Alumna’s Capstone Scales Valuable Health Advice

Sometimes, getting beneficial health information to a greater number of patients has more to do with efficiency and scale than expertise. Haeli Barlow, a 2023 Weber State MHA graduate, saw an opportunity to address that problem with her capstone project and benefit her employer at the same time.

Now a director of marketing and communications for HCA Healthcare, Barlow was in a management position with that same organization when she saw an opportunity for streamlining repeated efforts. Throughout Utah, Idaho and Alaska, physicians for HCA were offering a series of conversations on health and wellness topics such as heart health, orthopedic health, women’s health and other subjects. However, those discussions, called Healthy Conversations, were all conducted through individual areas. What if, Barlow thought, we could combine forces, centralize and get the word out to even more people?

It was then that she recognized a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced HCA to offer those conversations online. With that learning process already complete, here was an opportunity to expand the reach of that information. “We’re HCA Healthcare,” she thought. “Why are we not taking advantage of our scale to work together as a team?”

So she did. Working across the system, she was able to coordinate Healthy Conversations, stream in-person conversations to online audiences and expand the reach to three states simultaneously. She coordinated with marketing directors, navigated sticky branding issues and helped put all of the logistics together. She found that scaling classes and events increased enrollments.

Weber State gave her enough latitude to do the project her way, which helped her pursue a promotion.

“This was actual real-world experience that helped me get a new job,” she said.