Advancing In Health Care
When Cynthia Meli decided to enter the health care field, she enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia to prepare. She chose the College because the two-year Medical Assisting and Office Management associate’s degree program offered more courses than a typical eight-month program that focused solely on medical assisting skills. Meli knew that a college education that included management courses would increase her marketability and job prospects upon graduation.
What set Meli on the path to a career in health care? “I wanted to help people,” she recalled, “and have a rewarding career that offered many opportunities for the future.” The College helped prepare her for that career with its program that incorporates not just relevant skills training but also a broadly based education that teaches students to think critically and communicate effectively.
After earning an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting and Office Management at the College, Meli was hired by Cardiology Associates, Inc. in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Her initial role there was as a medical assistant, but she quickly impressed her employer with her dedication and skill, and she was soon promoted to a managerial position.
For 20 years, Meli managed four locations of the internal medicine and cardiology practice, which included five physicians, along with numerous other staff members. “I was utilizing everything I learned at the College,” Meli said, “and at the same time expanding my skill set.” She was able to put her multifaceted Medical Assisting degree to good use, overseeing both office and clinical functions at the practice.
During her tenure at Cardiology Associates, Meli worked full time and went to school at night, working toward a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management at Philadelphia University. “Many of my credits from Community College of Philadelphia transferred, which made earning my bachelor’s degree a quicker process,” she said.
After Meli earned her B.S., she continued to manage the practice, implementing innovative ideas, enhancing the practice by adding other non-invasive services, recruiting physicians and more. Eleven years later, the practice was acquired by Albert Einstein Healthcare, and she was promoted to the role of regional practice administrator.
The new position gave her responsibility for nine cardiology practice sites. She worked directly with both physician and hospital services to ensure that each site provided the best possible patient care while maintaining profitability. “I supported the managers at each site with the day-to-day operations,” Meli explained, “but I was also looking at the bigger picture of how to increase revenue and serve the community.”
Most recently, Meli joined AtlantiCare Health Services Division/Atlanticare Physician Group as a practice manager for Business Development, Internal and Family Medicine. She also enrolled in school again, this time for a master’s in Health Administration at Saint Joseph’s University.
So what’s next for this busy alumna? “My plans for the future are to continue to expand my skill set and learn all I can about the primary care side of the industry,” Meli said. She added, “I’m also keeping current on the specialty side so I have well-rounded experience and a broader knowledge base.” Thus, this is one success story that is still being written.