Hurley Medical Center CEO knows firsthand the power of a Kettering University education
“As community partners, we need to hold hands on things.”
As technology helps the fields of engineering and medicine intertwine more productively, it’s interesting to see there is still room for a good, old-fashioned gut feeling. At least, that’s true when the feeling belongs to Melany Gavulic '91.
Gavulic is president and Chief Executive Officer of Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. Hurley is the region’s largest “safety net” hospital – that rare humanitarian enterprise that still accepts patients whether they can pay or not.
Gavulic was born, raised and educated locally. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Management Systems at Kettering University, a Registered Nurse degree at Mott Community College and a master’s degree at Baker College, all in Flint.
She would often glance at Kettering’s brick buildings from Hurley, only about a mile away and viewable from each of the large institutions front doors.
“I couldn’t stomach the thought of having that much talent a few blocks away and Hurley not being in a partnership to the benefit of both,” she said. “As community partners, we need to hold hands on things.”
So Gavulic reached out to Dr. Patrick Atkinson '91, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering and co-adviser to Kettering’s Premed Course of Study, and Dr. Stacy Seeley, department head of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Premed Director at Kettering.
“I knew there would be different ways we could partner with Kettering, we just needed the right course of action,” Gavulic said. “We knew the problems -- a brand new $40 million electronic medical records system that few knew how to implement; an aging workforce with varying comfort levels using technology; and Hurley’s ongoing need to find and attract new medical talent for the important ongoing work at our hospital.”
She said the high-powered synergy began with her conversation with Drs. Atkinson and Seeley.
"They were looking for relevant co-op experiences for students in Kettering's premed track. I told them about our need to implement the new electronic medical records system. It was a perfect solution for us and a huge opportunity for the premed students," Gavulic said. "The thought of having such high caliber individuals working in this capacity watching for themes, identifying problem patterns and offering solutions was ideal. In the meantime, students are able to have continuous exposure to what life is like in a hospital - an ideal partnership was born. What a great way to use the Kettering talent. In fact, our next venture should be with the engineering students identifying the patient room furniture or equipment of the future. The possibilities are endless."
Written By Patricia Mroczek