Kathryn Urbina: Business and Healthcare Administration

Kathryn Urbina

Business and Healthcare Administration

B.S., June 2010

Kathryn Urbina entered CUNY Baccalaureate in Fall 2006.  By that time, she already had twelve years of administrative, management and clinical experience in emergency healthcare services.  She also had over 60 college credits from a variety of schools: Mount Vernon College, where she started in 1983, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Norwalk Community College, LaGuardia Community College, and City College.  Through CUNY Baccalaureate (CUNY BA/BS) she could consolidate and capitalize on her prior education while moving forward toward a Bachelor’s degree and enhanced opportunities in the health care field.

Urbina began her career in 1994 as a Paramedic working in the private hospital sector of the New York City Fire Department’s “911” system where she provided advanced cardiac life-support to the sick and injured in the pre-hospital setting.  She was also a field -training officer and participated in public relations.  She received numerous commendations for excellence and provision of care above-and-beyond the call of duty.

In December 1997 she accepted a position as an EMS-Supervisor for the department.  She says “Although I did not possess any prior supervisory experience, I had a strong desire to learn the necessary skills that would help me excel in a leadership position.”  Her duties ranged from supervising the operational, informational, human and material resources for the ambulance departments, to completing payroll, overseeing scheduling, and  participating in union-labor relations and conflict resolution.

In the early fall of 2000, she was promoted to Manager for the EMS Department at the Mary Immaculate Campus.  She says, “After serving as a corporate liaison between the organization and the FDNY during the 9-11 terrorist attacks, I accepted the new challenge of providing leadership and oversight in Emergency Preparedness.  In collaboration with physician and nursing leadership we developed and implemented emergency preparedness policies, procedures and training.  This included implementation of improved safety and disaster plans that resulted in accreditation with commendation from JCAHO, the Joint Commission-Accredited Hospitals Organization.  Additional leadership responsibilities included conducting drills within the hospital involving outside agencies like FDNY and NYPD to prepare for natural disasters, terrorism and weapons-of-mass destruction.”

By the time of her application to CUNY BA/BS, Urbina was the Administrative Director for Emergency Medical Services at Caritas Health Care, Inc., overseeing Emergency Medical Service operations for both Mary Immaculate and St. John’s Queens Hospitals.  Her responsibilities included serving as a liaison between the FDNY and the Hospital Emergency Departments along with providing leadership and oversight to the institutions’ Emergency Preparedness programs.  Unfortunately, these institutions were unexpectedly closed in February 2009.  But, sometimes when one door closes another one opens, and Urbina used her time to return to school full-time in order to “meet the needs of a consistently growing and dynamic healthcare market.”  Prior to February 2009 she was only able to attend limited classes on weekends due to her rigorous full-time job while raising a family.  At that time she was unsure when she would complete my degree; now she is on track to graduate in June 2010.

Working under the guidance of her faculty mentor, Prof. Jane Leavitt, Health Sciences, Lehman College, Urbina combined courses in Healthcare and Management from Lehman and York Colleges and CUNY’s School of Professional Studies for her self-designed degree.  She was awarded 12 credits by CUNY BA/BS for her prior work experience.  In the not too far off future, Urbina plans to apply to graduate school.

CUNY Baccalaureate and healthcare represent a family affair for Kathryn Urbina; her husband, Julio Urbina, graduated from CUNY Baccalaureate in 1989, after which he earned a MPH degree from the Yale School of Medicine (with a Pew Fellowship), and a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University.  Today he is Director of the Healthcare Program at The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.