Association of Future Healthcare Administrators
The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Association of Future Healthcare Administrators (AFHA) serves as an official organization of the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) programs. Any current student of the UIC MHA program is eligible for AFHA membership. The organization focuses on three main areas- professional development, academic affairs, and social networking.
AFHA CHEF HC WOMEN Heading link
Mission & Vision Heading link
The mission of AFHA is to provide a vehicle for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) students to be connected and utilize opportunities within the MHA Program, UIC Campus, and external affiliations.
The vision of AFHA is to become a leading resource for UIC MHA students to be connected and informed of healthcare management, especially in the Chicago-land area, as to advance their career development.
Meet the AFHA Executive Board Heading link
We are excited to serve as your student leadership team.
Luciana Sandoval Camacho, President
Where are you from? I’m from Clarksville, IN
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? Butler University, I majored in Healthcare & Business
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I chose the MHA degree program at UIC because students are taught by practitioner faculty who are leaders in the industry, and the year-long preceptorship program is unlike any other!
Describe your role as a board member: As the president of AFHA, my role is to provide leadership and stewardship for the organization! I meet with our program director and advisor and support the rest of the board as we work together to provide you with the resources, experiences, and opportunities needed to maximize your time in the MHA program and prepare you for your roles as future healthcare leaders.
What are your long-term career goals? In the long term, I would love to serve as an executive for a health system committed to delivering compassionate care, especially to those who need it most. In the not-so-long term, I hope to be a business manager for perioperative services.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I am doing my preceptorship at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital- Chicago! My preceptors are the CEO and CNO of the hospital. As an administrative intern, my role is embedded within senior administration at Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago, and I get to be involved in a wide range of their various projects and initiatives while being exposed to all aspects of operations, process improvement, business development, and growth.
Favorite class/faculty member? My favorite class has been Quality Management in Health Services.
What piece of advice you would give for incoming students? One piece of advice for incoming students is to create an organizational system that works for you that will keep you focused, meet homework/project deadlines and stay on top of things! Also, be involved and make an effort to make friends/hang out with your cohort!!
Anything else that you would like us to know about yourself/add? N/A
Sharon Cao, Vice President of Operations
Where are you from? Los Angeles, California
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? I attended school at the University of California, Irvine, where I majored in Public Health Policy and minored in Management.
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I decided to pursue my MHA at UIC because I loved the built-in aspect of the preceptorship program. I also wanted a change of pace, so I decided that Chicago was a beautiful city to start anew and make more connections.
Describe your role as a board member: As VP of Operations, I assume the president’s duties in their absence, preside over all Executive Board meetings, handle correspondence to the development, maintenance, and enforcement of organizational timelines, and monitor the performance of our organization as a whole.
What are your long-term career goals? I am very interested in operations, and my previous background revolved around practice management for smaller, private clinics. I hope to pursue a fellowship after completing the MHA program, which will help me better understand the nuances of operations in a large-scale medical facility. I hope to gain more understanding and experience at my current preceptorship to help guide me toward the future track I want to pursue, given that there are so many different types of careers in hospital administration.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I am precepting at Northwestern Medicine’s Canning Thoracic Institute, where I assist the leadership team in performing projects and ongoing operations for their pulmonary, thoracic, and lung transplant departments.
Favorite class/faculty member? So far, my favorite class has been the quality class with Adam Andersen during our first semester! It was my first-time learning more about the different methods to measure quality, which I found very interesting.
What piece of advice would you give to incoming students? I say take advantage of all the opportunities UIC has to offer! Try and go for the extracurricular activities (i.e., case competitions, conferences, organizations, etc.) since these next two years will fly by quickly.
Anything else you want us to know about yourself/add? Excited to meet the incoming class! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Makenzie Keisler, Vice President of Community Relations
Where are you from? I am from Columbia, South Carolina and never moved until August 2022. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? I received my undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. I received my degree in public health with two minors, one in business administration and another in psychology. I was active in our public health association and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I chose the MHA program at UIC because of the preceptorship program. I was drawn to the program because it is a full-year, immersive experience in a health administrative role. I have already learned so much, and I can’t wait for what I will learn and for my Capstone project.
Describe your role as a board member: As the VP of Community Relations, I coordinate healthcare-related community outreach events for the student body. I maintain records of all community events. Facilitate opportunities for students to get involved in Chicago healthcare initiatives, including, but not limited to ACHE/CHEF, volunteering, and other healthcare-related opportunities.
What are your long-term career goals? My long-term career goal is to be a leader in charge of transforming healthcare at a nationally recognized healthcare system in a needed community.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I have started my preceptorship at UI Health in the Marketing and Strategic Communications department. My position includes supporting the team by executing projects that promote UI Health’s strategic goals and initiatives. While internally marketing the hospitals and clinics, I serve on committees that promote UI Health’s Patient and Family Advisory, flu shot campaign, lab coat policies, Magnet nursing recognition, NCI cancer designation, and hospital expansion. In addition to coordinating and monitoring marketing and communication projects, I use data analytics to see how our projects are operating and performing. Through my role, I work closely with executive administrative staff to promote UI Health to patients.
Favorite class/faculty member? My favorite class was Quant Methods Health Managers (HPA 470) with Nick Tilipman. This class may seem intimidating at first, but you will learn so many practical tools for quantitatively assessing healthcare.
