Carlson School in the winter

MBA Student Managing Healthcare Supply Chain Disruptions With Help From Coursework

Monday, January 24, 2022

From personal protective equipment to lab supplies to staffing, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended supply chains. It’s been a struggle, to say the least.

George Morris

In the middle of solving these challenges is Dr. George Morris, ‘23 MBA, who is the physician incident commander for the COVID-19 response at CentraCare, a large multi-specialty health system in central Minnesota. In that role, he manages space issues, supply chain issues, and other logistics.

“The pandemic has highlighted to me why I wanted to get my MBA in the first place,” Morris says. “The business mindset is very helpful. It is another way of looking at the world and our communities. I likely could have finished out my career without it, but I feel that the time commitment now will help me do better in my role as a physician leader going forward.”

While coordinating CentraCare’s supply chain for nearly two years, he is still learning. After the spring 2020 semester, Morris, who graduated from the University’s Medical School in 1995, decided to take a break from his coursework to focus fully on his job. This fall, he rejoined the MBA program. One of his courses was MBA 6220 Supply Chains and Operations, taught by Professor Rachna Shah.

“That class really helped me understand all of the why behind what we did,” he says. “It gave me a great look into the experiences from the early phases of the COVID crisis. Overall, it’s helped me to think more strategically about our response to this most recent surge and some of the supply chain disruptions we’re still seeing.”

In fact, he shared a recent interview he did with Kaiser Health News with Shah to thank her for helping him on the job.

Looking forward, Morris can already see how his next set of classes, including a course on ethics, can help him improve his performance in his critical role at CentraCare.

“To be able to develop a different mindset and understand strategic business-related decisions has really been eye opening,” he says. “And now I'm looking at the courses and I have a little better sense of how this is going to apply to my work. I think that’s one lesson that I'm learning as I’m moving forward. I see the titles and the courses and now I can immediately envision how it's going to help me do my job better.”