Master of Healthcare Administration hosts second annual panel honoring African American Heritage Month 

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The Master of Healthcare Administration program (MHA) hosted its second annual panel honoring African American Heritage Month featuring Black/African American executives from Inova Health System.

“This panel discussion is embedded in the MHA program curriculum to enhance learning beyond textbooks and classroom walls,” said Brenda Helen Sheingold, MHA program director. 

 The panelists from Inova Health System were: 

  • Marna Borieux, VP & Chief of Staff 

  • Shelby Evans, Assoc. Director Foundation Events 

  • Lo King, AVP Human Resources 

  • Marque Macon, VP & Administrator, Ambulatory Operations & Provider Services 

During the nationally live-streamed event, panelists shared their unique perspectives with more than 100 students, alumni, and faculty from Mason and other colleges in person and online. Stacy Ben Azra Bell, Inova Assistant VP, Business Development & Real Estate and adjunct HAP faculty member, moderated the panel. 

“The shoulders of those that have come before us rarely represent individuals that come from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. What is so important tonight is that there is a generation of leaders that are actually walking the talk and represent those who may be otherwise underrepresented before us. And I'm so thrilled that you have an opportunity to learn from the best of the best, but also to be able to think about the changing world that you're going to be working in and the importance of being aware of leadership and aware of the importance of those that we are cultivating to be leaders and for the leaders in our organizations to represent the communities that they serve," said PJ Maddox, chair of the Health Administration and Policy (HAP) department. 

Panelists discussed their non-linear path to health care, the benefits of taking on new challenges, and the importance of resilience. 

“You're going to encounter obstacles, whether you're in the college environment or at work. But instead of being more focused on what you want to be, be focused on who you are and doing the right thing, and really pursuing the things that you would like to pursue and looking at how you navigate the obstacles,” said King.  

“I think being appreciative for those that have gone before us that we can use as an example; you see how other people deal with those challenges and try to emulate those in your own ways. I think also leaning into a word that we heard a lot during COVID, which is 'resilience'; taking all of those all of those challenges, all of the hurt, all of the good, and channeling that into yourself for when you need it later, when you need to bounce back, it's there for you,” said Evans. 

“Just by saying yes and not being afraid to be afraid, that really opened up a lot of doors. That opened itself up to my first management opportunity. I really developed relationships through that work with various leaders across the organization. I did not have any practice management experience, but the vice president at the time reached out and saw my desire and my ability to just say yes and figure things out,” said Macon.