What piece of advice would you give to incoming students? A piece of advice I would give to incoming students is to talk to their professors outside of class. It can be through email, office hours, staying after class, coming before class, getting coffee, and anything else to make you do your best in the program. During my undergrad degree, I did not reach out to professors unless I needed something. I changed my ways, and I have enjoyed getting closer to professors that want me to succeed in my career.
Anything else you want us to know about yourself/add? One more thing to add is to use the CTA. Public transportation is your friend! Always be aware of your surroundings, but this is a more cost and environmentally effective way to explore the amazing city of Chicago.
Madiha Amir, Vice President of Social Programming
Where are you from? I am from the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, Hoffman Estates, IL
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison. My major was Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology with Honors.
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I chose the MHA program at UIC for several reasons. UIC has a strong reputation in healthcare education and research, ensuring a high-quality education. The program’s focus on health policy and administration provides specialized knowledge and skills for navigating the complexities of healthcare policy implementation. The faculty at UIC are experts in the field, offering valuable insights and networking opportunities. UIC’s location in Chicago, with its proximity to healthcare organizations and policy-making institutions, presents valuable opportunities for internships and career connections.
Describe your role as a board member: Being a board member of AFHA as the VP of Social Programming offers a leadership opportunity to shape the organization’s direction. It provides a platform for professional development, enhancing skills in organization, communication, and teamwork.
What are your long-term career goals? My long-term career goal is to enhance healthcare access for underprivileged communities through policy development, collaboration with stakeholders, and advocating for health equity.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I started my internship as an Administrative Intern with Illinois Eye and Ear at UI Health. Learning more about the managerial roles. I’ll analyze pre- and post-move data to assess the impact of the transition on the patient experience, guiding the development of strategies to enhance patient satisfaction and ensure a seamless operationalization of the new subspecialty clinics.
Favorite class/faculty member? Adam Anderson, HPA 417 Quality Management
What piece of advice would you give to incoming students? Make sure you use the resources offered at UIC and make study groups to help you study for the materials as the semester progress.
Anything else you want us to know about yourself/add? Love to play badminton and tennis
Angel Surafel, Vice President of Finance
Where are you from? I am from Denver, Colorado
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? I attended the University of Colorado Denver where I received my undergraduate degree in Public Health, with minors in business and health humanities.
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I chose the MHA program at UIC because I wanted to utilize the unique yearlong preceptorship program that is embedded in the program curriculum. With Chicago serving a diverse patient population and poised as a competitive location in the healthcare arena, I found UIC to be the best fit to help me grow during my early career and prepare me for the future.
Describe your role as a board member: As VP of Finance and Membership under AFHA, I track our annual budget and anticipate any expenditures/gains within our organization’s efforts. I also coordinate any future AFHA fundraising endeavors and track past/present membership, but overall, I support the team in advancing academic affairs, connecting students with professional development opportunities, and keeping all students updated on social networking opportunities.
What are your long-term career goals? I hope to direct healthcare operations at a senior level in a healthcare facility and optimize health outreach programs for neighboring communities within my guiding goal of reducing health disparities.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I am currently working at UI Health as a Quality Performance and Improvement Administrative Intern.
Favorite class/faculty member? I’d like to highlight Adam Andersen, our UIC MHA program director, as my favorite faculty member as he’s been a strong, guiding force for all students within the program. The wealth of knowledge that he provides has helped me so much along the way within my time in Chicago.
What piece of advice would you give to incoming students? My piece of advice is to explore opportunities for learning and extracurricular involvement as much as you can while in the program. Outside of the benefits that come from didactic aspect of the program, experiential learning will take students so far and make them well rounded in their careers.
Nick Robins, Vice President of Part-Time Affairs
Where are you from? Barrington, IL
Where did you get your undergraduate degree? What did you major in? University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Community Health with a concentration in Healthcare Administration and Planning
Why did you choose the MHA degree program at UIC? I thought that the preceptorship experience would be great to further
Describe your role as a board member: I am the Vice President of Part-Time Affairs so I am the go to person for part time students that may have any questions or want to voice any concerns.
What are your long-term career goals? I have realized through this program that I have an interest in process improvement and project management. I would love to work in a role pertaining to that once I graduate.
Have you started your internship? What organization are you working with? Please describe your position: I will be working at UIC in ambulatory services as an ambulatory operations preceptee. I have not started yet but I am excited to start in July.
Favorite class/faculty member? I loved taking HPA 417 with Adam. This class really opened my eyes to the department of quality and safety in healthcare and had awesome speakers.
What piece of advice would you give to incoming students? Take time to build a bond with your fellow classmates because you’ll be spending a lot of time with one another over the next few years.
Anything else you want us to know about yourself/add? I love being on the Chicago Lakefront and trying new restaurants so don’t be afraid to hit me up for some recs!
Membership Benefits Heading link
Facilitate and offer professional development activities.
Provides current and incoming students with details related to professors, classes, preceptors and preceptroship sites. Serves as a liaison between the students’ voices and the program leadership team.
Social activities are intended to provide a forum for members to interact outside of the classroom.
Volunteering Event(s) & Opportunities to Engage Heading link
Opportunities to Engage