Mary Katherine Krause, MS

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Systems Management, College of Health Sciences
Role: Faculty
Joined Rush in 1996


I hold the faculty rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Systems Management at Rush University, where I have taught courses in health care management ethics, health care organization, health care strategic planning and marketing, and professional skills. My favorite professional skills lecture to deliver is a dining interview/networking simulation (e.g., When you are seated at a round table during a networking event, do you know which glass and bread dish is yours and not the person’s sitting next to you, a person who could have the power to influence your career?).

With over 25 years in hospital and medical association management, I have held leadership positions at Rush University Medical Center in university relations and medical affairs administration and at the American College of Chest Physicians in continuing medical education and philanthropy. Currently, I am Vice President for Communications at the College of American Pathologists (CAP) where I am responsible for planning, developing, and executing internal and external communications, branding, media relations, and crisis relations.

What inspired you to get into your field?

I grew up in a health care family. My father was a physician executive, and my mother was a surgical nurse. From an early age, I was comfortable in hospitals and health care settings and valued their direct, patient care mission. In school, I enjoyed and excelled at both biological sciences and business communications.

While considering medical school and reviewing course requirements, I discovered Rush University’s Health Systems Management program. I grew more and more excited while reading the descriptions of every course in the program. I was hooked! I had found the field I wanted to pursue in life, with just the right mix of medicine, management, applied learning, and practical application. I love the variety of experiences, work settings, and types of clinical and non-clinical colleagues that I work together with in health care management so that we can deliver high quality patient care. Nearly every day that I go to work, I feel energized, appropriately challenged, valued for the administrative expertise that I bring, and driven by a higher purpose.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

I’ve been a Rush University faculty member since 1996. The continuous learning required for teaching excites me. I enjoy sharing practical work experiences and case studies with my students and fellow faculty. Rush University is a very friendly, caring, and collegial environment that is conducive to learning and building strong relationships.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship? Please comment about your experiences.

Especially because of the nurturing environment at Rush, faculty, students, and staff should feel comfortable asking specific individuals to serve as mentors or career coaches. It’s scary to reach out to an individual who appears “out of reach” and is possibly two to three levels above you. The worst response you could receive is a ‘no’ — but you rarely will. Typically, the individuals you’ve asked are humbled that you’ve asked them for advice and gratified by their ability to share their wisdom and expertise.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

My primary tip for someone looking to enter health care management is to shadow different individuals in the field for half-day periods. Ask people in various roles and locations if you can shadow them. Join the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and its local chapter, Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF), to access online resources, attend events, and network with people in the field. Offer to write a blog or online newsletter article for CHEF about your shadowing experiences or submit an article to the “Professional Pointers” section of ACHE’s magazine, Healthcare Executive.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy fitness and trying new types of exercise, especially hiking, cross country skiing, boot camps, and dance/rhythm classes (e.g., “WERQ” or Zumba dance exercise, cardio drumming), and ladies night out events (dancing, painting instruction paired with wine, Broadway shows, skyline boat rides etc.). I enjoy dates with my husband (who was my high school sweetheart at Oak Park and River Forest High School) and vacations involving water. My two daughters enjoy shopping with me, especially when I’m paying.