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Mohammad Agha, MD, MHA: Charting a Path to Leadership

by Clare LaBlance on 04/09/2021

Mohammad Agha, MD, MHA, has a 10-year plan to become a Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Mohammad Agha, MD, MHA

As a practicing physiatrist at MU Health Care in Columbia, Missouri, Dr. Agha became interested in addressing systemic barriers to patient recovery after learning that certain physical therapy costs for Medicaid patients were not covered by the state.

As a result, many patients received interventional treatments, the main options available to them at that time. Dr. Agha began looking at avenues to enhance his clinical expertise with competencies in health care administration, including finance and operations management. He recalls finding the Saint Louis University (SLU) Master of Health Administration (MHA) program listed in Modern Healthcare magazine as a top graduate program for health care executives.

“I chose SLU as the place to pursue a MHA degree because where you get your education and type of education you receive matters,” he explains. “SLU’s MHA program has a strong, national reputation for graduate health care management education and vast alumni network that I knew would be invaluable to my career development.”

With his long-term goal in mind, Dr. Agha began charting a path to leadership.

“I always like to have a 10-year plan. If your plan changes, that’s completely fine because you will learn things about yourself along the journey. You can transfer the skills you’ve acquired and utilize them on your new trajectory.”

Dr. Agha

After graduating from SLU’s executive MHA program in 2017, Dr. Agha took on additional administrative responsibilities within his department and system before accepting a position at BJC Health Care’s Center for Clinical Excellence. In December 2020, his journey led him to his current position as a Medical Director of Care Coordination at SSM Health. In this role, Dr. Agha works with hospital leadership, case managers, social work, and other stakeholders to streamline and coordinate patient care and to improve throughput. Within the health system, the position places him on track to becoming a future CMO. 

In addition to his plan, Dr. Agha believes networking and collaborating with others also represent critical success factors. In fact, he notes that networking paved the way to job offers in St. Louis after graduating from SLU.

A lot of people shy away from networking because they think it’s about taking something from someone, but true networking is actually about giving and taking. It’s really more about sharing,” 

Dr. Agha


College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in public health, social work, health administration, applied behavior analysis, and criminology and criminal justice.