We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Conor O’Day ’14, ’17, MHA
Regional Director of Operations, Metro Region, Lancaster General Health Physicians
While earning an undergraduate degree in Biology from Temple University, Conor O’Day developed an interest in health care and discovered that his passions pointed toward the organizational rather than clinical aspects of health care. He also found inspiration in his father, who has successfully navigated the health care system in depth as a patient, while also dedicating his professional life to the Lancaster community. Conor’s father has reminisced to him about his first job as a third shift truck unloader at Armstrong Industries, when he would watch the glow from the top of the hospital on Duke Street in Lancaster – a beacon that his son would come to follow in his own career.
A two-time alumnus, Conor earned a certificate in Healthcare Administration from PA College in 2014. He was also in the inaugural cohort of graduates from our Master of Healthcare Administration program in 2017. Of this experience, Conor shares: “This degree helped me to increase my business acumen and understanding of how the healthcare system functions, from the level of the individual patient all the way up to a national scale. I felt more capable and confident in my abilities as both a patient advocate and eventually team leader.”
Today, Conor is a Regional Director for the Lancaster General Health Physicians group. This role oversees several of the largest primary care practices and ambulatory labs in the county, including the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion. His varied responsibilities include day-to-day operational oversight, personnel management, budget adherence and strategic planning. The job also requires close collaboration with his team of managers, colleagues, and partnered Medical Director. “I would be lost without them!” Conor adds. He is also currently pursuing a Fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) through the Penn Medicine Leadership Academy which Conor expects to complete in October 2023.
When asked what advice he would give our students, Conor offers: “Don’t let who you are today define who you will be for the rest of your life. It’s very easy to be swept of in the whirlwind and feel powerless to impact your circumstances. I’ve truly been there. Work hard and work smart on whatever your current responsibilities are, and constantly remind yourself how they will help you reach your long-term goals. If they don’t help with this, you should probably consider whether they are worth continuing. Your biggest competition will never be a classmate, or coworker or social media influencer; it’s who you were yesterday. To borrow an Eastern proverb: ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.’”
In his free time, Conor enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping, especially in national parks. He lives with his significant other, Emily and their pug in Ephrata.
Seeking People of PA College
Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!