David Nugent

David Nugent

Member Spotlight

David Nugent

Performance Improvement Analyst in the Value Improvement Office 
Keck Medicine of USC

Tell us a bit about yourself, your current position and your background.

I am originally from the North Shore of Chicago, a group of suburbs just north of the city. I completed my undergraduate education at Indiana University – Bloomington, majoring in Healthcare Management & Policy. After completing my undergraduate education, I served in several Performance Improvement/Lean positions in Indiana. In 2018, I relocated to Los Angeles for my current role. I serve as a Performance Improvement Analyst in the Value Improvement Office at Keck Medicine of USC. The department is split into “Pods”, and my Pod supports Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale. We provide Project Management, Process Improvement/Lean Methodology, Data Analysis, and Decision Support for the leadership team. I am also continuing my education at USC in the Master of Health Administration program.

When did you become a member?

I became a Student Associate of ACHE in 2015, I am now a Member.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in health administration?

My mom is a physician, and as many children of healthcare workers do, I grew up wondering if healthcare might be a good fit for me, too. However, although healthcare continued to be of great interest to me as I approached my undergraduate years, I decided that I wanted to explore my interest in business. I started school as a Finance major, and soon found that it was not the path for me. I was lucky enough to have a guidance counselor who knew my situation well, including my interest in healthcare. She informed me that the university had a Healthcare Management & Policy program. At the time, I had no idea what this degree entailed, or what doors it would eventually open for me. It was an excellent fit, and I have been fortunate to have very rewarding academic and professional experiences so far.

Why did you join ACHE/HCE?

I joined ACHE as a Student Associate at IU. One of my professors, also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, encouraged all students to join.

What is the greatest benefit you have received from HCE so far?

By far the greatest benefit I have received from HCE was the networking and professional development opportunity that the BridgeRoads program offered. In 2017, I was ready to relocate out of Indiana – either back to Chicago, or to a new city. I reached out to several Early Careerist Council Chairs in various cities and inquired about any opportunities I might have to network. I had my eyes on Los Angeles as a destination, and through the HCE ECC Chair at the time, was connected to the BridgeRoads program. It was there that I met Tricia Kassab, who became my mentor, and Kenny Pawlek, who helped create the connection to my current position.

Who had influenced your career most?

I am so grateful for Tricia Kassab’s mentorship! She truly influenced my career the most so far. Having a mentor is so important. Prior to my relocation, we worked on developing my professional brand and building my network in Southern California.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself in a leadership position within Performance Improvement within the next 5 years.

Do you have any good book/newsletter/podcast recommendations for other HCE members?

Recently someone recommended the TedMed Talks to me. So far I’ve enjoyed them!

Mirna Orihuela, MBA

Mirna Orihuela, MBA

Member Spotlight

Mirna Orihuela, MBA

Manager of Post-Acute Networks
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Tell us a bit about yourself, your current position and your background.

I’m the Manager of Post-Acute Networks at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital. Prior to joining Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital I was the Interim Manager of Post-Acute and Detox Services.

I obtained my master’s in business administration from California Baptist University and my bachelor’s in Health Science from California State University, San Bernardino.

I’m a first-generation college graduate raised by a single mother. I’m originally from El Centro a small farming community in southern California.

When did you become a member?

2014

Why did you decide to pursue a career in health administration?

My passion for healthcare began early on at the age of 6 years old, I was inspired by Doctors Without Borders providing free services to my community in Mexico. My journey in healthcare and giving back to my community began.

I discovered health administration during my term as Chapter President for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) an international career and technical student organization. I had exposure to many talented healthcare providers and leaders from around the world. These talented individuals inspired me to consider giving back to my community and make a difference by being a leader and ensure high-quality care is provided.

Why did you join ACHE/HCE?

I discovered ACHE/HCE SoCal during my undergraduate education in 2013, we had a guest speaker (Mark Maramba) who spoke about the benefits of being a member and invited us to attend a networking event and meet people in the industry.

The people I meet there were welcoming, supportive, and inspiring.  These individuals took me under their wings and helped me navigate the industry and different stages of my career and life. I wasn’t only a member but part of a healthcare family.

I’m very thankful for Ebi, Lodel, Mark, and Mario M.

What is the greatest benefit you have received from HCE so far?

The greatest benefit I have received from HCE has been meeting other members who share the same values and develop friendships during networking and educational events.

Who had influenced your career most?

Joe Avelino, CEO of College Medical Center influenced my career the most. He saw potential in me and gave me an opportunity as an early careerist to gain exposure in healthcare. During my time working at College Medical Center, I learned a lot about hospital operations and finance. Most importantly extremely supportive of me during my growth in the industry.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I see myself being part of a senior management team, obtaining my FACHE, teach and mentor future healthcare leaders, and be a speaker at Congress.  Additionally, I see myself continuing to travel the world and sharing the experience with a life partner.

Do you have any good book/newsletter/podcast recommendations for other HCE members?

The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results  by George B. Bradt

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