First-year MHA student combines passion for business, health care
Each month, the College of Public Health is shining a spotlight on one of its students. For April, meet Daniel Kopechek, a first-year Master of Health Administration student. Kopechek’s foundations in business helped him begin what’s sure to be an impactful career in health administration.
Why did you decide to pursue public health?
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business, I spent five years working with a health care manufacturer and distributor. This opportunity gave me firsthand exposure to the many challenges within health care, including operational and communication breakdowns that so often occur. While these roles allowed me to have an impact on day-to-day provision of products needed for care, they did not allow me to have a significant impact on the systematic problems I saw. I recognized that, to have an impact in this area, I would need additional education to better anticipate and address these problems. Pursuing a health administration degree in the College of Public Health seemed to be the perfect fit to bridge this gap.
Can you tell us a bit about your goals after graduating?
My goal is to equip and empower health care providers to deliver the best possible care to patients. I anticipate this will lead me to roles such as a service-line or department manager within a hospital. I am also exploring the elderly care environment, which could lead to leadership roles in long-term care communities or hospice services.
Are you involved in any professional, academic or student activities?
Through the generosity of the William O. Cleverley scholarship that I received, I’ve had the opportunity to explore areas of interest and learn from project teams at Ohio State focused on improving pre-surge processes, developing staffing models and reviewing hiring and budgeting processes. I’ve also enjoyed networking with the vast Ohio State alumni network, which has helped me learn more about the services provided within health systems and established best practices of care.
This summer, I’ll be interning with Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. Previous job experiences have included positions at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the Dow Chemical Company and Cardinal Health.
How have these experiences enriched your time at Ohio State?
These experiences have provided significant context to everything I’ve learned thus far as a graduate student. Exploring projects and building relationships with alumni and other health care providers in the community has helped further supplement my education by applying learned concepts in live scenarios.
What advice would you give incoming students?
Find what it is that you want to be involved in, then go all in. Ohio State has so much to offer — whether it be research opportunities, student organizations, shadowing and work opportunities, or the phenomenal network of alumni. As an undergraduate, I fully invested in student organizations. As a graduate student, I’ve enjoyed investing in building relationships with alumni from my program. While it may be impossible to do everything, if you can find where you want to invest your time and energy, then invest it fully, and it will be very rewarding.
What do you hope for the future of public health?
This past year has highlighted the critical role public health has within our communities while also creating a greater need for the services public health can provide. My hope is that there will be an increase in funding for public health initiatives to help further increase the field’s value to individuals and communities.