Bella Zaghi - Member Profile

Bella Zaghi graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with her Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology and continued her studies at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health for her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Healthcare Management with a specialization in Health Information Technology. While pursuing her degree, she supported the Biostatistics department and conducted an internship at UCLA Medical Center in cost accounting, building standards and developing the system for seven cost centers within the Medical Center.

Upon graduation, Bella was recognized with Women in Healthcare Administration and HIMSS’s Master Student Award for her academic merit, drive and promise to make a positive difference in Health IT and was an inducted member into Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society, a national academic honor society for the top Healthcare Administration students.

Bella’s involvement with SoCal HIMSS has grown over the years. She chaired the Academic Alliance community, creating sustainable infrastructure and network to service and outreach to students in the region. She then served as VP of Admin when the Chapter was distinguished as Chapter of Year. In her current role as President, the chapter events have tripled targeting providers, expanded with collaborations locally and globally and kicked off the Women in Health IT branch with the first networking event and symposium.

Bella currently works at Cedars Sinai Medical Center as a Sr. Data Report/System Analyst where she supports Nursing and Operations with data and reports quality outcomes for accreditation, regulatory, research, performance improvement and medical staff.

What got you interested in a career in healthcare and in particular, health information and technology?

Growing up I had seen close family members misdiagnosed or malfunctions in the health system that sometimes led to irreparable damages. This led to my interest in opportunities in the healthcare system and I explored different career paths until I found the one that fit. Of most interest to me was the global effect and business aspect in healthcare. I attended UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health program in Health Policy and Management and it was during my first quarter that I gained exposure to health IT. While attending a Healthcare Finance Course, I was assigned a team project and my group was selected to analyze Cerner Corporation. My group was to develop a report and pitch our recommendations on whether to buy or sell the stock that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange for our final project. Through researching and working on this assignment, I learned the importance of Health IT, so when my advisor asked if any students would be interested in volunteering at a local Health IT conference. I thought to myself that this would be the perfect opportunity to learn more. I eagerly decided to assist in the conference. During some of the speeches, I learned more about the exponential growth of Health Information Technology in the coming years and the potential to transform healthcare, cut costs, and improve quality. The conference solidified my desire into a career that will be making a strong impact on the industry. At the end of the quarter, our presentation on Cerner Corporation was stronger due to the valuable information I was able to implement into our group presentation.

How do you stay motivated? How do you motivate others?

Surrounding myself with positive energy and seeing the end goal. I motivate others by giving off positive energy and encouragement.

What stepping-stones have led to where you are and what advice do you have for others looking to follow a similar path?

The stepping stones were taking on new experiences and being flexible with unexpected changes. It is through these opportunities that we are challenged and develop new skills.

HIMSS encourages embracing and announcing achievements with confidence, what is an accomplishment you want to share with others?

Kicking off and putting together the first Women in Health IT event with my local HIMSS Chapter.

Who was your first mentor, and what is the best advice they gave to you?

My father was my first mentor and the best advice he gave me was to do acts of kindness and find a way to give back to the community. It gives you a sense of purpose, you will discover hidden talents and you never know when the favor will come back to you or someone connected to you.

What is the one piece of practical advice you wish you’d been given when you started your career?

Your career might not be a straight path, there are several external factors that can promote or inhibit your next move.

What do you do in your free time? Or, how do you relax?

Spending time with family and friends, Zumba and travel.

What is your favorite song or movie?

Indiana Jones and the Back to the Future trilogies.

What is your dream job?

My main criteria for a dream job is continuous personal and professional growth, opportunities to learn new skills and being able to utilize my creativity to improve healthcare through health IT.

How has HIMSS helped you write your own health information and technology story?

From my first event HIMSS has been pivotal to my life, keeping me up to date with trends in the industry. Also, I’ve met many mentors and developed friendships that have been there when I needed guidance.

Contact Bella on Twitter or LinkedIn.