Student health care leaders host spring symposium


More than four months of planning by George Mason University College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) students and external partners led to a successful spring symposium on April 9.

Rehan Saaed
Rehan Saeed

Leading the way were Mason’s Rising Healthcare Leaders (MRHL), the student group that co-sponsored the event with the National Capital Healthcare Executives and the local American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) chapter.


“Without [MRHL], this never would have happened,” said Brenda Helen Sheingold, director of master’s in health system management program at Mason. “They have completed all of the training to establish this new registered student organization at Mason.”


The CHHS graduate students started the planning process back in December and planned sessions on technology innovation and mapping early career development.


The 2021 symposium provided an opportunity for students not merely engage with industry professionals and leaders in the field of health care administration, but to start a conversation about the future of the field, said MRHL President Rehan Saeed, who is working on a master’s degree in health administration (MHA).

Priya Mallya
Priya Mallya

“This is the Department of Health Administration and Policy students' signature annual event and they have been working on it for months,” Sheingold added.


“The majority of the event planning, logistics and execution was carried out by students,” Saeed said. “This event was monumental for us, in that it served as a useful reminder of a very important lesson taught to us early on in the course of our program: There is no working without networking.”


“I feel honored to have shared my professional career journey during the MRHL-NCHE symposium,” said Tiyi Moori, associate director of health operations at the Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. “It was mutually beneficial to feel like I contributed to helping someone else understand and plan their career goals. In turn, it gave me a window into how I can professionally develop myself in a mentoring way.”

Saad 2
Saad Ahmad

Key takeaways from Moori’s early career development panel were that no two career paths are the same and networking is an essential tool in one’s job search. “All panelists spoke about the value in mentors,” Moori added.


The event also honored Mason alumnus Anton Arbatov, vice president of revenue cycle management and compliance at SOC TeleMed. Arbatov, who graduated from Mason with a master of health administration in 2015, was the first president of a MHA student organization at Mason and served as moderator for this year’s technology innovation panel.


“The GMU-NCHE team pulled together a terrific event,” said Arbatov. “The symposium was able to bring together a panel of innovators with varying backgrounds for an insightful discussion about the growing role of technology in health care. It was my distinct pleasure to exchange thoughts with leading industry experts.”


MRHL named an award in Arbatov’s honor and will recognize a deserving individual with it annually.  

Renee Ordoobadi
Renee Ordoobadi

“The current student population has endeavored to carry Mr. Anton Arbatov's legacy forward by reestablishing a student association that is inclusive of all graduates from the Department of Health Administration and Policy and that embraces his values of fostering innovation, meeting public expectations, accountability and a commitment to caring about people.”  


Saeed, Vice President Priya Mallya, Treasurer Saad Ahmad and Event Planner Renee Ordobadi said they appreciated the feedback they received during and following each panel discussion, from both the speakers and attendees.


“We are very much looking forward to next year’s symposium,” said Saeed. “It’s sure to be even bigger, even better.”