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Chris Marcelle

Chris Marcelle

What is your hometown?
Chicago, Illinois

What are your interests/hobbies?
I am an avid Chicago sports fan and enjoy being out on Lake Michigan during the warmer months of the year.  I also love to read and travel.  Learning new things, experiencing different cultures, food and perspectives is really exciting.

What are your favorite Chicago activities?
Chicago is just a great city with a lot to offer. In addition to the sporting events and boating, I really enjoy the vast amount of food and entertainment options available.  When time and weather permits, I really enjoy going to the neighborhood festivals and the different cuisine/restaurants in the city.

Did you work full time through the program?
I did and it was a job that didn’t really allow for school work during the workday. 

Was time commitment reasonable?
The time commitment was reasonable for me but keeping it reasonable also meant saying no to other things like happy hours, social events, extended trips, etc. 

Were you able to balance work and school?
I was able to balance, but I needed to be really smart about how I spent my time.

Professionally, what are you doing now?
I am an Operations leader at a nationally recognized health insurance organization.  I am responsible for leading teams that support our clients medical and pharmacy benefits across group coverage (employer based), individual retail (exchanges) and government (Medicaid, Medicare) segments.  In addition to supporting these benefits, I also partner with other business leaders in Sales & Marketing and Product Development to support customized client requests and new product offerings from a claim administration perspective.

Tell us about a “Northwestern moment.” More specifically, was there a moment either in class or otherwise associated with the program where something really clicked for you?
It’s hard to pick just one since there were many, but one that really stands out for me was the practicum experience.  My team worked with a health organization that was focused on providing service and support to families affected by Autism.  After our very first ‘client meeting’ it became clear that we were ambassadors of Northwestern and the organization had very high expectations of the value we could create for them based on the program and the Northwestern brand.  After the first meeting, the teams organizational skills kicked in and we began to drawn on our entire body of experience and education at Northwestern to deliver a work product that was multi-dimensional and met the needs of the organization.  Even better, I learned so much about the organization and their work that the benefit was bi-directional.

How has the program changed the way you view healthcare?  
It has helped shaped a broader perspective of healthcare and the healthcare system in the United States specifically.  There are many facets of the system that must work together in a coordinated manner in order to deliver real value.  The program provided research supported perspectives that allowed me to see the system from many different angles – such as the different consumers, providers, health systems, pharmaceutical and the list goes on. Often times, we view healthcare from our own personal perspectives or based on the experiences of family and friends.

Did you discover anything new or unexpected at Northwestern?
I wouldn’t characterize it as new or unexpected because I tried to keep an open mind entering the program, but I was genuinely impressed with the passion of the faculty who in many cases have made it their life’s work to improve our healthcare system.  The expertise demonstrated in their fields was top notch which supports the Northwestern brand as well as the quality and depth of the information being learned.