HSIF: The Next Horizon for Healthcare — Rachel Park

This is the second post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

This past summer, Rachel Park (MBA16) embodied one of Haas’ guiding principles, “Students Always”, as a Haas Social Impact Fund Fellow at the Native American Health Center (NAHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). “On Day 1 during orientation, we had a dedicated session on Native American history. I had learned about it in bits and pieces but I didn’t know much about the massive effort to separate Native children from their families by sending them to boarding schools, where they were subject to physical, verbal, and sexual abuse… It was illuminating (and heavy) to consider how these historical trends contribute to intergenerational trauma that influences health outcomes today.”

Rachel’s main project this summer was to develop a sustainability plan for the NAHC’s Community Wellness Department. “What’s unique about NAHC is the emphasis on cultural pride and cultural activities for the Native American population: Community Wellness, as they call it. This broad view of culture as prevention isn’t something I’ve encountered in the private sector, but it definitely seems like a critical part of ensuring good health,” Rachel stated. To help ensure the NAHC’s longevity, she conducted a cost-benefit analysis to help the department understand the costs associated with adding an insurance contract relative to its projected revenues.

Rachel’s prior career as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences gave her insight into the field. Yet she noticed that many “novel” trends in the private sector — like a focus on Community Wellness — were actually pioneered by community-based health clinics like the NAHC decades before. Working at an NAHC clinic in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood allowed her a preview of what might be next on the horizon for healthcare.

As Robbie Heath, MBAA VP of Community, explained, “The HSIF allows students to put their MBA skills toward great organizations and great causes without internship salary factoring as much into their decision.” Rachel reiterated a common feeling among all HSIF Fellows, saying “I was blown away by the generosity of my classmates in supporting the Social Impact Fund, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have joined a different kind of internship.”

Find out more about how to get involved in the Haas Social Impact Fund.