MHA Alumni, Shanti Gidwani

UBC SPPH’s MHA Alumni Shanti Gidwani (Class of 2006) shares her experience at MHA and how it helped achieve her career goals.

Shanti Gidwani – Class of 2006

Past & Current Positions
Member Board of Directors, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada
National Healthcare Senior Director, CiscoE- Health Care Consultant, World Health Organization

Raised in a household of two specialist physician parents, healthcare was my whole life. I remember at 9 years old, my parents told me I’d make a great hospital administrator. I had no idea what that meant and looking back, I appreciated that they wanted me to keep my options open.

I began my career as a nurse working across a number of clinical areas. While I loved being at the bedside, I also wanted to make use of my business skills. My mind also saw the bigger, broader scale of population health and that leadership and policy initiatives were my passion.

My discovery of the MHA program happened while I was already enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing.

I made the switch and immediately felt I found the right program that gave me formal training in healthcare and business. It gave me the winning combination of learning both in the classroom and on the ground.

While studying in the MHA, I was also working for a non-profit healthcare organization as the Director of Clinical Services. I was running over 50 clinics across BC, doing things like rewriting the governance policy and clinical operations manuals. During the two-year program, I got to apply what I learned on the weekends to my job at the time. It was a true translation of knowledge between my education and my day-to-day.

At Cisco, my background gives me a unique understanding to have conversations with individuals like chief medical officers and hospital administrators on how technology can advance the goals of their organization. I believe that many of the issues we are facing in healthcare today can be improved by technology: telehealth, intelligent information systems, comprehensive and accessible electronic health records, collaboration tools and more. Again, being able to speak the language of healthcare to apply strategies and tools from the business sector allows me to make a positive contribution to the healthcare space.

Having worked in public and private sector, as well as internationally for the WHO, I often get asked about the MHA vs the MBA. I often tell people that the MHA is the right marriage for someone who wants to be in healthcare and is interested in leadership roles and the business of healthcare. If it’s healthcare that you love, the MHA is the right path to take.

Learn more about how MHA at UBC can help you achieve your goal here