Meet Emily Joseph (MHA '20), Gideon Scholar

Emily Joseph

Emily Joseph is originally from Columbus, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Ohio State. After graduating, she worked in a variety of areas focused on social entrepreneurship and workforce development for the formerly incarcerated, education policy and politics, and ultimately right before graduate school, a health system in New England. These jobs were a perfect lead in to a master’s in health administration because of a core similarity: they were all focused on how systems impact people’s lives. Joseph wanted to leverage her existing knowledge while learning more about health systems operations in order to apply that to the work she was already doing.

UPMC’s Department of Medicine, where Joseph works now while she’s in school, is comprised of thirteen different divisions but she’s most enjoying working on the physician or provider side. “I think I would really be happy post-graduation staying in the physician provider side of the organization and then ultimately I’d just like to be in a position that has a lot of ability to influence how resources are used in health care. So whether that’s at a system level where you have multiple hospitals or systems that report up to you, or on the health plan side, I think there are a lot of different opportunities to apply resource management and operations management in health care in ways that can more efficiently direct how we provide care to patients,” Joseph said of her career aspirations.

The MHA program is helping her to do that through a balance of hard skills in the classroom and exposure to real-world practitioners through both the MHA program and also through the Dawn Gideon Foundation. “The foundation has done a lot of work to expose the scholars to people who knew Dawn Gideon and it’s been really wonderful to hear about her impact on their lives, whether they’ve been people that she’s personally mentored or just her close friends from her own graduate school experience that kind of followed in her career footsteps or grew in life with her.”

With her degree, Joseph plans to continue taking a systems-based approach to public health. “When I think about public health, I think about all of the systems that need to work together so that a person can achieve health. I think that it’s often not just the actual health care delivery system but a lot of the social systems and social supports that go along with it. You can’t be healthy if you don’t have a place to live.” People outside of public health often think of the field in terms of county health departments and vaccine fairs but Joseph is among those connecting “how a hospital works with a housing agency and works with the court system to ensure that all of those parts and pieces work together to promote a healthy environment and a healthy community that everyone can benefit from.”

When she’s not working or studying, Joseph enjoys baking bread and hosting dinner parties with her husband.