Partner Spotlight on Transformation - Spectrum Health

Transformation was at the roots of the Spectrum Health-Seidman College collaboration. Eight years ago, Spectrum Health’s CEO and senior executives recognized the need to transform the HR function. Subsequently, HR was consolidated across the organization, and centers of expertise were created. Spectrum Health University was formed as one of those centers of expertise along with a vision for creating a healthcare specific, community-minded executive MBA program dedicated to developing current and future leaders for the organization. Grand Valley State University emerged as the best partner to bring this to fruition both because of our shared commitment to community across multiple programs – health students and business – as well as our interest and capability in creating a custom Executive MBA (EMBA) program to meet Spectrum’s needs at the Seidman College of Business.

Since the first Spectrum EMBA cohort began in fall of 2014, 63 have completed the rigorous 22 month curriculum. They’ve gone on to advanced leadership roles within Spectrum and within the healthcare industry. A primary focus of the EMBA curriculum is leadership development which is accomplished through applied learning tailored to the healthcare industry much of which is grounded in the Spectrum experience. Throughout the program, each participant has benefitted from individualized leadership development through one-on-one mentoring. This commitment to personal leadership development reflects a fundamental distinction of the Seidman EMBA and a unique perspective on business education overall.

The Seidman approach is woven into each of our business programs and is referred to as our Learn-Practice-Grow model. Starting with Learn, students gain knowledge and an in-depth understanding of key business frameworks, theories, concepts and competencies. They Practice these concepts through experiential learning in order to cultivate, apply and ultimately master essential business skills. This leads to significant Growth with the potential to be truly transformational for the individual and the organization. The extent of individual and organizational growth achieved through the program is on display with the EMBA capstone project which brings the learning and practice over the course of the program to bear on a current Spectrum challenge.

“The EMBA program was a crucial part of my development as a leader. While most leaders have good directional instincts from the start, this program helps them to distill a methodology and also provides rigor to plans and actions. I developed a wide and profound knowledge of healthcare and more specifically, knowledge of Spectrum Health as a company that has deemed essential in my role. To those whose lasting and valuable friendships were a large part of my success during that time, I am beyond grateful.”

     -Alejandro Quiroga, M.D. EMBA ‘17
      VP, Medical Affairs – SHMG

Alejandro Quiroga

“The EMBA graduate program was an opportunity for me to commit focused time to expanding my diversity of thought, challenging my assumptions, and working on teams to execute on projects.  Without this experience, I would have had less self-awareness, more of a narrowed leadership philosophy, and unnecessary hurdles as I entered into my executive leadership role shortly after graduation.”

     -Leslie Jurecko, M.D. EMBA ‘17
      SVP, Quality, Safety, and Experience

Leslie Jurecko

“I have always been open to change, however the EMBA program taught me how to be a change agent and gave me the tools necessary to not only successfully implement change but to sustain it.  I feel the changes and improvements we have made in the cardiovascular service line have been successful because of my EMBA education and experience.  These changes have resulted in improved access and experience for our patients, providers, staff, and communities we serve.”

     -Tracey Burke EMBA ‘17
      VP, Cardiovascular Health

Tracey Burke

Reflecting on the impact of the Spectrum EMBA program for the individuals who’ve gone through it as well as for Spectrum Health, reveals three key outcomes. First, each member of the Spectrum EMBA cohort gains a deep understanding of the complexity of the organization both through the curriculum as well as through the intensive and intentional interaction with their cohort peers. This leads to a second key impact which is the ability of program alumni to better navigate the organization through their expanded network within the cohort. Finally, the capstone project is where they practice the leadership art of navigating people in the process of creating change. They’re able to live through the messiness of creating large-scale organizational change, and they’re encouraged to always challenge the assumptions they bring to a situation.

Transformation is an integral part of Spectrum’s history as well as its future now under the leadership of President Tina Freese Decker.   As the 30,000+ employees of Spectrum Health live the values of Compassion, Collaboration, Courage and Curiosity and work to achieve their strategic priorities such as cultivating breakthrough talent and culture, GVSU and the Seidman College of Business stand ready to build on our partnership to transform consumers, colleagues and our community.