Mentoring Profile: Diane Howard, PhD, MPH, College of Health Sciences

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Rush Women Mentoring Program fosters professional development and a sense of community and collaboration among women faculty at Rush University. In this series, we highlight program mentors and mentees and learn more about how mentoring has impacted them.

Diane Howard, PhD, MPH, director of student development and associate professor in the Department of Health Systems Management, College of Health Sciences, joined Rush in 2005.

Tell us about your background.

Diane Howard: I am an associate professor and also director of student development in the Department of Health Systems Management, where I teach courses in insurance/managed care, health care in America and professionalism. Previously I was vice president of medical delivery at Aetna in Washington; vice president of Medicare, Medicaid and individual products at U.S. Healthcare in Philadelphia; director of the American Hospital Association’s Division of Ambulatory Care; vice president of ambulatory care at Lake Hospital Systems; and assistant vice president at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. I hold a bachelor’s from Hampton Institute, an MPH from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am an American College of Healthcare Executives fellow; an AHA McGaw prize committee member; an Association of University Programs in Health Administration past board chair, having served as its finance committee chair/treasurer; a National Association of Health Service Executives board member; a Holy Cross Hospital former board chair; a University of Pittsburgh alumni association board member and scholarship committee member; and an ACHE regional advisory committee board member. My publications have appeared in Frontiers of Healthcare Management, Journal of Health Administration Education, Healthcare Executive, Journal of Hospital Administration, Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Healthcare Management.

What inspired you to get into your field?

DH: The integration of science and business attracted me to health management as a field.

What excites you about your work at Rush?

DH: The teacher-practitioner philosophy and its focus on innovation is what I love about Rush.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

DH: Bringing my former health care management experience with associations, hospitals and insurance companies gives me a perspective about what students will face as they graduate from Rush and enter the workforce. The current generation of students have tremendous energy and want to focus on inequities in the system to advance quality and the patient experience. Mentoring and sponsorship are important because it encourages communication between the generations, which in turn advances patient care.

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

DH: Keep yourself open to the possibilities. Read, listen and dialog.

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

DH: I enjoy taking Orange Theory classes, reading and networking.