Previous to her current position, Melissa worked as an Administrative/Finance Coordinator for the University of Utah Medical Group. As such, she planned a national symposium to meet with 78 healthcare leaders while representing 32 leading medical institutions. She helped institute a payroll auditing system that slashed effort, boosted accuracy, and saved the institution thousands of dollars.
Her success, while impressive, did not happen overnight. First Melissa attended LDS Business College, which gave her the very foundation she needed. She felt inspired to attend because “I felt like it was where I needed to be to get my feet back under me after my divorce.”
Being an older student was the hardest challenge for Melissa. “I was old enough to be some of my peers’ mother,” she said. “I also hadn’t been to school in 15 years.”
Fortunately, the best part was being able to participate in the Institute experience on campus. “I converted to the Church when I was 20,” she said, “so I missed out on attending Seminary. I really appreciated my gospel courses at LDSBC and how I gained a better understanding of the Book of Mormon.”
While in school, Melissa received the Stella Harris Oaks Horizon for Hope Scholarship. The scholarship helps single parents receive an education and graduate with hope, confidence and determination.
“The scholarship meant the world to me, especially when we attended a luncheon and got to meet the donors,” she said. “We personally thanked them and shared how their contributions had impacted our lives. It was also great to hear what inspired the donors to give back to the programs.”
Melissa graduated from LDSBC in April 2013 with a degree in medical assisting. Her work with clinics afterward gave her a foundation for her future career. “Unlike many administrators, I know what a clinic is like,” she said. “I understand what providers and support staff say.” This led her to pursue an additional degree in business administration.
“Although I have work experience in multiple fields and have great ideas and initiative, people don’t really listen if you don’t have the schooling to back it up,” she noted. “My ultimate goal is to become a clinic manager. I love working with people, staff and providers to make a difference.”
This past August, Melissa helped the LDSBC Health Fair team implement different quality healthcare initiatives. This included representing the College’s Medical Assisting program and voicing opinions and recommendations on students’ behalf.
“I felt the best way to help drive change was to be in the trenches and do the everyday tasks myself,” she said. Melissa then talked with Toodie West, director of the Medical Assisting program, about what she felt could speed up training to help students be ready to enter the workforce faster.
Today, Melissa continues to work closely with LDSBC in a different role. She is now on the Program Advisory Board for the Medical Assisting program with Sister West. A big plus is the business and medical background she brings. “The lack of medical training for administrators can create a huge gap,” Melissa said. “I now have more to offer. Not only am I trained and able to provide direct patient care. I also have my Bachelor’s in Business Administration which allows me to straddle both the world of patient care and the world of business in healthcare.”
Reputation and integrity hold a prime place in Melissa’s plans. “The medical world is quite small,” she said. “Through our actions, we can make a great name for ourselves and grow. I am grateful that my reputation is positive and people know me for who I am.” A big key to her success? “I under-promise and over-deliver in everything I do.”