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This three-time Pima Medical graduate catapulted her career by earning her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree.

Follow your passion for a career in healthcare and make a difference.

Barbara Correll is a three-time graduate of Pima Medical Institute. She completed her associate degree in Occupational Therapy at the Mesa Campus and went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration. After that, she joined the first-ever cohort in our Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and completed her degree in January. She’s now the Director of Therapy at Arbor Therapy in Phoenix.  Here is her story.

“I’ve always had an interest in rehab due to an accident I had in the 90’s. But, I was a single mom working in corrections to provide for my kids. Once they got older, I transitioned into working in a school for autistic children and started my education in special ed. There was an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) working at the school who said – ‘you’re wasting your time, you belong in OTA and you need to go to Pima Medical Institute where I graduated.’ After 6 months of her hounding me, I finally checked it out and I was hooked.

Pima Medical helped me find myself – what I always thought I was. The classes were personal and the teachers were great! I was older and I had my challenges as I was working all day and attending classes from 6-10 pm. But, I got the support I needed. As a three-time graduate, I can say Pima Medical does a great job of meeting you where you’re at.

I obtained a job at a skilled nursing facility and within a few months, I noticed that I was becoming interested in the administrative side. I had another Pima Medical graduate who strongly encouraged me to consider the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration (BSHCA) program and I enrolled. I found the program offered real-world education I could use immediately.

Getting my bachelors led me to come back to Pima Medical as an OTA instructor and subsequently the Clinical Education Director at the Mesa Campus. Being a graduate of the same program allowed me to relate to the challenges and struggles of my students. COVID really blindsided us and we were forced to learn the digital aspect. But what we didn’t realize was the after effects on our students – their sense of self and abilities and the level of their anxiety. It helped that I could relate to their struggles and I was able to offer them a safe ear even if I couldn’t solve their problems.

I was able to help them have a sense of pride in their accomplishments. That’s what my instructors had done for me. I was able to say — Pima is here for you and we help you see yourself through the lens of success.

I knew I wasn’t finished with my education, so when my admission’s advisor let me know Pima Medical was starting a master’s program, I said, sign me up! I just finished my degree, graduating with the first cohort of the master’s program.

I decided to do some part-time work and applied with Arbor Therapy as they offered later hours. While in that process, the owner of the company requested a meeting. She had noticed my educational degrees on my resume and as a result ended up offering me a position as Director of Therapy over all three Arbor Clinics in the Phoenix area. It was my education that caught her attention.

My degree prepared me for this job. I was trained in analytics, finance, quality management and I can do a root cause analysis, because I was taught how to do that.  Many master’s degree programs are more theoretical in nature, but the degree from Pima Medical has actually trained me to do exactly what I’m doing now. I’m taking what I learned, putting it into practice and I’m loving it!

The things we fear in pulling the trigger on continuing our education is wondering if we can actually balance our life and all our responsibilities. And it is a sacrifice, but in the end that sacrifice is worth it and everything I gave up for a time has come back to me tenfold.

Down the road, I see myself moving toward larger management positions and eventually, I see myself running a hospital, or at least doing the things that someone who runs a hospital does, in order to satiate that need that I have.

Pima helped me find myself. I got to be what I always thought I wanted to be and it only took five-six years to get here.  I received a lot of support throughout the process from the people at Pima Medical.

Pima will help you view yourself through the lens of success, even if you’re unable to see it!

Learn more about all of our programs now!

February 3, 2023

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