Yan Hao, a student in Suffolk’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program, was recently accepted into the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Student Quality Leadership Academy.

The Leadership Academy is a two-day educational program for aspiring leaders in healthcare. Dr. Donald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former president and CEO of the IHI, will lead the program with several expert faculty on July 19-20 in Cambridge, Mass. Participants will learn how to lead change, manage projects, handle conflict, and communicate more effectively.

The event marks Hao’s first official involvement with the IHI, a nonprofit organization that promotes global access to safe and effective healthcare. The Suffolk IHI Student Chapter, founded in 2008, augments the University’s healthcare curriculum, keeping students apprised of industry trends and initiatives to improve quality and safety.

“I like to participate in many events, conferences, and other learning experiences,” said Hao. She was drawn to the Leadership Academy because of its career-relevant focus. “My professional goal is to be a leader in the healthcare field,” said Hao.

“I hope to learn a strong set of leadership skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution, and change management. Not only will these skills be extremely valuable in my future career, but they will also help me be an effective leader as vice president of Suffolk’s Graduate Student Association’s Executive Board,” said Hao.

Hao, who was born and raised in China, is the founder and former director of the mental health center at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. At the Institute, she provided counseling services to students and taught a class on personal psychological development.

Knowing that Boston is a major leader in healthcare, Hao quickly became interested in Suffolk’s Healthcare Programs. “Suffolk’s MHA Program is unique in that it provides internships, mentoring, and great alumni networking opportunities,” said Hao, who is participating in an internship in the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Department at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Working under the direction of Suffolk MHA student Melanie Donnelly, Hao is gaining first-hand experience in the field. She generates weekly patient schedule reports, implements surveys for fellows, and updates orientation material. She is also involved in a “lean project” to minimize paperwork. “I hope to combine the practical knowledge gained from this internship with what I learn in class,” she said.

Hao is also working as a graduate fellow, conducting research with Operating Director of Healthcare Programs Richard Gregg. “Yan is a joy to work with– always eager to learn more and contribute more. She is an exceptional resource for the Healthcare Programs because she is conducting research on leading healthcare organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente in California. Some of her research findings will be posted on our healthcare website so that everyone in our Suffolk healthcare community can benefit from her findings,” Gregg said.

Hao expects to graduate from the MHA Program next spring and aspires to work as a program director in quality improvement, change management, or mental health.