Doctors who complete the Physician MBA Program at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business are encouraged to start applying the knowledge they learn into their leadership from day one, and Catherine Moya, MD, MBA’23, is one physician who “walked the talk” from the very beginning.
In fall 2021, Dr. Moya assumed the role of Chief Physician Executive at the Eskenazi Health Center Grassy Creek, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), which employs 60 associates. Around the same time, she began the Physician MBA Program at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis.
“I did not have much formal leadership experience, but I have always led by example and strive to provide excellent care to patients. But some the best advice I received when I took this new role came from Susannah Eastwick, the Physician MBA Program director,” Dr. Moya said. “She recommended the book The First 90 Days to help me prepare for the position. The book’s main theme is the importance of building relationships to accomplish results, which I rapidly embraced. By working together and collaborating, my team reached high performance levels and was able to accomplish incredible things.”
This lesson would become a theme for her leadership at Eskenazi.
Originally from Santiago, Chile, Dr. Moya participated in missions, which led her to discover a passion to serve the underserved and further her education to help others.
“The service area of the Eskenazi clinic I oversee is located on the far east side of Indianapolis and is considered one of the most underserved areas because our patients are people of color, immigrants, and non-English speakers. I really love working there and serving those who need it,” Dr. Moya said.
About 20 years ago, Dr. Moya moved to the United States to join a biomedical sciences doctoral program at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. While in Houston, she met her husband, Josh, who was also a PhD student. Together, they went to medical school and, later, moved to Indiana for residency training. Since then, they have practiced family medicine in Indiana.
Both doctors pursued leadership opportunities, which meant furthering their educations again. However, they chose different MBA programs.
Dr. Moya choose the Kelley Physician MBA because of its comprehensive curriculum, excellent faculty, networking opportunities, and robust reputation.
“I have valuable experiences with the residency weekends, face-to-face brainstorming sessions with my peers, networking events, and the unmatched Global Healthcare Experience course,” Dr. Moya said. “I think the Kelley program is robust with strong leadership training, executive coaching, and healthcare policy course.”
A class exercise that stood out to Dr. Moya happened in Amrou Awaysheh’s course, in which he illustrated an operation process map and challenged the physicians to apply operations management skills to their own healthcare organizations. Dr. Moya began reviewing check-in and check-out times within her clinic, and she quickly recognized a language barrier between clinic staff and local patients.
“We identified the need to connect with the local Haitian community, which totals roughly 7,000 patients. Within a week of encouraging congregations from local churches to visit our clinic, we saw an influx of patients who spoke only Haitian Creole,” Dr. Moya said. “We also noticed patients had issues registering in our systems, through which patients make appointments and learn about the insurance process. A simple, three-minute call was taking roughly 20 minutes due to the need for language interpretation.”
Once she identified the issue, Dr. Moya acted. She began by writing to Eskenazi’s leadership, outlining the need and how it negatively impacted the clinic’s effectiveness. Soon after, the clinic added a second language line exclusively for Haitian Creole interpretation. Now, patients have immediate access to a Haitian Creole interpreter, reducing long wait times.
“This dedicated line was a game-changer for our staff, providers, and patients,” Dr. Moya said.
Thanks to her MBA education at Kelley, Dr. Moya’s clinic benefitted from other successful improvements, which have been recognized across the Eskenazi healthcare system. In 2022, the clinic’s patient visits increased by 25% compared to the previous year, including the number of obstetrics and newborn visits, which is critical in addressing Indiana’s high maternal-infant mortality rate. Additionally, Dr. Moya’s clinic became the number one Eskenazi clinic for its volume of colorectal cancer screenings.
Dr. Moya’s clinic serves many newborns and infants with well-baby visits, vaccinations, and detection of developmental problems. Her clinic was selected recently to implement a research project called Prescription for Play, a partnership between The Weitzman Institute and The LEGO Group in which specially designed Lego toys are donated to children between 18 months and three years old to help promote early development.
“In our health center, we often come across patients with developmental delays, especially speech delay. We refer them to appropriate services for early intervention, and they make a lot of progress,” Dr. Moya said. “We play a vital role in preparing these children for success, so when they start school, they’re not behind.”
Dr. Moya says her time in the Kelley Physician MBA Program taught her the importance of including the entire team to deliver solid results.
“I learned that creating a positive work culture is crucial for employee engagement, retention, and excellence,” said Dr. Moya. “It is also important to have team support to implement innovative projects that add value to the healthcare system and the people we serve. I consider myself a leader who ‘walks the talk,’ which has helped me build trust, engagement, and support within the team.”
Dr. Moya’s success at Eskenazi led to a new opportunity. In July 2023, she became Chief Medical Officer for the Health Care Partners of South Carolina, a company with roughly 140 people.
“I’m very excited about this amazing opportunity,” she said. “I want to continue to apply the business and leadership knowledge and skills I learned in the Kelley Physician MBA Program to improve processes, expand services, and create new initiatives that increase patient access to healthcare.”
To learn more about why Dr. Moya was selected by Poets & Quants as a 2023 Best and Brightest Executive MBA click here.