MHA Alumni Spotlights
MHA Alum Embraces Path to Leadership
Brandon Cassel, MHA | Five years after graduating with a Master of Health Administration degree from Weber State University, 2014 alumnus Brandon Cassel has embraced the leadership role he began preparing for years earlier. Cassel, who previously served as manager of Layton Family Medicine, now oversees multiple departments and about 450 staff members as administrator at Tanner Clinic. To think, all this started because he had the confidence to reach out to a CEO who spoke at Weber State. While in the MHA program, Cassel heard Rand Kerr, then CEO of Lakeview Hospital, speak on leadership. That presentation inspired Cassel to reach out to Kerr, which resulted in an internship for Lakeview Hospital with the administration department. “I learned from that experience that you have to step outside your comfort zone to open the doors of new possibilities,” Cassel said. That unpaid internship later turned into a full-time position for Lakeview Hospital’s Human Resources department, where he gained experience with special projects and committee leadership. From there, he built experience off of opportunities. While he considers himself still early in his career, Cassel had this to say about the lessons he learned from Weber State and his experiences: “The most important things I’ve found is, one, sometimes you have to take a step back in pay to take a step forward in a career you want, two, you have to get out of your comfort zone and network, and, three, hard work and finding someone who will let you prove yourself makes all the difference, even if you have to do it for free.” Cassel also has a bachelor’s degree from Weber State in microbiology. When he’s not helping to lead Tanner Clinic, he’s spending time with his wife, Cassandra, three daughters and hound dog, Griffin. He is also an adjunct instructor at Weber State.
MHA Alum Oversees Five Hospitals, Multiple Clinics
Mary Gathers, MHA, ARRT | Weber State University graduate Mary Gathers has had a varied and vibrant career in the healthcare industry. From her beginnings as a front-line caregiver in radiological sciences; to designing, building and implementing innovative technologies; to becoming an executive leader and educator; she has had a multifaceted impact on healthcare. Currently a geographic director of CTIS and a business relationship manager who serves five hospitals and multiple clinics, Gathers was a clinical informatics manager at a large trauma hospital at the time she enrolled in WSU’s MHA program. While in the program, she advanced to a director of information technology. She became a regional director of information technology, serving and supporting four hospitals, upon completion of the MHA program. Gathers credits the Weber State University MHA program with providing her with the many tools, competencies, techniques, and methods that have helped in her leadership role. In that role, she executes strategic planning, manages complex projects and teams, designs technologies for new hospitals and mentors others. Also an adjunct instructor in WSU’s MHA program, she views teaching the newest crop of the university’s students as a privilege and an honor. In her Health Informatics course, she often intertwines her experience as a leader with instruction on her specialty focus on healthcare technology. Her experience is that education and learning are constant in healthcare because of the ever-changing and advancing industry and technologies. In addition to earning her MHA degree from WSU in 2008, Gathers also earned a BS in health services administration from WSU in 1992.