Kofi A. Cash, MS ’01

Kofi Cash reflects on how his Dartmouth Institute education has given him the skills to be an effective senior leader in health care.

How did you come to choose The Dartmouth Institute?

During my undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I developed a keen interest in health care policy and systems being largely informed by the run up to the 2000 presidential election. When I began considering graduate school opportunities, my pre-med/pre-dental academic advisor, Dr. W. Brian O’Connor, suggested I look at The Dartmouth Institute (then the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences). I ultimately chose Dartmouth because of the program’s mission, faculty reputation, and small class sizes.

What are the best aspects about your experience at The Dartmouth Institute?

I deeply enjoyed working with my classmates and the varied perspectives they brought to the coursework. The dialogue that took place before and after class was illuminating and intellectually transformative. Additionally, it was inspiring to learn from world-class faculty who are leaders in health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics, and health care improvement.

Can you share a specific story such as a favorite memory from class, or with classmates or faculty, where you felt like the decision to come here was the right one?

Taking Dr. Elliott Fisher’s Intro to the Evaluative Clinical Sciences course was very eye-opening for me. He challenged us to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism about what we read and what we hear about clinical research and subsequent published findings. He taught me how to reasonably question the status quo and utilize critical thinking skills to formulate conclusions about our health care system. I have found that these skills are essential in the workplace and requirement to being an effective senior leader.

What are you doing now in your career?

I am the Corporate Director of Physician Engagement and Clinical Integration at HealthNow (BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York). I lead a team, within the Healthcare Services Division, that actively partners and supports a provider network of more than 8,000 physicians and four tertiary healthcare systems across 21 counties. I am also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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