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Wrestler and Health Admin student Antonio Mininno hopes to impact health care inequity

June 20, 2022

Drexel University official men's wrestling team photo of Antonio Mininno.

Antonio Mininno decided Drexel was the right fit after a lengthy college search. This NCAA Academic All-American wrestler knew that Drexel’s co-op program and concentration of health care facilities in the region would give him an advantage when he started what he thought would be a nursing career. “I always wanted a career in health care, and originally I thought being a nurse was it,” Mininno reflected. “I didn’t know what other opportunities there were, what else I could do.” As a nursing student he was doing well academically, but he didn’t see himself continuing down that path.

Mininno investigated public health and health sciences as majors, but when he talked to his advisors, they suggested Health Administration (HA). He looked at job prospects, types of careers and the growth of health administration sector. With a mind for business, a heart for health care and an abundance of leadership skills as demonstrated throughout his wrestling career, Mininno decided this was an excellent choice.

While many think and do go into hospital administration, Mininno is drawn to public policy. He was staggered by the data he analyzed in class showing how underfunded public health care is, especially during a pandemic. “This is crazy to me. Public health is the reason we understand what’s going on in our local communities.” He further explored social justice and health inequity while a fellow in the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program.

Before Macy his understanding of the health equity was limited. “I had a lot of misconceptions based on my own bias. I didn’t think there was a huge problem with our health care system,” Mininno admitted. “I would argue that everyone is equal, we all have the same access.” Now, having done the hard work to acknowledge his privilege and engage in the courageous conversations Macy is know for, he recognizes the immense and significant health care disadvantages in this country. This is something he’d like to change. “We can’t just keep putting this on the back burner. The gap is getting bigger—we can’t just do things that benefit the top 1 percent.”

His health services administration classes have introduced him to Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance, health care ethics, nonprofit organizations and much more. The HA faculty, he feels, are doing a lot more than he expected to prepare the next leaders in the business of health care. He sees it go beyond the classroom to learning how to conduct yourself in professional settings to building connections.

Mininno, one of Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association’s 2022 Academic Achievement Award winners, will continue wrestling for the Dragons as he earns a master’s in health administration. This degree program will help him be successful in leadership or senior management and planning roles in a variety of area like health services or systems, risk, insurance, compliance and even research. Who knows exactly where this academic and athletic dynamo will land, but Mininno, with so many paths to take, won’t be the one getting pinned down.

Drexel University wrestler in his uniform with one arm being held in victory by the referee. 

Written by Roberta S. Perry