The recipient of the fifth annual Johns Hopkins Medicine Clinical Award for “Physician of the Year” is a Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Flex MBA graduate.
Ayesha Khalil, a hospitalist and inpatient provider at Howard County (Maryland) General Hospital, is a firm believer in the power of business to aid in healthier outcomes.
When Khalil received her diploma from Carey in 2019, it marked the latest step in a career path that becomes clearer as time, and experience, accumulate.
Joining HCGH in 2013, Khalil is described by the hospital “as always putting patients’ needs and interests first. She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advance the quality and safety of patient care within the organization.”
“After finishing my residency, I wanted to pick the right path for myself,” Khalil remembered. On a teaching faculty trajectory, she discovered “that path I really didn’t feel would be long-term for me. I really enjoyed participating in committees, working with teams, leading projects.”
When an opportunity at Johns Hopkins Healthcare materialized, she investigated. “I remember speaking to the medical director, telling her that I wanted to go into a leadership position. She said that this was a new program in Howard County, and that ‘we want physicians to take leadership roles, so you will get a lot of opportunity here to work on different initiatives.’’’
That was music to Khalil’s ears, who added, “Working at Hopkins, [you get] so many interesting opportunities. Whatever you want to do, you’ll find a path for that.”
Besides seeing patients, Khalil is chair of the hospital’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, parsing difficult data and decisions across disciplines; a member of the Sepsis Committee, focused on strategies to improve sepsis care; and an administrator on call for the Collaborative Inpatient Service group. Her specialized expertise includes quality and patient safety, patient experience, informatics, utilization management, and regulatory compliance.
How has her Carey MBA advanced her career?
“I think I definitely have a better understanding of the business side of medicine … better perspective of leadership as well,” she said. Khalil added that she’s confident discussing issues with the CEO and CMO of the hospital. “I get their perspective, I am able to connect with them better; I can understand where they are coming from.”
“All of us want the same thing,” she said. “We want the best care for our patients, but our responsibilities are different … being fiscally responsible is an important thing. We don’t have infinite resources.”
Khalil said her MBA has given her “a much better understanding of the projects I work on; [now] I always work on the business side of them as well. Is this something worth doing or not worth doing? What is the impact on patient care? What is the financial impact as well?”
Collaboration is key, added Khalil, for health care that is both as cost-effective, as well as medically-effective, as possible. Often, better treatment plans at lower expense are the result. “It’s not physicians against administration - we can actually bridge that gap and bring both perspectives and connect the two dots, because for the ultimate success of the organization, we need to work together.”
The awards program, established in 2015 by the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians, honors the physicians and care teams who embody the best in clinical excellence.
Nominations are accepted annually for physicians and care teams associated with The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.