Jeffrey Vu’s (MBA/DNP ’21) concern for patient care and providing for marginalized populations made his decision to pursue the MBA/DNP dual degree at Carey Business School an easy choice.
Shifting from a full-time clinical role to now working solely in leadership and management as director of clinical operations in California at Orange County Public Health, the dual degree from Carey helps Vu find new opportunities in creating access to health care for underserved populations in the county.
Vu’s daily responsibilities involve the oversight of public health programs, including HIV/STD testing and treatment, family and dental clinics, tuberculosis, and infectious disease.
Graduating as a member of the inaugural MBA/DNP program and one of the few in his cohort, he believes the dual degree program will be a crown jewel moving forward.
“The dual degree from Carey really completed my educational career and is how I grew into the role I’m at today,” said Vu. “Going more in-depth on the clinical side and now having the management experience, I have a specialized knowledge in leading hundreds of employees.”
With many health care decisions made by non-clinicians, the MBA aspect of the dual degree gave Vu the added knowledge and education to have the opportunity to sit at the table for more non-clinical conversation.
“Even though I have shifted from clinical care, I still have influence over some of the practices here in Orange County. I’m now a better asset to my organization, and I found it’s easier to guide strategic decision-making,” Vu said.
Serving underrepresented populations
Before his work in clinical operations at Orange County Public Health, Vu worked part-time for UC Irvine Health while pursuing the MBA/DNP dual degree. The part-time stint turned into a full-time venture as associate program director, working in transgender adolescent medicine. Although now in his current position, Vu continues to work for the program as a mentor.
But Vu’s work in transgender health did not stop there. With his degree from Carey, he’s hoping to transform the future of healthcare in Orange County in a post-pandemic world. And his experience working in transgender health aligns with the initiatives the county is implementing now, offering transgender clinical care as a public health service.
“I’ve been able to bring more health initiatives to Orange County because of my background working in gender diversity. Having the dual degree, I’ve come into this position with a more holistic view and a better understanding of the overall health system. With my experience in the private sector and now having the business background, I have a fresh lens to really try and break down barriers for more humanitarian work and initiatives in the county,” said Vu.
Knowing the needs of the underserved populations, Vu and his team are finding the gaps in the health systems to figure out where to better use their resources, eventually pursuing innovative solutions to bring the county to a place where everyone is provided access to their specific health needs.