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Walt Woods

Walt Woods

Vanderbilt Master of Management in Health Care 2009

Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Finding the Right Prescription

MMHC Gives Pharmacy Director Tools for Success


Walt Woods is still learning how to play guitar, but that hasn't stopped him from being part of a rock band. His career was a little like that, too.

Walt, the Director of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, held fiscal responsibilities for many years but lacked formal training. "I had learned what I needed to know from mentors within Vanderbilt and through my professional experience," he says. While he felt competent to handle his responsibilities, he wanted to be much more than simply adequate.

Vanderbilt's Master of Management in Health Care program "was ideal for my situation," Walt says. The year of concentrated study combines finance and other critical business disciplines with "practical, real-world interaction with health care leaders."

Even before the year was over, Walt began realizing dividends from the program. Fine-tuning the skills he acquired, he successfully made a business case for a significant change in how Vanderbilt manages health care for its employees. "I have been given the tools and training to be a more effective leader," he says. "The experience has been a gift."

Now, with a little more free time, he's hoping to rock the music world as well.