
[email protected]