Mary Lund, M.S.J. '09, Vice President of Risk Management and Quality Services, Somerset Medical Center
Even as a teenager, Mary Lund knew she wanted a career in management and administration. “I’m a process person who’s driven by outcomes,” she says. Her entry into health care quality and performance improvement, however, was not something she had planned. Rather, it was an opportunity offered to her as a result of her performance at a community hospital in the 1980s, where she supervised a team responsible for codifying medical diagnoses and procedures to determine hospital reimbursement levels.
A Joint Commission survey had found the hospital lacking in a number of areas, yet performing well in the area Lund led. “The president came to me and asked me to ‘find out about this quality stuff,’” she says. “It was my opportunity to get involved in the beginning of the patient safety and quality movement, and I loved it.” From there, she went on to work for several other hospitals as a quality manager before joining Somerset Medical Center in 2002 as Director of Risk Improvement. She now serves as Vice President of Risk Management and Quality Services.
With more than 20 years of experience in health care quality improvement behind her, she, nonetheless, wanted to earn an advanced degree. Seton Hall Law School’s M.S.J. program, says Lund, “was a natural fit given my areas of responsibility in risk management, regulatory compliance, bioethics and other areas that involve health law.”
The program, she says, provided her with numerous professional benefits but most of all she appreciates how it developed her ability to think through problems logically. “My role is to make sure people are working together to drive change,” she explains. “I’m constantly hearing from people about problems from different perspectives, and it’s important for me to remain objective. The M.S.J. program really helped me develop a more disciplined approach to my problem-solving.”
She also notes, “Professors who are at the top of their game teach the M.S.J. program at Seton Hall Law,” and M.S.J. students take many classes alongside J.D. and LL.M. students. “The level of conversation that takes place in the classroom is incredible and provides for a great learning environment,” she adds.