Last Thursday, February 14, Mr. Ball’s AP Economics class and Jenny Rao, head of school, visited MVP Health Care in Schenectady, New York.
After studying economic terms and theories for a whole semester, Mr. Ball decided to teach us a real-life lesson outside of theoretical knowledge and show us a model of a successful business--MVP Health Care. MVP is a national non-profit health care company that runs a business across New York and Vermont. It is empowered by over 1,700 members and provides a wide-range of health plans with personal service for small companies and individuals.
So, who is the magical person at the helm?
Let’s meet Denise Gonick, the CEO of MVP. To our surprise, Ms. Gonick pursued a theatre career in a liberal arts college and later on went to a law school. As she explained her academic journey, we realized her excellent communication skills, humanitarian vision, and experience in law all came from this interdisciplinary path. And these characteristics, in return, grant her a unique perspective and a powerful voice when operating this business.
In the course of a three-hour long conversation, we also met professionals on the executive team from a wide-range of fields in MVP, including the departments of information technology, government affairs and compliance, finance and marketing, and customer care. It was interesting to hear how each person pursued different things in their lives, but all ended up at the same company.
For all the seniors in the class who are already starting to think about their major in college, the distinctive academic experiences that they shared undoubtedly helped us to understand how a person’s academic interests and personal vision can serve specific areas in the industry.
We went into the board meeting room with questions like “what is it like to run a non-profit company?” and left the building with answers to questions we had never considered. The trip to MVP elevated our understanding of how every part of a company works together as it brought new understanding into the economic knowledge we gained in class.
As Ms. Gonick said, “I believe health care should be a human right.” It was remarkable to learn how economics is applied with other factors to make a positive impact in this world, and we are certainly looking forward to another educational field trip like this in the future!