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MHA Alumni, Ikennah Browne

Like all physicians, Ikennah Browne had a front row seat for the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Studying in UBC’s Masters of Health Administration, he says, helped him make sense of the challenges the health-care sector faced during the pandemic, and prepared him for changes to come.  

Browne enrolled in the MHA in 2019, months before the pandemic shutdown.  

Browne and his fellow students were able to study and analyze the health-care response to the pandemic, and the decision making that goes into it, in real time.  

Those conversations, he says, helped prepare him to respond to big-picture questions that are part of any role in health-care leadership.  

“There are a lot of perspectives that were raised that I don’t think I would have thought about had I not been in the program,” Browne says. “As a result, it actually made it a whole lot easier for me to have conversations not only with my patients but also on an administrative level within hospital circles.” 

Browne spent nine years with Alberta Health Services, first as a surgical resident and then a general surgeon. He credits the MHA for preparing him for his current role as a thoracic surgery fellow at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. 

He decided to enrol in the MHA after attending University of California San Francisco where he studied how health care and engineering can mesh in the real world. His studies made him realize there was more to learn about fundamentals that are critical to running a health-care system efficiently: finance, health economics, and operations and logistics.   

As a physician, Browne had a number of different master’s programs to choose from, but selected the MHA because it offered the chance to access a wide range of experts with specific knowledge of health-care delivery in Canada.  

“I really envision the degree allowing me to quickly pick up administrative skills that would allow me to be competitive for higher-level administrative positions within health care and within the departments of surgery at whatever institutes I ultimately end up working at permanently.” 

Moving from the operating room to a boardroom can be a challenge, and Browne says the MHA has prepared him for the transition. 

“There are a few programs across North America that are similar, but I don’t think there’s any program that quite allows for the same level of flexibility to allow busy practising clinicians to maintain their practice.” 

Read more stories about our alumni and where the MHA can take you.