MHA Student Olivia Page: Launching American Society for Quality (ASQ) Student Branch
In her first year as a graduate student at Saint Louis University (SLU), Olivia Page (MHA candidate 2021) developed a passion for quality improvement (QI) in health care. In her second year, Page helped to launch and lead the SLU student branch of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), sponsored by the St. Louis section of the international organization. As a founder and board member of the student branch, Page has worked to increase awareness among her peers about how they can use QI in their work as health care managers.
Quality principles, tools and metrics are the bread and butter of how we can make a difference, and show that we’re making a difference, in patients’ lives. You can use quality metrics across disciplines and industries to improve any process or outcome – that’s why I love quality."
The SLU student branch of ASQ plans and coordinates a variety of events for students, such as speakers’ series and case discussions, with the goal of increasing students’ interest in QI and helping them build competencies in the field. ASQ is unique from other organizations in that it helps students, and working professionals, gain tangible, high demand technical skills to add to their toolbox. For example, the SLU student branch is working to create opportunities for students to consult on QI projects with local non-profit organizations in St. Louis.
The student chapter receives sponsorship and support from SLU Professor Mark Gaynor, PhD, and alumnus Katie Castree (MHA 2012, ASQ, CSSBB), Operational Excellence Manager at Accumen Inc. and a member of the ASQ St. Louis leadership team.
In addition to her involvement in ASQ during the past year, Page has been able to apply her QI and operations management skills in practice as an Administrative Intern at Alton Memorial Hospital, a community hospital of BJC HealthCare. Page says that learning to become agile and adapt to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to transform her into the kind of leader she wants to be.
“We had to quickly alter our plans from in person to virtual formats and reconstruct what we wanted our student branch to look like,” Page said.
Every day is different, and every day you get new information. Agility may be a soft skill, but I have been practicing it in very tangible ways at school and at work over the past year.”
Page received the Robert Deufel Extra Measure Award from ASQ St. Louis for her efforts in launching the student branch.
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.