The Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science is shaping leaders who will be charged with maximizing healthcare's value in the future. Meet the recent classes of students moving into—or advancing—their careers in digital health science, healthcare administration, health information technology and other areas.
Class of 2021
Dr. Michael Albert hails from Oklahoma City. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a doctorate in medicine. He went on to train as a resident in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai, where he is currently serving as the UCLA Kennamer General Internal Medicine Fellow. Dr. Albert has an interest in health systems management and is researching how healthcare can leverage digital technologies to provide high-value care.
"I am interested in learning about data analytics and healthcare financing during my graduate studies, hoping to make the best use of data for patients, while striving to reduce costs and improve accessibility to patients in underserved communities."
Shreya Celly joined the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) team at Cedars-Sinai in June 2017 after earning her bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of Southern California (USC). As an undergraduate, she conducted behavioral and genetics research, studying muscleblind proteins at the Institute for Genetic Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her research culminated in a thesis centered around determining the experimental conditions required to deplete two murine cardiac proteins, and testing if this depletion results in the mis-splicing of target RNAs. Shreya is currently working on a multitude of ongoing projects in the MAST lab, which includes protein analysis and animal and microbiology work. Her primary research interest is understanding the impact of the microbiome on overall human health, and the majority of her work in the lab is on a large-scale project aimed at profiling the small intestinal microbiome.
Shreya has spent countless dedicated hours as a volunteer health scholar in the emergency department at Saint Francis Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center in Lynwood, California. While shadowing physicians, nurses and emergency medical technicians, she helped triage and provide basic care for patients. She served as an assistant director of the program during her volunteer tenure, training fellow volunteers in basic skills needed to successfully be a part of the program (including safe patient handling, HIPP regulations, etc.). She hopes to continue her career at the center of research and community service, and work towards alleviating global health disparities, both in the clinic and in the lab. She currently serves as the Director of Service Events on the USC Young Alumni Council.
"I chose to enroll in the MHDS program to gain a strong foundation in the science behind healthcare delivery and analytics and to further my interests in incorporating the rapidly changing fields of both information technology and medicine to change and improve patient care."
Yufei is an endocrine and general surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He earned his medical degree at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, before coming to the United States to complete a general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and an endocrine surgery fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. He treats and operates on diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, often utilizing minimally invasive techniques. From a research perspective, Yufei has a longstanding interest in digital health, particularly harnessing technology to measure patient-reported outcomes and quality of life.
"Why I chose to participate in the master's program is because I would like to gain a better understanding of how our healthcare works and be a part of the change that will make it better. Being a part of the perioperative service, we strive to provide value-based care to our patients. I believe this course will empower me to improve our service and continue to improve patient care."
Diana is a native Californian who decided to attend medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and residency at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. She came to Cedars-Sinai after her residency to complete a fellowship in regional and acute pain management. Diana is currently a junior faculty in the Department of Anesthesia. She splits her time between regional Anesthesia, Inpatient Pain and Perioperative Services. She has always enjoyed doing research and teaching residents.
Zhi is an experienced laboratory scientist in microbiology and molecular genetics who is interested in expanding his ability to deliver scientific discoveries from the research bench to the bedside efficiently and successfully. He received his MS at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the country’s leading scientific institution in natural sciences and high technology development.
"The Health Delivery Science program excites me for a variety of reasons. I have been exploring MBA and MPH programs at other institutions, and while I find the curriculum interesting, the MHDS coursework is more relevant and valuable to my career aspirations. I hope my perspective will offer a broader range of color to the program with a creative and innovative lens to healthcare."
Christine was born at Cedars-Sinai and has taken the scenic route to return to the hospital as the senior administrative assistant in Inpatient Pain Service. She graduated from the University of Arizona (cum laude) with a bachelor's degree in media arts. After several years as a television producer, she was given the opportunity to manage an apparel office in Asia. The short-term project abroad turned into a decade-long management career based in Hong Kong, as well as working in factories in China, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. During her time overseas, Christine also gained yoga certifications, specializing in hatha, prenatal, postnatal and active birth yoga. She has taught yoga privately, in fitness studios, as well as corporate yoga for international banks. Now, in collaboration with Inpatient Pain, Spiritual Care and Volunteer Services, Christine also offers reiki to both patients and clinicians in the hospital.
