Vanderbilt Master of Management in Health Care 2011
Director of Finance/Controller, Huntsville Hospital
After she completed a B.S. in Health System Administration, Carol Slivka found her way straight into public accounting. She earned her license as a CPA without the benefit of an accounting degree. Then, after seven years she joined the health care industry, which eventually led to a director’s position at Huntsville Hospital, where since 2008 she has been responsible for accounts payable, payroll processing and the monthly presentation of the hospital’s financial position.
Because she works in a community “where the average IQ is off the charts,” she says, and because having a master’s degree is important for further advancement at the hospital, she chose to pursue an MM Health Care at Vanderbilt. It was also important to Carol’s family. Her husband holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, her oldest daughter is earning a Masters of Accountancy, and two younger children are striving to maintain straight A’s.
Owen was a big adjustment for someone who had spent no real time in a classroom since 1984. (Back then, she notes, the blackboard was actually a black board on which you wrote with chalk!) “Truthfully,” she says, “this was the hardest thing I have ever done. Trying to keep all my plates spinning was no easy task.”
But it has also been a rewarding experience that taught Carol to analyze issues more completely and approach solutions from different angles. “It has broadened my horizons,” she says. “Unaware to me, my boss has commented on my growth, so it must be apparent to others as well.”