Impacting Quality Improvement at Philly's Top-Ranked Children's Hospital
January 25, 2022
Tommy Ferrari, a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the department of Health Management and Policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), began his graduate program in 2020 when the COVID pandemic had first emerged. Despite the many challenges this presented, he has been very engaged and active in his graduate program.
Throughout 2021, Ferrari served as president of the DSPH Student Government Organization (SGO). He and his fellow elected representatives served as liaisons with the school’s administration to advocate for student needs. Additionally, he helped plan opportunities for students to connect and learn at virtual and in-person events.
Ferrari also participated in the school’s Curriculum and Assessment Committee (CAC) as a Student Representative. The goal of the committee was to identify gaps and implement changes needed to adequately address topics of diversity, inclusion, racism, and social justice in DSPH’s academic programming.
Ferrari pursued hands-on learning opportunities at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which is located in close proximity to Drexel University’s campus. He completed his Applied Practical Experience (APE) at CHOP’s Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics (CHQA) as an intern. He then stayed in this role to work on his Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) through 2022.
Since June 2021, Ferrari has supported Improvement Advisors at CHOP with a variety of quality improvement and patient safety projects throughout the hospital. “Our role is to help team members throughout the hospital to address, design and execute improvements, such as patient length of stay or patient/family satisfaction,” he shared.
A main driver for Ferrari to engage in this work is seeing the impact. “Large hospital systems have a tremendous ability to impact a lot of people, and CHOP is no exception,” he said. “To be able to assist the amazing staff at CHOP with providing care to patients is truly an honor.”
Ferrari was able to see first-hand his work improve care for children affected by eating disorders (EDs) in CHOP’s Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program. His team led a project that gathered ideas and feedback from multiple healthcare workers, patients and their families that were then implemented. The implemented changes resulted in a measurable decrease in hospital stays among ED patients.
The public health field has continually proven to be the right field for Ferrari. “I chose public health because I wanted to work to address the root causes of poor health for large populations,” he said. “Drexel combines excellent professors, enriching extracurriculars, and great connections and opportunities throughout the city.”
In the future, Ferrari hopes to remain in Philadelphia and work in a large healthcare system like CHOP or in a department of health. He believes that in this industry he will be able to improve healthcare for many individuals and address persistent health disparities that demand action.
Ferrari is projected to graduate in March 2022 with his MPH in Health Management and Policy and a minor in Health Economics.
Learn more about the DSPH MPH Program