"It's a profound fact that healthcare is going through drastic transformations driven by changes in healthcare financing, health data analysis and the evolution of health technology. Post-acute care isn't an exception for these changes. I believe the Cedars-Sinai MHDS program will prepare me to integrate these changes into post-acute care."
Makda began her college career with interests in the medical field. As she progressed in school and in her career, her interests evolved into healthcare policies, quality management and administration aspects of healthcare. Her aspiration to develop a career around the needs of post-acute care is a result of her exposure to various nursing and administrative roles within the nursing home operations. In her spare time, Makda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and working on art projects.
Mitch is associate professor of Radiation Oncology, director of Brachytherapy, and residency program director at Cedars-Sinai. He received his BS from UCLA and his MD from UCSD, followed by a medicine internship at Stanford University and residency in radiation oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He returned to UCLA for a fellowship in brachytherapy and joined Cedars-Sinai in 2017.
"I chose the MHDS program because I want to be equipped with the tools to be in the forefront of an ever-changing field. I was always interested in informatics in nursing school, but I did not want to lose the clinical side of nursing. I believe that this program will enable me to gain the tools necessary to use and understand big data so that I can collaborate with the various roles within the healthcare team, and together we can find solutions to provide safe and effective patient-centered care while being cost-efficient."
Joanna has been part of the Cedars-Sinai team for the past 3 ½ years as a nurse on a heart failure and progressive care unit. Joanna received her bachelor of science in nursing through an accelerated nursing program at New York University. She began her career at a big academic hospital in New York on a pulmonary stepdown unit, where she fell in love with critical care nursing. She continued her career at Cedars-Sinai when home was calling her back. She just recently switched gears from the adult nursing world to the neonatal world and she is excited for this new population she can serve.
"I enrolled in the Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science program so I can prepare myself for the future of changing healthcare services. I strive to develop skills and knowledge so that I can assist my organization to meet the demands and needs of providing quality care to patients in the most efficient way possible."
Thu is a program administrator in the Comprehensive Transplant Center. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a bachelor of science in health administration.
"I have chosen to study Health Delivery Science because I appreciate the changes that are coming in healthcare and want to better understand my role and how outpatient rehabilitation fits into the big picture."
Matt is a physical therapist and assistant manager for outpatient rehabilitation at Cedars- Sinai. He helps manage the neurology, hand, voice, and head and neck cancer outpatient clinics. His primary experience is in orthopaedic manual physical therapy, but he really enjoys learning about all the different areas of rehabilitation and how they fit into the whole healthcare continuum. He is a graduate of Montana State University, Bozeman, with a bachelor's in human and health development. He continued his education at California State University, Long Beach, where he received his master's in physical therapy and at the Ola Grimsby Institute, where he completed a residency and received his doctorate in physical therapy. Prior to working at Cedars-Sinai, Matt worked at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, for about six years. In his free time, Matt enjoys outdoor activities with his wife, Lisa, and their three children, Aleah, Kalais and Lincoln.
"As a physician, I strongly believe that my professional development depends on honing my skills in leadership, networking and knowledge sharing on medical innovations, particularly artificial intelligence and virtual medicine. Cedars-Sinai is nationally and internationally renowned for healthcare leadership and medical innovation. I cannot think of any other program than the Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree Program in Health Delivery Science (MHDS) that can facilitate my career aspiration and ambition."
Aryabod received his associate degree in science from El Camino College in Torrance, California, bachelor of science in biochemistry from UCLA and his medical degree from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. Aryabod also received academic training and a degree in health information technology from Santa Barbara City College. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, he has worked as a researcher with Professor Matthew J. Budoff, MD, a world-renowned cardiologist at LA BioMed/Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Afterward, Aryabod worked with Prime Healthcare to assist clinical departments in IT planning and implementation; worked with the leaderships of administration, IT and reimbursement, to create detailed application designs that conform to application architecture guidelines. Currently, he is a research fellow in cardiac imaging at Cedars-Sinai, working to develop machine- and deep-learning algorithms, which allow for fast, robust and fully automated quantification of cardiovascular measurement from noncontrast calcium scoring CT; it performs equally well as an expert reader and can be implemented in clinical routine for cardiovascular risk assessment.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, watching science fiction movies and cooking.
