Dr. Omar Manejwala (EMBA ’10) is chief medical officer and senior vice president of Medical Affairs Catasys Inc.
What's a typical day like for you at work?
It's really fun and varied. I'm responsible for oversight of all clinical services, so some of my day is spent working with our nurses and care coaches, supporting them as they work to enhance the health of our members. I spend a bit of time on quality-related activities, some on product development, some on sales. I interact quite a bit with our data and analytics team to provide clinical insight into the data. Much of what we discover from analyzing massive healthcare data sets requires context to make sense, so understanding the clinical implications of these discoveries is a big part of my role. I'm involved in network management, as well. At the moment, I spend about 25 percent of my time preparing for scale, modifying our systems so that they are scalable. Although my responsibilities are diverse, it's easy to stay focused because of our singular mission, to improve the lives of those with substance use disorder and leverage improved health to reduce the cost of care.
How did Darden help you prepare for your current position?
How didn't it? I've used nearly every aspect of my education either in securing this position or in executing it. The emphasis on general management and strategy has done the most, probably. I've used insights from finance, accounting, operations, communications and organizational culture that I derived from my education in my role. Most of my roles have centered around leading change, which is a core focus of the Darden curriculum. A disciplined focus on the multiple stakeholder perspective has also served me extremely well.
What inspires you?
I'm passionate about helping people with addiction and other behavioral health conditions achieve healthy, productive lives. I'm particularly interested in deriving insights from large populations and data sets to drive improved health and reduced costs. I believe that people can and do get well, given the right support and resources. I love innovation, disruptive technologies and transformations.
What kind of impact would you like to make?
Everyone who suffers from addiction and mental illness should have access to the right high quality care and be empowered to take an active role in their recovery. This requires wholesale innovation, not just improvement. The costs of these conditions to society are staggering, and if we can help improve the quality and efficiency of care, we can really make a difference.
Why did you choose Darden?
I was interested in the emphasis on teaching ... not just research faculty. As a physician, I easily could have completed a health care MBA elsewhere, but that's not what most doctors need, in my view. The broad general management approach at Darden was attractive to me because in health care, we need to capture best practices from other industries to improve our own. I knew that an insulated view would not be enough to help me execute the wholesale transformations that are needed in our industry. After sitting in on classes and meeting the faculty members, I realized that the level of passion and commitment that they have to teaching is world-class. I still lean on some of these faculty members today when I have questions. Not one has ever turned me down when I had a question or needed a different perspective.