Student Speaker: Fritzi Flores, MS-HSM, Rush University College of Health Sciences '21

Fritzi Flores, MS-HSM

Fritzi Flores, MS-HSM is a member of the Rush University College of Health Sciences Class of 2021. At Rush University’s 49th Commencement Ceremony she will receive her Master of Science in Health Systems Management.

At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Flores chose a concentration in Health Planning and Administration and studied abroad in Rome where she learned about the Italian health care system. Flores graduated from the U of I with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health in May 2019.

Flores has a deeply engrained passion for helping others and has long been interested in working in health care. During her time at the University of Illinois, she considered pursing neonatology and worked as a pediatrics and neonatal intensive care unit intern. Her internship exposed her to several aspects of the department flow including the administrative side of health care and department improvement meetings. This experience combined with her enthusiasm for her courses in health data analysis and health financing led Flores to pursue healthcare administration. She says she’s interested in being in a position to change standards for hospital efficacy, improve patient outcomes and social determinants of health, making Health Systems Management an ideal field for her.

Throughout her time at Rush University, Flores has found career-shaping opportunities within the neighboring Medical Center. As a project assistant in the Office of Community Health Equity and Engagement, Flores helped to develop best practices for standardization of data collection to ensure accurate representation of the Rush community population and developed process maps for social determinant of health screenings used in the emergency department. In her second role at Rush, Flores served as a Health and Welfare Benefits Administrative Project Assistant in the Human Resources department. In this role she completed a benefit program analysis for more than eleven thousand Rush employees and performed service comparisons to determine Financial Wellness needs of the employee community. Flores also worked for the National Center for Healthcare Leadership as a National Council on Administrative Fellowships (NCAF) Intern in the summer of 2020. There she used Qualtrics to create benchmarking to understand the effects of COVID-19 on the 2020 fellowship cycle along with other data analysis projects to determine new nontraditional fellowship site opportunities and ways for the NCAF to serve students.

Flores is especially interested in a career that aids underserved communities. She believes that success should be determined by personal capabilities, rather than social factors or demographics. Flores says that studying and working in health care has given her a platform to advocate for those who lack a voice or platform to advocate for themselves. Flores is proud to be the first of her family to attend college and receive a master’s degree. She says that as she herself has come from a position of limited resources, she will always strive to be a voice for the underserved. While attending Rush University Flores was a member of the National Hispanic Medical Association and the Rush Immigration Working Group. She also has volunteered with multiple food pantries and in Rush’s COVID-19 clinic, where she often aided in delivery of care by translating for patients whose first language was Spanish.

Flores is currently applying to jobs and would like the next step of her career to take her to an academic medical center like Rush or the insurance industry – somewhere where she can make a difference at a national scale. Ultimately, Flores would like to open a health-centered organization for immigrants to help those determined to make of a better way of life and who represent the future of the country.