This fall will be the first time in eight years that Megan Resnick hasn’t been a student at UVM. With three college degrees under her belt from UVM—a B.S. in molecular genetics, an MBA, and a master of public health—the Burlington resident is now a quality improvement project liaison at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, where she is focusing on healthcare literacy, costs, and access.
We talked to Megan about working in public health, the importance of wellness initiatives, and why she’s intrigued by the combination of business and healthcare.
How did you go from an MBA degree to enrolling in a public health program?
The combination of business and healthcare has always interested me. Healthcare is a unique industry as standard consumerism does not apply. However, it is still critically important to control costs to ensure everyone can get efficient, effective, and affordable care.
My interest in healthcare and specifically public health increased throughout my MBA studies, during which I was able to take healthcare electives such as Policy, Organization, and Financing in Healthcare and Strategic Planning. At this time, UVM was working diligently to get the public health program up and running, so I eventually enrolled.
How has the UVM public health program enhanced your career?
The UVM Master of Public Health program provided a foundation of knowledge in areas such as epidemiology and public health policy, as well as an in depth understanding of healthcare reform specific to Vermont. I regularly draw from public health concepts I learned through this program in my professional life, and my biostatistics textbook even sits on my desk at work.
What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont?
As a quality improvement project liaison, I work internally and externally with providers and employer groups to ensure our members are receiving appropriate care when and where they need it. Our goal is to identify and knock down a variety of barriers to quality care such as cost, access, and health literacy.
I’m also a certified wellness culture coach and, in my opinion, this is one of the biggest areas of opportunity in healthcare reform. Through wellness initiatives, we can try to help create sustainable behavior changes. It is important for individuals with conditions, such as high cholesterol, to get their cholesterol checked; but it is behavior changes, such as exercising and healthy eating habits, that are going to alter the results. I could not ask for a better place to work.
Why would you recommend the UVM public health program?
The UVM public health program is fantastic. The courses are interesting and relevant and the professors are very engaged. I really appreciated that this is an online program because it made it possible for me to balance working full time and being a student. At the same time, being at UVM meant that I could talk to my professors face-to-face when I needed.
What made you return to UVM for your two master degrees?
I never left, in fact this will be my first fall semester not registering for courses at UVM since 2008. I had a wonderful undergraduate experience and it didn’t really cross my mind to continue my graduate education anywhere else.