January 31, 2012 – Thomas Mullin (G’08), who obtained his master’s in health systems administration from the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS), is now serving as a hospital CEO in Harrisburg, Pa.
Mullin oversees the Select Specialty Hospital of Central Pennsylvania, a 38-bed public hospital that is part of a group of 110 facilities across the United States.
He credits the graduate program’s faculty and residency experience with helping prepare him for his role as CEO of a long-term acute care facility.
“Georgetown’s faculty gave me the classroom experience I needed, and my residency at National Rehabilitation Hospital prepared me to be an administrator in a hospital setting,” said Mullin, who is the youngest CEO across Select Medical’s nationwide network of long-term acute care hospitals.
The Georgetown graduate said that the vast majority of patients in his hospital come directly from intensive care units to recover from life-threatening conditions.
Mullin says he uses a hands-on approach, often forming relationships with patients and their families. He said that watching acutely ill patients recover is the best part of his job.
“I see patients come in on ventilators, on critical care drips or in a coma,” he said. “A month later, I often see them sitting in a chair and speaking to family members for the first time in months. Once the patients get better, they will often visit us and say how we helped save their lives. That’s what is really rewarding about this position.”
Mullin mentions M.J. Mastorovich, assistant professor of health systems administration and a former chief nurse executive of Inova Health System, as one of his mentors at the university.
“What really resonated with me at Georgetown is a lot of the professors were in executive positions at hospitals and had real-life stories, good and bad, to share,” he said. “That stuck with me.”
He also has advice for current students.
“There are lots of great opportunities for Georgetown graduates to get the operational experience they’re looking for,” he said. “Students need to take time to research what is out there to make sure it aligns with their future goals.”
He cited a range of possibilities – everything from long- and short-term acute care facilities and home health agencies, to lobbying organizations and the federal government.
“You can get as well-rounded of an experience at Georgetown as you seek out because it’s all there in the city,” Mullin said.