Cleveland, OH,
12:32 PM

Inaugural MetroHealth-Baldwin Wallace Master of Public Health Class celebrates degree completion

Three years ago, MetroHealth and Baldwin Wallace University (BW) launched classes for a new Master of Public Health. Students from that first cohort officially graduate during BW’s commencement Saturday, May 4, where MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, will deliver the address.

MetroHealth and BW hosted a Celebration of Completion on Monday, where the soon-to-be graduates wore their gowns, walked across the stage and received alumni pins marking them as YJ4L (Yellow Jackets for Life.)

“I’m really going to miss this group of 10. We started as strangers and ended up as friends,” says Swagata Banik, PhD, Professor and Chair of BW’s Department of Public Health and Prevention Science. “You are the next leaders in population health.”

Alan K. Nevel, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, told the students that they were trailblazers. "This was something new. We got great outcomes. You have all done a wonderful job and we appreciate you.” He also noted that their enrollment in the program had a direct correlation to MetroHealth’s STAR-IQ Values. “Serving each other and your colleagues, working as a team, being accountable to complete coursework, respecting each other’s backgrounds and experiences, the inclusion of diversity of life experiences, and the quest for excellence on being the best in your coursework.”

Congratulations to the inaugural class of the MetroHealth-BW Master of Public Health:

Lisa A. Anderson, BSN Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

Jennifer Davis, BSBA Concentration- Population Health Leadership & Management

Mariana Galay, BS Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

Michael Gutridge, PharmD Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

Tariq J. Khan, MBBS Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

Ivy Kissling, BS, RD Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

Xiomara J. Merced, MBA Concentration-Health Education & Disease Prevention

Nancy Phuong, MBA Concentration-Health Education & Disease Prevention

Marielee Santiago, MSW Concentration-Health Education & Disease Prevention

Julie Sterbank, DO Concentration-Population Health Leadership & Management

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to teach all of you and to learn from all of you,” says Susan Mego, Executive Director, Managed Care, ACO Executive – MetroHealth Care Partners, Population Health Innovation Institute and a Professor in the MPH program. “Your dedication and hard work is what brought you here today. We saw it all throughout the years. We’ve witnessed students who really stepped outside their comfort zones. This program has been supportive of allowing people to try new roles.”

This cohort has shared more than just classwork. Since first meeting on August 12, 2016, they’ve experienced major milestones together: a marriage, a birth, travel abroad, new jobs, health issues, and the loss of loved ones. But they supported each other as they completed projects and grew in their knowledge of public health, which they can now use to support patients and the community.

About the MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers For more information, visit