Yvonne Ebbelaar: Executive MHA, 2010
What brought you to the UW Executive MHA Program?
The UW Executive MHA Program offers me the opportunity to live in Eastern Washington with my husband and children and continue working full time while earning my MHA degree. The Program offers face-to-face contact with health care leaders from today's health care industry, and distance learning opportunities, which further support my success. Finally, the Executive MHA Program is one of the top rated programs in the country, and it would have been a shame not to attend when it is so close to home.
How would you describe your educational background?
I began my college career in 1995. Six years and three children later, I earned my BSN from Washington State University's Intercollegiate College of Nursing in Yakima. This is the point at which I made a professional commitment to rural health care.
What is your professional background?
I began my nursing career at Toppenish Community Hospital as an RN in 2001, and in 2005 moved to my first leadership role within the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic organization as a Charge Nurse at Mountainview Women's Health Center (OB/GYN). In 2009, I transferred to my current role as Clinic Nurse Supervisor for Toppenish Farm Workers Clinic where I enjoy integrating what I am learning in the Executive MHA Program into our daily operations.
Are there any outstanding or unique experiences that you would like to share with regard to the UW Executive MHA Program?
I absolutely love the blend of experience and personalities found within my cohort and the faculty. The opportunity to work in small groups and draw from a variety of experiences throughout the two years enhances the learning experience exponentially.
What do you feel are the strengths of the UW Executive MHA Program?
The strength of the UW Executive MHA Program lies with its own transformational, visionary leadership. They have designed the curriculum using the program vision and mission as drivers, providing the highest quality, multidisciplinary, competency-based education for the development of health care leaders. In other words, they practice what they preach.
What are your career goals, and how do you feel the UW Executive MHA Program is assisting you in reaching those goals?
I have spent the majority of my life living in the Lower Yakima Valley and I love it. I remain committed to rural health care. I thoroughly enjoy operations, process improvement, and collaborative work, all of which I can do within YVFWC. Their mission is a good fit with mine.
One collaborative relationship that has started in our community is with a group of nurses from the local schools and hospital and the two primary care clinics in Toppenish. Our mission is to work together to keep the children in our community healthy. I would like to become involved in rural health care issues, and I will begin exploring those opportunities after graduation. If it weren't for the Program, I would still be day dreaming about these opportunities. The Program has provided me with a professional network and an understanding of systems, neither of which I had previously. It has started the transformation of my leadership abilities such that I now feel confident to take action. Being an RN, the MHA degree provides a multitude of opportunities over the course of my career, ranging from my current position to positions in administration.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences here?
If it weren't for the support of my husband and children, sister and her family, friends and supervisors, I would not have made it to the UW Executive MHA Program. It has been an honor to participate in this rich program and I will miss it deeply. The student and faculty support is amazing from every aspect. I look forward to the continued relationships and the network that my classmates and I will take with us as we work to improve the quality of our health care system.