Hi Kevin. Thank you for the feedback and the "Araby" link. I took your advice and cut out the huge intro and the content that followed. I kept the second half of the essay roughly the same as it expressed my purpose and objectives at a particular school. Please take a look at this edited version. Any feedback would be appreciated.
On a casual morning during the summer of 2006, I was gearing up for our Corporate BBQ planned later in the afternoon at one of the partner's homes. I headed out in search of some tasty bites and arrived at the local Costco. As I entered the behemoth of a building, I peeked over the mountain of merchandise and to my left; running alongside the entire building was the "Health" Section – a Pharmacy, an Optometry department and newest and latest addition, a Hearing Aid dispensary. It was a faint reminder of how developed the country has become, yet simultaneously it generates an avenue for a one-dimensional way of life where one brand name under one giant roof will sell you oven-roasted chicken, big screen TVs and, yes, hearing aids. Consequently, the new hearing aid dispensary was based on a coerced-sales model that at face value promoted convenience and low prices for customers, yet cunningly cranked out sales like used car dealerships on Holiday weekends, and worse, lacking the necessary parts & service department. This was unacceptable.
Graduating from UC Riverside with a Biology degree and, naturally, through work, research and volunteer experience, I developed a keen understanding of the various medical models. However, I never fully experienced the concept of financial undertones and monetary gain and its influence on health until that very day at Costco. I began to further explore this concept in my current position as an Executive at Otonix, Inc. while nursing a network of Otolaryngologists (ENTs) since 2005 through vestibular diagnostics for dizziness/vertigo and fall prevention. It was here that I was introduced to the dynamic field of public health.
I was given the important task of identifying the current issues that influence access to hearing care for patients. Exercising a SWOT Analysis, I was able to conclude that there were two adverse components regarding the average retail hearing aid dispensary. First and foremost, it lacked accountability for hearing care and the overall well-being of the community. Secondly, there was a disproportionate integration of health insurance plans, where larger dispensary chains lobbied and secured providership and the consequent lucrative membership benefits. In other words, there were major implications of a sales driven model in both components. As such, patients faced a continuous disconnect from one set of facilities to the next - exposing them to outrageous pricing schemes, poor hearing aid fitting strategies, limited or no after sale care, and unwarranted medical complications.
It was an opportunity that presented itself and placed our Corporate on the cusp of a breakthrough in the Audiology industry. We were able to define and implement the policy process for improving the hearing health status of populations within a 10-mile radius of each ENT in our network. In turn, each ENT's office became a multi-dimensional capacity, providing organic ENT work and comprehensive ancillary services, all-inclusive and under one proper roof. It was the quintessential recipe for creating the credibility and accountability among patients and their community in an industry that was lacking and without focus.
In order to cement the venture, I was responsible for integrating the physician's health insurance plans (Medi-Cal, HMOs/IPAs and Privates) into their new hearing aid practice. This would establish the Physician as an additional Provider for hearing aid dispensing besides the standard larger retail chains patients had the option of choosing from according to their health plans. This was no easy task as it required renegotiating the Physician's contracts and dealing with unimaginable bureaucracies that prioritized streamlined and economical models favoring large hearing aid chains, such as Costco, operating on quantity rather than quality.
In response, I proposed to the health insurances the concept that hearing aids were not to be looked at as a sales process, but as a rehabilitation process – a sharp contrast from the industry standard that treated hearing aid sales like prescription eyeglass sales. It formed a better solution to the current standard as every hearing aid purchase would now be packaged with a service plan that included rehabilitation and maintenance sessions, minor lab repairs, extended warranties and more. The approach would be cost effective, while highlighting pricing and utilization patterns on par with what health insurances found reasonable and, therefore, maximizing the Physician's contracted rates and creating a profitable venture.
As the system spread through our network it was a triumph and a bona fide success, creating a platform and an opportunity to duplicate the model in different regions and develop custom packages to implement within Government programs (i.e. VA, Federal prison systems, CA Children's Services). It was a significant and grueling five-year development that schooled our team in every small detail of medical delivery systems, health insurance policy, medical marketing, software technology, economics and finance and retail/customer service.
Being involved in such a substantial undertaking, I cultivated a strong curiosity in the field of public health and was compelled to explore the current environment and its challenges. I am most interested in sector wide approaches (SWAP) in health. I studied several cases over the years, including the gold standard implementation in Mozambique and, most recently, the ongoing project in the Republic of Moldova. The idea of bringing together government, donors and stakeholders ran along the lines of the duties I've been performing all along, only on a grander scale. I was intrigued.
In concert with our hearing care program, I was assigned to minor projects with our non-profit organization, the White Memorial Otolaryngology Foundation. One project, in particular, that I was emotionally vested in was our Cleft Palate Program for Children providing pro bono comprehensive hearing care and speech pathology services for children in underserved East Los Angeles. With a sustained partnership between the medical professionals, the Foundation board and its donors it paralleled the same principles and practices that were operating in SWAP cases. This confirmed my personal mission of being accepted into an MPH program and that a career in public health was my calling.
I'm confident that through a Masters of Public Health program at XXX program, I will gain comprehensive knowledge in applying systems thinking to current challenges within a health system, applying the principles of strategic planning to make recommendations for organizational and community health initiatives and sharpening my indulgence in the principles of finance and economics. I am especially driven to explore what specific areas of SWAP I find myself most attracted to. Currently, I find donor leadership and constructing donor strategy and pitching it to Government to be my ambitious route, however, I want to be provoked and stimulated by the curriculum in order to consider all avenues. In fact, one weakness I found consistently in SWAP cases was the lack of systematic follow up by the Ministries of Health, suggesting limited capabilities in monitoring and policy implementation, however, this is my greatest strength as a young professional.
I am drawn to the XXX program because of its innovative, Executive style approach to management and policy while allowing time to continue the good work at Otonix, Inc. I am eager to secure the opportunity to translate XXX leading practitioners and researchers classroom knowledge into applied field experience. I believe that I am a well-qualified candidate with a wealth of knowledge, experience and intellect and can donate a unique approach to your program. I feel that graduate study at XXX program will be the appropriate setting for me to prove my commitment and pursue my passion and a major stride towards achieving my objectives.