Public Health Buckeyes: Joy Mason

MHA student leans on listening to best serve others

Kristen Mitchell
Joy Mason

Meet Joy Mason, a second-year Master of Health Administration student excited about embracing new ideas to make health care more accessible.

What inspired you to pursue a career in health care administration?

I pursued pre-med at Case Western Reserve University, but quickly realized that my passions and strengths were better suited for the administrative side of health care. I completed two hospital administrative internships at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center where I saw the large-scale impact hospital administrators can have on their systems and communities. Now, I am pursuing a career in health care administration so that I can serve my community, our patients, their families, all caregivers and the organization I work for. 

What public health topics are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about increasing and enhancing the accessibility and approachability of health care. Every health system focuses on creating more “front doors” to their hospitals, which is crucial work. However, we also need to give people the resources to find those doors and walk through them. 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted inequities that persist in health care and how tightly woven hospitals are to their communities. I strive to be a health care administrator who enables meaningful and sustainable change for patients and their families. I’m also passionate about increasing access to mental health resources for everyone, but especially veterans and historically under-resourced communities. 

As a graduate student you’ve had roles at the Wexner Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. What has been the biggest takeaway from your work experiences in a hospital setting?

My biggest takeaway from working at these two outstanding organizations is to listen first and act second. Whether I’m listening to a patient, clinicians, colleagues or other key stakeholders, listening reveals a lot. I have always been an action-oriented person who is driven to make change and accomplish tasks as efficiently as I can. I’ve learned that there is a time and place for moving and thinking, fast and slow. In such a people-first environment, we need to listen and maintain the human aspect of our work.

What are your goals for the future?

I’m looking forward to graduating with my MHA in the spring and starting as an administrative fellow at the Cleveland Clinic in June. Broadly, my goal now and for the rest of my career is to help people, impact my community and give back to others…I am working on welcoming opportunities as they come, accepting ambiguity and meeting the unexpected with grace and adaptability.

Outside of health care, my family runs a small business named Joy’s Roller Rink in Mentor, Ohio. I work remotely as our director of events and public relations, but I’m also a certified instructor and teach in my spare time. My goal is to one day own and operate the rink and coach a skating club. I was a competitive roller figure skater for 13 years, and I would love to give back to the skating community that raised me. 

What advice would you give future MHA students?

I’d tell future MHA students to connect with anyone and everyone they can, welcome new information with open arms and never stop learning. Our industry expands more and more every day. We can see changes such as artificial intelligence and health care disruptors as threats, or we can capitalize on these new resources and work together for a better future.


About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond. The College's divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy. It is ranked 29th among all colleges and programs of public health in the nation, and first in Ohio, by U.S. News and World Report. Its specialty programs are also considered among the best in the country. The MHA program is ranked 8th, the biostatistics specialty is ranked 22nd, the epidemiology specialty is ranked 25th and the health policy and management specialty is ranked 17th.