Six Years Later, Alumna Still Retains Decision-Making Lessons

Tiffany Leishman, MHA

As the director of development for HCA, Tiffany Leishman is surrounded by tough decisions. She needs to see the big picture of where her organization wants to head, both geographically and in terms of skill sets. She deals with contracts and space procurement. She and her small team are responsible for acquisitions, divestment and physician contracts in clinics in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California and Alaska. It all needs to come together for the benefit of HCA. 

When making those tough decisions, she still remembers what Steve Bateman, executive in residence, told her in a qualitative decision-making class in her WSU Master of Health Administration program: You have to know when to listen to your gut, and when to listen to logic. 

“That’s something I’ve thought about over the last six years,” she said. 

Good advice isn’t the only thing that has stuck with her since graduating in 2016. Plenty of relationships have as well. Her first job after graduating, in fact, was largely due to a connection she made with a fellow student. She applied for a practice manager position. On paper, her qualifications weren’t immediately apparent. Her resume was quickly returned. She reached out to a colleague to see if he might have any suggestions. 

“He made a couple of calls, and, the next thing I know, I have an interview,” she said. 

That’s just one instance of her staying connected to the colleagues, mentors and friends who she met during her time there. 

When she came to the MHA program, Leishman had already been building a life. She worked in public health for 14 years (and also has a related bachelor’s degree from WSU). Before that, she ran a physical therapy clinic for six years. She had two kids and a job, and she wasn’t sure if she could find the time to go to class and do all of the necessary things that spell success. 

As it turns out, her good decision making started when she joined the program, she said. 

“It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”