Katie Castree Benyo, MHA: ‘Doing the Right Thing’ for Patients, Clients, and the Business
Katie Castree Benyo (MHA ’12) is a Client Account Lead at Accumen, Inc. – a nationwide technology-enabled consulting services company helping hospitals and health systems respond to new challenges.
Accumen leverages technology-enabled consulting services to solve complex hospital and health system issues. Based in Scottsdale, AZ with offices in Louisville, KY and Blue Bell, PA, Accumen accelerates results for more than 1,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems by providing expert resources and services, extensive operational and clinical data, as well as analytic technology, according to its website.
At Accumen, Benyo assumes overall responsibility for value execution to the client, including day-to-day oversight of the delivery execution team. She also ensures accountability for all account management aspects of the deal, which includes four pillars of relationship, finance, contract, and resources.
Benyo and colleagues are called at Accumen to apply their “Fundamentals,” which are 25 behaviors that they try to bring to life daily.
“One of my favorites is “Do the right thing, always.” I try to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action taken. Sometimes this is easy, and you’d really have to go out of your way to do something unfair. Other times decisions are more difficult as we consider what is best for patients, our clients, our own teams, and the business,” she said. “At the end of the day, you have to live with your decisions and the impact they have on yourself and others, so make sure you stand by what you believe to be right.”
Benyo holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from the University of Illinois, and a master’s degree in Health Administration from Saint Louis University. She is an ASQ-Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer through AHRQ, and holds a Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management Systems from CLSI. Her work and thought leadership have been published in several articles, she is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences, and a member of ASQ and ACHE.
Prior to her current role, Benyo operated in the ‘Lab Excellence’ service line. It was there that she focused on implementing operational excellence practices within client labs in an effort to improve their efficiency, cost, quality, and service.
She says that, as a non-laboratorian, she had to quickly learn about the lab and utilize her Lean Six Sigma skills. Now, she works with all service lines to bring value to the client.
“I am again energized by learning more about comprehensive patient blood management, supply chain management, lab stewardship,” she said. “There are so many ways to positively impact patients and healthcare organizations by focusing on these opportunities.”
Benyo now participates in the sales process to extend or add offerings for current clients, and to connect with new clients.
She says that this, as well as a heavier focus on contracts and financials, has become motivating as she likes to be continually developing new skills.
As the healthcare field and healthcare management advances and changes, Benyo is focused on developing along with it, with an eye on the future.
Something that she says students can learn most intimately from is ‘real-life’ experience.
“It is one thing to know what you can learn from textbooks and lectures, but any work experience or “real life” projects that you can demonstrate will be beneficial. As for competencies, critical thinking, and proactivity.”
Benyo states that having the ability to take in the information around you and use that to decide what next action will advance toward the goal is a powerful skill.
She states that as students learn, the healthcare industry changes as well. With the impact of the pandemic, she says that several factors from cancer screenings to mental health care will need enhanced focus.
However, the importance of laboratory services and the quality of that service remain a focus for Benyo.
“Aside from financial opportunity, the laboratory also has a huge impact on patient care. Laboratory services leverage 60-70% of all critical decision-making such as admittance, discharge, and medication. So the lab has direct impact, not only on the quality of service that physicians and other healthcare providers receive, but also on the quality of patient care that they ultimately deliver,” she said. “With the multitude of challenges facing healthcare systems today, now is the time to claim the opportunity that laboratories can provide for both cost reduction and quality improvement leading to better patient care.”
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 and health administration.