When Cagla Oruc , a Masters in Health Care Management (HCM) ’17 graduate, was tasked with establishing a COVID-19 command center overnight earlier this year, she did not expect the experiences she would end up having along the course of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an industrial engineering by training, she doesn’t describe her altered career path as taking a new road – it’s more like a detour along the way, and one that she’s glad she made.
Oruc, who recently started a new position as manager of Emergency Management at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., comes from a family of physicians, so health care was something she “had in mind” as her education progressed. “It (her Johns Hopkins Carey Business School degree) provided a curriculum that spoke to me,” she said.
“As an engineer, I felt that the program fit,” added Oruc. The manufacturing, supply chain, and research components she was familiar with complement and align with hospital work focused on meeting logistical and safety challenges and promoting process improvement. Prior to the program, she hoped to find a health care field that provided a medium where she could both use her skills in engineering and have a direct relationship with individuals who benefit from her work, the patients.
Oruc had researched other health care management programs prior to applying to Carey, but found them to be lacking in one area or another, as far as her objectives were concerned. Also, Johns Hopkins’ world-renowned name and reputation, particularly in medicine, was a big factor in her choice of Carey.
Prior to her new position at Sibley, Oruc had worked for three years for the Johns Hopkins Health System, first as an intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and eventually as a full-time employee in the area of emergency planning for the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Emergency Management. While at JHM, Oruc responded to more than 20 serious emergencies, including medical and operational incidents such as a measles outbreak, exposure investigations, utility failures, and supply chain disruptions affecting the continuity of operations. Part of her responsibilities was setting up command centers and an incident command system, to coordinate the most effective and efficient responses. “I learned on the job and had great mentors,” she said.