An Interview with Erik D'Alessandro, Healthcare Account Manager
An interview with recent graduate Erik D'Alessandro discussing a typical day as a Health Care Account Manager and his experiences in the Master's in Health Care Administration program at Utica College.
Tell us about yourself and your organization, and what you do.
I have eleven years of healthcare experience with skilled nursing facilities and acute care. I am currently an Account Manager with Stryker Sustainability Solutions since 2011. I have a BA in Psychology, and graduated from Utica College in 2011 with an MS in Health Care Administration.
Stryker Sustainability Solutions offers innovative, cost-effective programs such as reprocessing and remanufacturing, to help reduce waste and meet the resource management demands of its global hospital partners.
What are the typical responsibilities of your job and what is an average day like?
My typical day involves overseeing the Reprocessing/ Recycling program in 33 hospitals. I meet with Administrators, MD'S, Staff and Supply Chain teams at each hospital to discuss economic development and cost savings related to hospital materials. I lead a team of two employees and mentor two others. A high percentage of my time is spent researching and troubleshooting micro and macro issues presented by my clients. I enjoy working with hospitals to reduce supply costs as well as reducing their environmental footprint.
Can you tell us about a special/cool project that you worked on that is a great example of what you do?
A really cool project I'm currently implementing is a program for all of Bassett Health Care and United Health Services (UHS). This project involves seven hospitals and includes evaluating logistics, leveraging competition, setting up training and support, managing contracts and supply chain support. There's a lot to do, but I like it because I can see the impact to the bottom line, while also helping to improve the environment.
Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?
I am really interested in working on any healthcare economic program that adds value. I get pretty excited when I see how this program has saved local hospitals three million dollars ($3M) in just two years.
What are the skills and personality traits that are most important for a position in this field?
Someone interested in this type of position within health care management should understand Economic and Accounting principles, Process improvement, Legal Principles, how healthcare systems work, and also be familiar with Human Resources. It's also important to be resilient and self-disciplined with integrity and a stewardship mindset because you are operating in a health care environment.
How well did your Utica College experience prepare you for this job?
My experience in the MS – Health Care Administration program at Utica College really prepared me perfectly for this job. I use my UC experience every day! The HCA program has a very high "application rate" – i.e. the theory I learned was always put in real-life context which makes it easy to transfer these skills to my job.
What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying/challenging?
I enjoy working within a corporate culture while working with healthcare professionals. Sometimes it can be challenging to get support from our health care clients to change the way they currently operate, but my health care management training allows me to see where they are coming from and mitigate some of the fears. Plus when we can show the potential savings that makes it a little easier too!
What advice would you give to someone looking to advance in this field?
The healthcare field is a great place to be. It is important to combine the HCA degree with healthcare ground level experience. The Leadership Institute at Utica College may be a great place to start getting that experience.
Why should someone consider enrolling in the online MS HCA program at Utica College?
This MS Health Care Administration program adds value and will enhance any healthcare professional's career. The program is practical, highly applicable and will elevate careers. The program combines healthcare, business and leadership/stewardship courses.
Learn more about the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program at Utica College and how a degree can help you jump-start your career in the industry. Request more information or call (315) 732-2640 or toll-free (866) 295-3106 to speak with a Program Manager.