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Patricia McCarron, MHA 1980, is a proponent of giving back. Much of her life has been spent volunteering on various boards, including the MHA Alumni Association where she has been an active member for the last 16 years.
It was Patricia’s science background, having previously completed a BSc in Biochemistry, that led her to the Telfer MHA program with a particular interest in Public Health and Epidemiology. Soon after graduation, she was hired on a contract at the then brand new Ottawa Hospital. It was during her two year tenure there that she would take on the role of Assistant to the Director of Paramedical Services that would ultimately shape her future in health care. Afterwards she would take on various roles, including Director of Hospital Services at Hawkesbury General Hospital as well as being a stay-at-home mom to her two daughters.
“I always tell people the MHA degree is like a generalist degree – you can do anything you want with it. It opens numerous doors and you must make opportunities count. It does not label you as just a hospital administrator or public servant but teaches you to think, to plan, to organize and to manage yourself and others”, explains Patricia.
Patricia had the opportunity to work with fellow Telfer alumnus Michel Lalonde during her time at the Ottawa Hospital. Michel would later become a lifelong friend and mentor to her and Patricia credits him for motivating her to come back to the work force and become an independent consultant where she continues to thrive to this day. Specifically, she does consulting work in the telehealth and telemedicine fields. She helps marry the clinical needs of remote sites to health care providers in urban sites through the use of enabling technologies. “I help create something new that has never been done before by figuring out which technology, what processes, workflows, policies and procedures need to be in place so that patients have increased access to health care”, says Patricia.
For Patricia, much of her success was a direct result of the connections she made while studying at Telfer. “We work in a small connected health care world so chances are students will end up working with, for or employing some of their classmates. Connections last a long time in the MHA world.”
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