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Career Exploration Essay

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Career Exploration Essay:

Chief Executive Officer

Katlyn Dennis

Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne


This paper is an essay expressing my career interest in healthcare administration. Part I of this essay is an overview of my career goal. This section explains two of my career interests, Chief Operating Officer and Department Administrator for the Department of Health city of Fort Wayne-Allen, and includes ideas to gain experience for my next job I would like to have based on my Bachelors of Public Affairs degree with a major in Health Services Administration. Part I then concludes with possible future jobs thereafter in my career briefly. Part II explores what the Chief Operating Officer’s role and responsibilities are at Fort Wayne Radiology (FWR). A pre-investigation of the organization was necessary to understand the goals, objectives, and staff of Fort Wayne Radiology. I conducted an interview with the current Chief Operating Officer (COO), Deb Overcash who has been with this organization since 1978. Overcash was asked nine questions regarding her duties and responsibilities, likes and dislikes on her position, her interest in healthcare, organizational information, qualifications, and advice/recommendations for me to be successful for my career interest. Her responses are then followed by my own personal reflections on the interviewee’s responses and additional information that will help me prepare for a future career.

        Keywords: Chief Operating Officer, COO, Fort Wayne Radiology, FWR

Career Exploration Essay

Part I: My Career Goal

        Receiving a Bachelors of Public Affairs in Health Services Administration has many opportunities available within the Health Care industry. After researching what this degree can offer, I have been very interested in being a Chief Operations Officer within an organization, or a Director Administrator for the Department of Health. I have always taken a manager’s position within the few jobs I have had and where I am currently at, and I love being responsible for the business and my staff. Based on my degree, my next job I would like to have is an entry level job, such as an office manager, or any position learning the financial aspects of health care. After I have gained a few years of experience and as I start to understand more of the industry, I hope to receive a position as a Chief Operations Officer or Director Administrator for a hospital, hospital affiliates, or the Department of Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Part II: Career Exploration

        As my career goal is to hold a top leader position, I have researched both the Department of Health of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the Fort Wayne Radiology department. My initial research started with the Department of Health, but the administrator was not able to comment or conduct an interview pertaining to this essay; however, the Chief Operations Officer of Fort Wayne Radiology was pleased to accept my offer for an interview and the responses are as followed.

        “A COO is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company” ( As this idea was exactly what I am working towards in my career, Deb Overcash, COO of Fort Wayne Radiology took the time to answer a few questions pertaining to her history, her responsibilities, and what she recommends to students on how to get started and what is needed to become successful. Deb Overcash has been with Fort Wayne Radiology since 1978. In 1990 she became Assistant Administrator, and then her title changed to Chief Operations Officer in 2006, but there were “no significant changes to her roles and responsibilities from Assistant Administrator to COO” (D. Overcash, COO, 2016 Feb, 6). She joined the company forty years ago, and has worked multiple positions over the years.

Deb Overcash was asked five specific questions, and the interview conducted is as followed:

  1. What prompted your interest in healthcare? “I was completing my B.A. defree and a friend from High School was working at Fort Wayne Radiology, and asked if I wanted some part time work. I agreed and after earning my degree, I stayed with the company and worked my way up to the Chief Operations Officer position. It was not a conscious decision to enter into business or healthcare (her degree is in History), but it was a wonderful opportunity, and this opportunity has paid many dividends over the years” (D. Overcash, COO, 2016 Feb 5).
  2. What are your (job) responsibilities? “My job responsibilities include reporting to the CEO of Fort Wayne Radiology (FWR). I am considered a Billing Operations Analyst, Executive Assistant, IT Director, Director of Open View MRI, P.E.T Fusion Manager, and a Courier. I am responsible for all business and administrative aspects, such as, Operations Management, Business Office Administration, Human Resources and Benefits, Information Technology Management, and Implementing policies of FWR at all sites and locations through development of strategy, goals, tactics, and metrics” (D. Overcash, 2016 Feb 6).

Overcash then handed me a paper that included all over her roles and responsibilities. This handout included the above mentioned and other descriptions of her position. The COO acts of behalf of the practice in all business affairs of the group at the directed of the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Committee. The COO also serves Ex-Officio, without vote, on the Executive Committee and Ex-Officio as Assistant Secretary on the Executive Committee. The COO also serves on various intra-company Committee teams. The COO is expected to join and be involved with relevant education and specialty organizations as well as attend continuing education programs in radiology, management, and other necessary skills (minimum 2 years). The COO is expected to be accountable to the business, excellent internal and external



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