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Student Spotlight: Keziah Zacharia, current HSE student

Questions and Answers with Keziah Zacharia...


            1.       Tell us about your background.

I got my Bachelors in Business Administration from Texas Christian University while also taking all the prerequisites necessary for medical school. I entered medical school in 2013 and slowly realized that a future career as a doctor was not for me, especially as the road seemed unending. I returned home still with a passion for medicine but now with a slightly different bent. I wanted to be part of the solution that would help fix America’s healthcare system.

2.     What attracted you to get a degree in HSE?

After I returned from medical school, I contemplated many different avenues that I could take that would give me the tools necessary to get in the field of healthcare improvement. That’s when I found Lehigh’s Masters degree in Healthcare Systems Engineering. It provided the necessary groundwork for understanding the healthcare system in general and also provided understanding of the tools and process improvement techniques found in systems engineering that is very relevant to healthcare today.

3.     What has your experience been like so far as an HSE Student? 

I’ve learned many things during my time as an HSE student both inside and outside of the classroom. Inside the classroom, I’ve learned how to use visio to create process maps to help find inefficiencies. I’ve learned the finance structure of the hospital reimbursement system. I’ve understood the various ways in which healthcare IT is evolving and growing. I’ve been exposed to statistical modeling and predictive analytics to help guide decision making.  I’ve listened to dynamic speakers from different sectors within healthcare and heard their industry view of healthcare improvement. Outside of the classroom, I had the opportunity to work on a project at Lehigh Valley Hospital to improve customer satisfaction. I helped devise a solution to improve the sterilization process of Olympus Corporation’s endoscopes. I took advantage of the SAS Training and Certification program opportunity that was offered to HSE students. And finally, I’ve attended the professional development seminars aimed to ensure that graduates of our program are well equipped to succeed in the workforce.

4.     What are you plans after completing the program?

My plans after graduation include starting my career in healthcare consulting so that I can get both depth and a breadth of knowledge in a variety of different healthcare industries. In this way, I hope that these varied experiences will give me a well-rounded approach to improving our current healthcare system.

5.     Do you think the skills you learned in HSE will help you in your career?

Absolutely! Being able to fluently speak the language of healthcare improvement enables you to be a force to be reckoned with in future job searches. Listing the skills you gain within this program on your resume help tremendously as well especially as healthcare quality improvement tools are in such demand.