Connie was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She received her bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from Universidad del Rosario. Connie's interest in policy and how it affects daily practice and operations led her to transition into management. Currently, she is the associate director for Outpatient Rehab Services at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, leading a team of over 50 physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. In her free time, Connie loves to visit Disneyland, as she is a big fan of the little mouse, and she loves spending time with her family.
"I joined the MHDS program to enrich my understanding of the clinical applications of my work on predictive and prescriptive analytics."
Matthew Wells is a data scientist who has worked at Cedars-Sinai since 2016. His work is focused on prescriptive modeling and pattern-based analysis to clarify and resolve complex issues for the health system. He's worked on projects around patient likelihood of cesarean section prediction, hospital census prediction and emergency department boarding root cause evaluation. Prior to that he worked in strategic planning for Montefiore Health System and the Greater New York Hospital Association. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan from 2008 to 2010. Outside of work you can catch him training for marathons or doing improv comedy at the Ruby Theatre in Hollywood.
"I chose to attend the MHDS program because I seek new opportunities to advance my research skills and build relationships."
I am a physical therapist in the Cedars-Sinai outpatient rehabilitation department. My areas of interest in clinical practice include neurological and vestibular rehabilitation. My research interests are related to patients with stroke, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. I earned a medical degree from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Then I practiced seven years in a local hospital before I went to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. I completed the Neurologic Residency Training at Creighton University right after I obtained my DPT degree. Then I started my practice at Cedars-Sinai in 2015. I also work as a coordinator for the Cedars-Sinai Neurologic Residency program. Besides clinical practice, I am very interested in teaching and am a teaching faculty member at Mount Saint Mary's University. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and hiking.
Class of 2022
"I am a senior Clinical Research Coordinator at Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute. I’ve been working in clinical research for 5 years. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in medicine and general surgery from Zagazig University in Egypt. I completed my medical training in Egypt in 2011, and ever since I’ve been perusing advancements in medicine and hope to one day make a meaningful impact on patient care."
"Having majored in Health Administration as an undergraduate, I would now like to expand my skillset even further and that is why I chose to pursue the Cedars-Sinai MHDS program. I am interested in the incorporation of technology and data and how that can be used in conjunction to promote a more value-based health care system especially in underserved populations. From being aware of the various healthcare disparities present in our current system as well as the increasing cost of healthcare services, it is a strong goal of mine to be part of the new set of leaders designated to introduce changes, new policies and results."
Anthony is a Program Assistant in the Pharmacy & Nutrition Services department within the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network and has been with Cedars-Sinai for two years. He received his BS in Health Administration from California State University, Northridge. In Anthony’s current position, he helps coordinate and facilitate various outpatient pharmacy programs. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and attending music festivals.
Kareem Hassan is a registered nurse In the Case Management Department at Cedars Sinai Hospital. His previous nursing experience includes working as an HIV certified nurse caring for and advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to becoming a registered nurse Kareem worked in the finance and real estate development sectors.
"I joined Cedars-Sinai in 2015 and currently work for Hepatobiliary Surgery Department as an outpatient care coordinator. I graduated from Mohave Community College in 2009 and completed my bachelor’s degree at Weber State University in 2012. Prior to coming to Cedars-Sinai, I worked in Salt Lake City as part of a Burn Trauma ICU. I have always been interested in the intersection of nursing, data and technology. The healthcare landscape has been catalyzed forward by COVID, and I want to have a hand in shaping those outcomes. Cedars-Sinai MHDS program provides me a unique opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be the best resource for our organization and our patients."
Alena Johantgen has worked as an RN at Cedars-Sinai since 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana University and also holds a BA in Anthropology. Alena has worked in pediatrics for the majority of her nursing career and is passionate about improving the patient experience and quality improvement projects. She has held the role of Assistant Nurse Manager of Pediatrics since the spring of 2019. In this new role, Alena is especially passionate about promoting self-care, nursing resiliency and camaraderie between team members.
