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Susan Carter

Susan Carter

Vanderbilt Master of Management in Health Care 2011

Program Manager, Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health


Getting Down to Business

'People Person' Gets Skills—and New Confidence


Managing people comes naturally for Susan Carter, whose undergraduate degree in psychology has helped her understand what motivates and challenges those whose work she oversees. But she had no formal training to prepare her for the business side of managing the daily operations, staffing and budget for the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health.

Her first presentation to the Center’s executive committee was “pretty,” she recalls. “The graphs were colorful and eye-catching, but I missed the content. Shortly after that, we began to make our case for expanding our space and services, and I had no idea how to properly do a pro forma or projections.”

Susan, who was in her first year with the Center, approached the administrative director with her desire “for classes, workshops, something to boost my knowledge and skills.” He suggested Vanderbilt’s MM Health Care program.

“When I learned about the MMHC,” Susan says, “it just made sense.” It fit my professional and personal needs perfectly. It turns out, she says, “it’s likely to be the hardest and most rewarding thing I ever do.”

But the rewards have been worth the effort. The program “gave me an understanding of the importance and implications of each facet of the business and reinforced my natural leadership gifts,” she says. “Owen helped me uncover confidence that has lain dormant. No matter what happens at the Center, or where I go next, I know will be a better leader and make a stronger contribution.”