Contributor: Maria Whitman, WG’05
To learn more about Maria, click here.
Dear Alumni and Friends,
First and foremost, wherever you are, I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well.
2020 has thus far tested the very fabric of our world: personally, professionally, societally, globally. It is an understatement to say that it has been a hard year for many – in fact, for many it has been life changing. We have experienced an unprecedented global pandemic, economic and health uncertainty, and a global demonstration spurred by the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others to combat systemic issues of racism and inequality. Unequivocally, Black Lives Matter, these individuals matter.
These events have exposed deep cracks in aspects of our society that we as individuals, as humans, cannot ignore. They have also started to unite us together in the call to action, and in doing so we stand on a real opportunity for change. But that change requires ongoing commitment to action and real advancement of the issues before us.
As you know, the mission of the WHCMAA is to:
- Support the Wharton Healthcare Management Program and its students
- Contribute to the lifelong learning of its membership
- Contribute to the healthcare sector through service, leadership, and education
The WHCMAA Board has been working diligently to prioritize and drive action and connection in areas of greatest need in these recent months, and will continue to do so in service to this mission and our role as leaders in global health.
I am proud of the way we as a community responded from the beginning of the pandemic. If you have been following on our social media, you will see a snapshot of what our Alumni have accomplished: setting up non-profits for fundraising, supply sourcing, and interim support; leveraging networks to source leads; finding experts to join a mission or vet a potential solution; raising hands to support each other as mentors and thought partners; creating and sharing content and knowledge about various aspects of the virus and its impact; reaching out and supporting the program and students, and of course, creating avenues for our alumni to stay connected virtually. It has been a privilege to help support a number of initiatives and fuel connections during this time, and there is more to come as we progress in 2020. But our work is far from over.
We are committed to executing on a meaningful plan of action as leaders and allies of the Black community. As an organization connected to a top institution and program, and as passionate drivers of improving health, there are a number of places we can have direct impact, for example: leading forums to drive specific connection, awareness, and continuing education; financial and other program support for students; and partnerships to advance critical health topics like racial and social health disparity, policy research, etc. We want the actions we take to drive real change, and therefore we are taking the time needed to identify and prioritize where we can amplify progress, investigate partnership opportunities, and put in place the metrics for progress. We welcome your direct ideas and involvement. Please contact me directly at: [email protected].
We also continue to encourage active dialogue and connection among us. Bring your thought leadership, research, experiences, and ideas to our community in one of our social groups. And as you find valuable content, please forward and comment. Let’s build our virtual connectivity and conversation together.
- Linked In: Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association
- Twitter: @WhartonHCMAA
- Facebook: Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association
- Wharton Knowledge Network: [email protected]
There is a new channel open to individuals in health outside the WHCMAA because, we as know, the public health issues at this time are far-reaching, and together the Wharton community can help. You can join and follow this channel at: https://www.linkedin.com/company/whcmaa/.
At this time, I also want to acknowledge our outgoing and incoming board members, who make action possible with their effort and dedication. First, thank you to those whose dedication, service, and leadership have elevated our committee accomplishments significantly: Dan Mulreany (WG’17, Chair of Events Committee), Roman Rubio (WG’03, Chair of Career Development Committee), and Bernie Zipprich (WG’16, Chair of Communications Committee). Dan, Roman, and Bernie will be greatly missed.
Congratulations and welcome to our newly elected members: Re-elected for an additional term: Emily Reid (WG’15), Brian Holzer (WG’05), Ryan Vass (WG’14), and newly elected: Bryan Bushick (WG’89 – prior board member, going for round 2!), Katherine Clark (WG’15), and Carrie Nowacki Hiebeler (WG’05). Hareesh Nair (WG’08) is an appointment new member of the board, based in Asia, representing our global community. On behalf of our community, thank you for taking on this commitment to share your time, talent, and passion with us, especially in these critical times.
With this election, we have continued to increase the diversity of our board in many ways: gender, background, health sector, and geographic balance. Diversity and inclusion is critical to our success and our effective representation of our community, and we will continue to mindfully encourage diversity in our elected and volunteer committee teams.
Dear alumni, as always, my thoughts are with you. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hopeful, and stay active. We have great work ahead of us to drive positive and lasting change, and I look forward to that journey together.
Maria Whitman, WG’05
President, Wharton Healthcare Management Alumni Association