Catherine Shih, MBA/MPH

Alberta, Canada

“Everyone has the right to healthcare. It’s something that needs to be addressed and there’s real urgency for it.”

International health advocate

Several years ago, Catherine left her job at Canada’s Department of Finance to do volunteer healthcare work in Cameroon. A strong proponent of global health, she worked for two separate organizations in the west central African nation, and the experience exposed a major problem that she felt could, and should, be turned around: a lack of access to quality care. But to help, she needed to acquire more knowledge and skills to assist developing countries in setting up funding and financing structures to facilitate progress toward universal health care delivery.

“Everyone has the right to healthcare,” Catherine says. “It’s something that needs to be addressed and there’s real urgency for it. I chose BU because I could pursue an MBA along with a master’s in public health at the same university. The School of Management’s admissions team communicated with me one-on-one. It was much more personalized attention than other universities and it conveyed a sense of community at BU.”

Now at BU, Catherine is heavily involved in the Health Services Management Association and the Global Health and Development Club. She traveled for two weeks in January 2012 with the India Field Seminar, where she met with the country’s Public Health Foundation to discuss their health sector and the latest in healthcare-related innovations. The seminar’s participants then worked on a business model for technology related to the foundation. “It was essentially a mini-consulting project where we could ‘sample’ consulting while also having a real world impact for the organization.”

Shih spent the summer of 2012 interning at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland to experience the contrast of working for a large scale institution. “Longer term, I hope to continue to gain experience abroad, particularly in the area of health systems financing.”