Class of 2022

Andy Bertepelle, MBA, MSN, MHCDS

Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
Gunnison Valley Hospital (Gunnison, CO)

Having already received the formal education that I needed for my role as CNO, my focus in the MHCDS degree program is on how I can become a better leader and a better change agent for healthcare.

Tell us about yourself, Andy. 

I am the CNO at the Gunnison Valley Hospital in Colorado.   In this role, I have executive oversight of all clinical departments.   In addition to my duties at GVH, I am also a father and step-father to 3 wonderful children and a grandfather to 2 more.  I served in the US Navy, 9 years active duty and 3 years in the reserves.  

Why did you decide to take the MHCDS program? 

Having already received the formal education that I needed for my role, I was focused on how I can truly become a better leader and a better change agent for healthcare.  I found the MHCDS program curriculum and approach to meet that need as the students were representatives from all aspects of healthcare; Physicians, Nurses, Administrators, Health Policy Experts, and experts from the insurance industry.  I believe that if we intend to improve healthcare, fix the challenges and perform better, we can only do it if we have the right people at the table.  The MHCDS program puts the right people at the table.  Having the right people in this program brought together by a curriculum that is innovative and forward thinking, I felt this program was not only exactly what I needed, but it is exactly what the healthcare industry needs.  Given this, I chose the MHCDS program so I could be part of the solution to the healthcare challenges we face across the country.

What has been the best part of the program for you – so far? 

The best part of the program must be expanded from a singular answer to an answer that has two parts.  First and foremost, the thoughtful curriculum that looks toward innovation and is taught by some of the best thought leaders and professors that are working in this field.  The MHCDS program is not just a business school program; it is a true combination and collaboration between the Tuck School of Business, The Geisel School of Medicine, and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI).  It is the most collaborative, multidisciplinary health care program available.  The quality of the education provided through the MHCDS program is second to none.

The second aspect that is equally important to the aforementioned is the true multi-disciplinary make-up of the student body.  The relationships that I have built with fellow students is stronger than any I have experienced in any of my previous education programs.  I now have colleagues for life that are representative of nearly every aspect of the healthcare continuum. The new level of access I have to so many experts (and now friends) that I can simply call or text for advice is so very valuable now and in the future. 

How have you used (or will use) the skills/knowledge you have gained so far? Do you have a real-life example? 

My goal has always been to use the skills and knowledge to fix health care in my immediate surroundings and I am working on that as an influencer on policy work in Colorado.   Another concrete example I’d offer is Professor Paul Argenti’s framework around developing a “One Company Culture”  I’m using those insights to help my own organization develop its own “One Company Culture” at Gunnison Valley Hospital and it has been well received. 

Do you have one thing you can tell other potential applicants to the MHCDS program? 

Just Do It!  Networking capabilities matter as much, if not more than the knowledge I’ve gained.  The connections I’ve made with fellow classmates, alumni, faculty and staff are so strong and durable.  I cannot overstate how valuable it is to have a rolodex of connections like the one’s I’ve made with CEOs and senior leaders from all different aspects of health care.   As I go through my career, I will always have those resources and the incredibly valuable insights I can mine from that network.