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Alumni spotlight: Keavy Farris, MHA 2012

April 4, 2024

Keavy Farris
Keavy Farris

Name: Keavy Farris

Degree and graduation year: Master of Health Administration, 2012

Current position: Operations administrator with Mayo Clinic Florida

What have you been up to since graduating from the MHA program at Mizzou?

I have worked at several large academic medical centers in various roles, ranging from business intelligence analytics to operations leadership positions. I have spent time at WVU Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, and most recently, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. It sounds like a lot once I write it out, but each institute has a special place and meaning to my professional and personal growth.

I have spent the entirety of my career focused on the cardiac, vascular, and thoracic service line, so much of my expertise is focused on operations of those service lines. I have had the benefit of being a health care leader, both within the U.S. and internationally, which has provided me with tremendous exposure across the world and has helped me with various perspectives as I continue to look at ways to advance the cardiac and cardiothoracic surgical practices at Mayo Clinic Florida.

When it comes to your career so far, what are you most proud of?

In my role as an operations administrator in health care, with a specialized focus on cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, I take pride in several achievements throughout my career.

One of the highlights has been implementing streamlined operational processes that enhance efficiency in patient care delivery. By collaborating with multidisciplinary teams, I’ve optimized resource utilization, reduced turnaround times, and enhanced overall workflow.

Additionally, I am proud of my contribution to fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the health care facility. Implementing quality improvement initiatives and ensuring compliance with industry standards has positively impacted patient outcomes and contributed to the overall excellence of our health care services.

Moreover, my role involves navigating the dynamic landscape of health care regulations and technological advancements. Successfully integrating innovative technologies into our operations has allowed us to stay at the forefront of advancements in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.

Ultimately, the most rewarding aspect of my career is knowing that my efforts contribute to the seamless operation of critical health care services, improving patient experiences and outcomes in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.

How did your experiences in the MHA program prepare you for your career?

The ability to work in multidisciplinary groups is critical to the success of a health care operations leader. Participating in case studies, projects, and collaborative presentations helps you prepare to communicate succinctly in multiple directions to achieve your desired results.

I cannot overemphasize how the communication skills I developed in the MHA program helped set me up for long-term success. It was during my internship at WVU Medicine that I realized I had a real passion for cardiology, cardiac surgery, and quality. Identifying those key elements during my internship helped me focus my career and long-term vision of where I wanted to drive as a leader. The internship was short, but that exposure was critical for my growth as a young student.

What advice do you have for MHA students who want to follow a similar career path?

Identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses. But don’t shy away from your weaknesses — embrace them. Find a mentor who excels in your weak traits. Learn from them, engage with them, and don’t be afraid to seek their guidance. Embrace the uncomfortable, and lean into it, constantly pursuing professional growth and development.

What is a favorite memory from your time in the program or a class that you really enjoyed?

I really enjoyed health law, and I still use the book and learnings in my career. I enjoy reading about cases that changed the history of the medical field and how we can learn from them and apply them to our careers when faced with various challenges from a personnel standpoint, patient standpoint, and health care technology standpoint.

Why should potential students get their MHA from Mizzou?

My time at Mizzou was special. From my professors to fellow students, we all wanted each other to succeed. Everyone was willing to help teach, mentor, and educate one another. Most importantly, we wanted to learn from each other. We all had different perspectives and educational backgrounds, which made our discussions more exciting to learn from one another. The facilities and campus were beautiful, and the entire town of Columbia was dedicated to the success of the University of Missouri – the feeling when you arrive in Columbia and on campus is truly an exceptional experience.