GSU Alumnus Grateful for Thriving Career in Healthcare
Dr. James Munz, a double alum of Governors State University, completed his Master’s in Health Administration in 1996. Today, he serves as regional director of business development at GSU partner Advocate Aurora Health. Dr. Munz oversees a stellar regional team focused on growth through improved safety, quality, service, revenue enhancement, physician recruitment and acquisition, and community relations for Advocate Christ, Advocate South Suburban, and Advocate Trinity Hospitals.
“I am forever indebted to GSU. Governors State does right by the community, every single day,” Munz said in a recent reflection on his experience at GSU.
Why did you choose GSU?
I had done most of my work for my bachelor’s degree at a different institution but needed an internship to finish up, and GSU had a stellar medical technology program, so I transferred and finished in 1979. I worked at Ingalls Hospital and moved from the clinical-side to a business role in health care and I returned to GSU to take marketing, statistics, accounting and economics—the prerequisites of a Masters in Health Administration—so I just kept going based on recommendations from several high-level colleagues at Ingalls.
What did you get from GSU that you couldn’t have gotten anywhere else?
GSU re-lit a fire and renewed my passion in health care. The clinical side and the business side dovetailed. I realized every decision you make has a human life attached to it. A pivotal course was accounting, with Professor Emeritus Donna Gellatly. It was a real awakening. I’d think, “Darn, I could have used this information yesterday.”
What’s next for you professionally?
Starting August 2019, I’ll be teaching full-time at GSU as Clinical Professor and Director of the Masters of Healthcare Administration Program in the College of Health and Human Services.
How did your GSU degree help you advance your career?
My experience helped me understand the importance of being a lifelong learner, which is my definition of a true professional. It happened to me in these classrooms. I see and hear things in a different way that have helped me create a broader approach to what health care really is. GSU opened that up for me.
What are you most proud of when you look back at your GSU experience?
GSU renewed my faith in myself— that I could earn my graduate degree and accomplish something I didn’t think I could accomplish. With my MHA, I was offered a job at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that provided me with the opportunity to retool my skill set, which was powerful recognition of the program I had completed at GSU. The same goes for earning my doctorate in 2017.
What advice would you share with current GSU students?
You must believe in yourself. You must apply tough love to yourself. And you should spend time asking not why but what. “Why” is a negative approach: why did this happen to me? “What” is positive: “What could I have done differently? What can I do next time to make things go better?” That’s the key to reflection and self-discovery.