Employees graduate in joint master's program with UTD

By Lin Lofley

Twenty-one UT Southwestern Medical Center employees walked across the stage recently at commencement exercises for the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas, the first class from UTSW to complete the Master of Science in Management and Administrative Sciences degree program.

Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer celebrated her graduation at UT Dallas recently along with 20 other UTSW employees who completed the two-year master’s degree program, created in partnership with UTD.
Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer celebrated her graduation at UT Dallas recently along with 20 other UTSW employees who completed the two-year master’s degree program, created in partnership with UTD.

The 37-credit-hour master’s program, a two-year curriculum that brought together UT Southwestern executives, faculty members, staffers, clinicians, and nurses, concentrates on Health Care Organization Leadership. The program, created in partnership with UT Dallas, was designed to help develop organizational leadership skills in current and future UT Southwestern leaders.

The graduates, who received their degrees Dec. 7, already are mentoring a new UTSW master’s class that began in January 2012.

“There was a mixture of altruism and self-interest on our part when we decided to move ahead with this program,” Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, said at a post-graduation reception. “We considered that you were all capable people when you began this process, and we expect that now you’re even better able to contribute to the life and growth of this campus.

“We hope to tap into your skills and talents for a long time to come.”

The students completed a range of courses on the way to commencement – including statistics, organizational behavior, health care economics, power and politics, and finance – and a project that was essentially a final exam. Some students worked individually and others worked in teams on topics such as “Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections Associated With Urinary Catheters,” “Transforming Occupational Health at UTSW,” and “Utilization of the UTSW Ambulatory Service Committee to Effect Culture Change Among Faculty and Staff.”

“My idea came from a clinical retreat conducted by Dr. Podolsky,” said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, whose presentation was called “Improving Faculty Communications: A Smart Phone App.” “We just need to have better access to each other. I believe this app will make it easier to make the first connection between clinicians on campus with other clinicians we might not know.”

Recounting her master’s experience, Dr. Horsager-Boehrer said, “The diversity of the group, and the great mix of backgrounds, made for such a rich experience. It’s going to be nice to get some of that time back, but the learning and the improving of certain skill sets was truly important. Now we just have to put those things we learned into use.”

“This is a spectacular program,” said Karen Wilson, Project Manager in Physical Plant Administration, another master’s program graduate. “It was developed around what we do here on campus every day, which made it more real for us and will make all of us better leaders.”

Dr. William Behrendt, Vice President for Human Resources, said he knew the program would work after he reviewed the success of the first class. 

“Their work is not over,” Dr. Behrendt said. “They’re now the leaders we’ll call on in the future to further integrate our efforts to provide world-class clinical care, research, and the education of the next generation of clinicians.”



Dr. Horsager-Boehrer holds the Luis Leib, M.D., Professorship in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

2012 UTSW-UTD master’s program participants

Nahid Attar,
Clinical Research Manager, Internal Medicine

Dawn Brown, Nursing Manager, St. Paul University Hospital

Sherry Clark, Assistant Professor, Health Care Sciences

Elizabeth Edwards, Department Administrator, Dermatology

Gloria Espinosa, Director, Minority Student Affairs

Cindy Harper, Risk Manager, Legal Affairs

Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Mike James, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources

Machele Johnson, Senior Business Analyst, Information Resources

Tam Johnson, Occupational Health Nurse Manager, James W. Aston Ambulatory Care Center

Neha Kumar, Administrative Assistant, Neurosciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Steven Leach, Chief Medical Officer, University Hospitals

Eva Narten, Assistant Director, Internal Audit

Jeanne Nightingale-Teresi, Director, Pediatric Psychiatry

Holly Ragan, Director, Physical Plant Administration

Stephanie Raynish, Marketing Manager, Clinical Marketing

Dr. W. Gary Reed, Chief Quality Officer, UT Southwestern Health System

Natalie Binns Rodriguez, Manager, University Hospitals-Nursing Administration

Dr. Stan Taylor, Associate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Care

Tammy Towers, Supervisor, Compliance

Karen S. Wilson, Project Manager, Physical Plant Administration