The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Investing in innovative healthcare delivery programs 

Fran Hodgins

What about your professional background attracted you to the dual MBA/MPP at Heller?

Through my prior academic and professional experiences, I developed an interest in public policy and public sector work, with a specific focus on the intersection of health and social policies and the implications for health equity. Working in the field after college, I realized I needed additional technical and analytical skills to be able to make a true impact. I was drawn to Heller's MPP/MBA program because of the focus on social justice and the practically-oriented degree programs that are designed to equip students with both the theory and skills they need.

What were the most valuable skills/experiences you gained from each program?

The MPP program provided me with the content knowledge, framework, and language to understand the health policy landscape. I also honed my research, analysis, and writing skills. Through the MBA program, I learned about both the technical details of running an organization, such as accounting, and the big-picture leadership skills needed for complex problem solving, such as the Team Consulting Project, all while being in a friendly environment with mission-driven professors and classmates. 

What issues are you passionate about, and how did Heller help you work toward those goals?

I've always been interested in public policy and public sector work because of the potential to bring positive change to some of societies most pervasive challenges. However, before coming to Heller, I wasn't sure exactly what my focus would be. Through a combination of academic and real-world experiences during my time at Heller, I became more attuned to the role that government can play in addressing social determinants of health and other upstream factors that can improve population health and reduce inequities. The combined MPP/MBA program has given me the content knowledge and management skills to understand and analyze these issues. 

Tell us about your current work. Are you where you thought you'd be, or somewhere different?

I currently work at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. My team's work centers on investing in innovative healthcare delivery programs to improve care delivery across the Commonwealth. As a member of the program evaluation team, I work with awardees to interpret their qualitative and quantitative data in order to tell the story of their program and place their work within the broader social policy environment. While I have always had an interest in public sector work, I didn't know much about the field of program evaluation before returning to school. I apply skills from my programs every day!