"Helping my community in areas of health and wellness has always been my passion. I wanted a more in-depth look into what the health care delivery field really looks like and how we as a generation of new doctors and health care workers can improve the way we think about healthcare. Learning about how we can use data to gain wisdom and induce change makes the MHDS program hugely rewarding."
Bethany is a laboratory technician currently working at the University of Southern California in the Division of Environmental Health. She has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and additional certificates in Chicano/Latino studies and Spanish language.
Zoe graduated from Roanoke College with a BS in Biochemistry and Public Health Studies in May 2020. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on the effects of environmental toxins and pharmaceuticals on the embryonic development of zebrafish. Throughout her four years, Zoe was a volunteer EMT with the local rescue squad. She also took part in a qualitative study which provided city officials with recommendations to eliminate the food desert that currently exists in parts of the Roanoke Valley. Prior to joining the MHDS program, Zoe participated in the Pre-Med Volunteer Program at Cedars-Sinai and spent three months volunteering with an NGO in a city-slum in Mumbai. She recently joined Dr. Zulma Gazit’s lab as a Research Associate II. Zoe hopes to continue her career in the medical field focusing her attention on maternal and fetal health.
“I want to advocate and implement changes that make the system more efficient for everyone, rather than feel as if I am a bystander, complicit with the ‘status quo.’ Learning the science of maximizing the value of our healthcare, ensuring we have a system that optimizes the patient experience as well as human capital of doctors, students and every individual serving in the healthcare field. I believe the Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science will prepare me to do that now and throughout my career.”
Kate Makaroff is a third-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (Class of 2023). Born and raised in Massachusetts, she attended the Noble and Greenough School (Class of 2011) then Harvard University (Class of 2015), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology with a secondary field in global health and health policy.
Kate moved to the West Coast as a David Geffen Medical Scholar. She has served as the American Medical Association and California Medical Association delegate for the UCLA chapter, David Geffen School of Medicine Medical Student Council Well-Being Representative, and UCLA Med Mentor for premedical undergraduates.
She believes pursuing a dual degree will develop and add critical skills to her toolbox, which will allow her to understand and address health delivery issues head-on. Kate is interested in digital health and health services research and joins Cedars-Sinai as a clinical research associate for the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE) lab led by Drs. Brennan Spiegel and Christopher Almario.
For over 10 years, Kate competed in state, regional and national soccer championships with her club team, Scorpions SC. She was the recipient of the Russell B. Stearns Achievement Award for scholastics, character and leadership in 2011. As a recruited NCAA Division I women’s soccer starting center-midfielder, she helped her team earn Ivy League Championships in 2011 and 2013. She received the Henry Russell Shaw Postgraduate Traveling Fellowship in 2015.
Brian Minton is a clinical research coordinator that has worked in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute since early 2019. He is a senior coordinator on the gastrointestinal oncology team, helping to run trials for pancreatic, colorectal and other cancers. Prior to coming to Cedars, Brian worked in neurology at the University of California, Irvine. He also worked at Science 37, a health tech start-up where he helped to coordinate remote clinical trials through the implementation of telemedicine. Brian originally comes from Orange County, California. In his spare time he enjoys performing improv comedy with ImprovCity in Irvine and the Impro Theatre School in Los Feliz.
"Growth & Future Success Lies in Preparation & Collaboration"
As a family physician, Dr. Clarence Monteclaro is driven to be inspired and to inspire those with whom he works. His work with the Los Angeles Unified School District, city of Carson, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health is personal. Every project initiated, every person served and every team led is a testament to what drives him in his career and his personal value to be more for his community.
Drawing from over 10 years of experience as a family physician, tuberculosis clinician and COVID-19 outbreak response public health physician, he continues a commitment to leadership training with a Health Care Executive MBA from the Paul Merage Business School, Community Health Science MPH at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Masters in Health Delivery Science at Cedars Sinai.
He served from 2014 to 2019 as Lead Physician at the Wilmington Health Center for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and currently practices as a Tuberculosis Physician Specialist and COVID-19 outbreak response public health physician for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. As the founder of a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization supporting school gardens, he has revived a 2-acre school-based community garden at Stephen M. White Middle School, organized community gardening conferences and launched TeachMe.Foundation to promote public health educational initiatives and wellness programs in Los Angeles County.
