Your Haas Network
Dr. Michael Alperin, MBA 05
Chief Physician, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center
Deputy Commander, Chief of Professional Services, 396th
Combat Support Hospital, US Army
With positions equivalent to chief medical officer at two different hospitals, Dr. Michael Alperin, MBA 05, describes his career, in an understatement, as multifaceted.
Alperin is the chief physician at the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in eastern Oregon. The tribe-owned clinic serves about 6,000 individuals on the reservation. In his role there, Alperin is tasked with refining the care the clinic provides, as well as with looking for new ways to service the community.
"The biggest challenge is redefining the healthcare objectives and redefining how to achieve those objectives," says Alperin, who received his undergraduate degree in Asian languages from UC Berkeley, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and his MBA in the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program. "There is a lot of creative work in there."
As part of that redefinition, Alperin is working to engage the community to use more preventative services and is also looking at how the medical care costs are reimbursed.
In addition to his duties at the Yellowhawk clinic, Alperin also serves as the Deputy Commander, Chief of Professional Services, at the US Army's 396th Combat Support Hospital, a mobile hospital designed to take care of soldiers in the combat zone. Although Alperin cannot disclose the combat zones in which he works, he is responsible for supervising a full range of care delivery. That includes supervising physicians and the nursing staff, training, and also supporting the health of the soldiers, all under the pressure of combat.
Along the way, Alperin says he used the knowledge he acquired at Haas – from leadership to organizational behavior to operations – to focus under pressure, even in combat. "My MBA has been incredibly valuable," he says. "I have used the things in theater that I learned in school."
Looking forward, Alperin intends to expand his passion for healthcare: He is working on a startup that he says will offer a new way of organizing healthcare to improve the delivery of services. Although he is holding his plans close for now, Alperin intends to stay focused on treating patients. He says, "If you can maximize an individual's ability to enjoy family, friends, and profession by taking care of the healthcare piece, it is very rewarding."