Rena Cohen-Kurzrock, MHA
Rena is a first-year fellow at UVA Health. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She obtained her bachelor of business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business, and earned her master’s in healthcare administration from Louisiana State University of Shreveport.
Rena’s previous experience used healthcare marketing (specifically, social media) to improve patient connectivity, healthcare literacy, and preventative care at a dermatology practice. This work gave her hands-on experience with the blending of healthcare information, delivery, and technology to empower patients and improve the bottom line, along with honing her ability to address strategic planning and revenue diversification within healthcare.
She has two peer-reviewed articles in Cureus and had the opportunity to present to medical residents at LSU about the effective use of social media in expanding private practice.
Rena is very passionate about helping others and improving the patient experience. She is excited to be a member of UVA Health, an organization that puts patient care at the forefront. She is eager to serve and learn under the incredible leadership here and looks forward to expanding her knowledge in hospital operations and innovative strategic planning.
In her spare time, Rena enjoys cooking, all things outdoors, and exploring the city with her dog (Bella).
Khaing Phoo, MHA
Khaing Phoo (pronounced Kye Pooh) is one of the first-year fellows at UVA Health. She is from Myanmar, and lived in New York after immigration. She received her B.S. in health science with a healthcare management concentration from Stony Brook University. Before graduate school, she had experience in direct patient-care as a medical scribe.
Khaing attended Texas A&M University to pursue her master’s in healthcare administration. She completed her summer practicum at St. Joseph Health Hospital where she had the opportunity to be involved in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, and performance improvement projects. Additionally, she was able to expand her knowledge of various healthcare fields and rural operations, and learn different leadership techniques and styles.
Khaing is very excited about her fellowship at UVA Health because the mission and the learning culture emphasize values that align with her own, while maintaining a strong focus on patient-centered care.
Outside of work, Khaing enjoys swimming, doing arts and crafts, knitting/crocheting, and bullet journaling.
Elisabeth (Libby) Melzer, MBOE, LSSBB
Libby’s most recent role prior to UVA Health was serving as deputy chief financial officer at the Mount Carmel College of Nursing (501c3). She managed the financial management for the college, and advised the executive team and board members on cost control and operational effectiveness. She developed fiscal stability during the pandemic using financial modeling and implementing strategic planning initiatives.
Libby grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, She received her bachelor’s in accountancy from Miami University (2004). She worked at a sports marketing company (Elevation Group) for six years before relocating to Columbus, Ohio to join the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. During a 10-year tenure, she worked in various roles and capacities. She worked at Student Health Services as the business manager where she earned her master's of business in operational excellence (Dec 2015) and her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB), completing a process improvement project focused on establishing a clinical inventory system based on standardizing products, eliminating waste, and creating a sustainable replenishment system.
She spent two years as a finance manager in the Technology Commercialization Office helping to patent the ideas coming out of the university and medical center, establishing standard operating procedures for faculty distributions, capital calls, and funding streams.
As director of operations in the College of Medicine, she worked on process improvement projects throughout the college related to administrative structures, physician recruitment processes, and developed new workflow streams to expedite the letter of offer process. Her final role at Ohio State was working as the administrator of Family & Community Medicine leading the academic side of the department for strategic initiatives, process improvement (developing a standard and equitable process for physician recruitment), and culture building.
Libby enjoys photography, music, yoga, and spending time with friends and family. She is currently pursuing her fellow designation in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She is a scholarship recipient and member of the ACHE Executive Program 2022 cohort.
Libby is exploring operational opportunities as an administrative fellow at UVA Health, under the direction of Wendy Horton, CEO. She will be rotating through the departments to gain hands on experience of the operations throughout the Medical Center.
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