Actively working to serve those in greatest need, he has learned the importance of fostering strong leadership, diversity of expertise and collaborative efforts. With a vision to make a difference and take part in something greater, he seeks to cultivate shared knowledge, innovation, disciplined work culture and empowerment of all persons as leaders for change.
Dr. Ramanujan was trained as a condensed matter physicist in India. During his postdoctoral career, he switched his research focus to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of cellular metabolism and cancer biology. Recruited to Cedars Sinai in 2008 as a faculty member within the departments of surgery and biomedical sciences, he set up the metabolic photonics laboratory with an emphasis on building high resolution imaging tools to interrogate cancer cell metabolism as well as on developing mitochondrial-based biomarkers for breast cancer diagnosis. Since January 2020, Dr. Ramanujan has assumed a new service responsibility for managing the light microscopy and image analytics division within the Biobank and Translational Research Core in the Cedars Sinai Cancer Center. He is currently interested in leveraging his research and analytics expertise to the health care service sector. In this MHDS program, he hopes to learn about the fundamentals of health care system and the health analytics tools for the modern-era health delivery and care.
"A strong foundation in data analytics, healthcare finance and administration and core research principles will allow me the platform to continue my passion for research and policy development to improve healthcare delivery for all."
Lindsey Ross is a faculty neurosurgeon and spine specialist at Cedars-Sinai. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she earned her BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and an MD from UCLA. She completed her Neurosurgical residency and Complex Spine fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. During medical school, she was selected as a Denzel and Pauletta Washington Gifted Scholar in Neurosciences. Lindsey has enjoyed serving as a leader for the Cedars-Sinai House Staff Executive committee and now as the founder of the Doctors for Diversity committee and Clinical Leader for the Health Equity Council.
In 2016, she was tapped to serve as a White House Fellow for the Obama Administration. In this position she served as a Science and Health Policy Counselor for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A large part of her portfolio included working with the White House, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and SAMSHA on the U.S. public health strategy to the emerging opioid epidemic, which culminated in an important research report outlining the best community and state-wide strategies to combat the opioid crisis. She also worked at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) primarily on physician-focused alternative payment models. Additionally she served as policy advisor for the U.S. Zika response plan where she worked closely with the CDC, Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Ross has been recognized for her leadership and commitment to healthcare delivery and was awarded the Top 40 under 40 Leaders in Minority Health in 2017 by the Congressional Black Caucus.
"Advancing your education is one way to become a better leader and person for your family, colleagues and community. The Cedars-Sinai Master's Degree in Health Delivery Science (MHDS) program is an elite opportunity to combine my passions and skill set with new training and technology to improve outcomes specifically for patients, health systems and our communities."
Aly Shoji serves as Principal Gift Officer in the Development Division of Advancement at Cedars-Sinai. She raises money by bridging relationships to leverage research, clinical care and community outreach. Prior to working at Cedars-Sinai, AIy worked for Project Angel Food, the YWCA and the UCLA Health System for almost 15 years on the Development team that secured the $200M gift to name the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Learning to be good stewards of our resources goes beyond dollars raised. She believes the four cores within the Cedars-Sinai MHDS program can strengthen her skillset for advancement but also build partnerships within operations and research to continue to provide the best patient care. Aly is a graduate of UCLA, was the first female President of the Westwood Village Rotary Club in 85 years and is married with two kids. As the COVID-19 virus appears to be ramping up again, Aly is interested in the newly created Capacity Command Center at Cedars-Sinai.
"I chose the MHDS program to better understand and appreciate the complexities of the U.S. healthcare system. I am excited to learn about healthcare informatics and data analytics as it applies to the management of the vast amounts of clinical data generated in daily clinical laboratory operations."
Taiwo moved to the United States from Nigeria 5 years ago after completing her undergraduate degree. She has been with Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine since 2016, starting out as a laboratory assistant then transitioning to her current role as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the Core Laboratory. She also volunteers as a member of the Special Pathogens Rapid Response Team at Cedars-Sinai.
Have Questions or Need Help?
If you have questions or wish to learn more about the MHDS program, please contact:
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
8687 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069