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Edward Kolb '15 MBA: From Physician to Physician-CEO
November 20, 2018
“In Isenberg’s Online MBA program, my professors and the administrative staff consistently went out of their way to ensure that I had the opportunities and resources that I needed to succeed in the program and in my profession,” recalls 2015 graduate Dr. Edward Kolb. A medical doctor with a focus on anesthesiology and pediatrics, Ed is Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Hospital Operations at Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics, in Omaha, Nebraska. This November, he assumed the role as hospital director.
Boys Town Hospital offers a broad range of surgical and clinical services for both children and adults. From acute pediatric impatient hospitalizations and surgical services for all ages, to pediatric specialty care, to residential treatment for children and adolescents with severe behavioral problems. The hospital is part of Boys Town®, a national leader in caring for at-risk children and families.
In his previous role, Ed was responsible for all Boys Town Hospital services and for the care and treatment of patients and their families, as well as the hospital’s operations. He emphasizes that Isenberg helped prepare him for healthcare administration. “A goal of mine was to rise in medical leadership,” he recalls. “I found myself sitting across the table from the hospital’s director and CFO and wanting to better understand the language of business.” That’s when Ed enrolled in the American Association of Physician Leaders’ certified executive program. “That proved to be what I call ‘MBA light,’” he remarked.
Wanted: A Better Business Background
“What I really needed was a more extensive business background and the leverage of an MBA to go with it,” Ed continues. An MBA, he notes, comes with built-in brand recognition. “I don’t have to explain what it is. That’s not the case with many other masters’ degrees.” The Isenberg MBA program, he adds, was decidedly customer focused. “MaryBeth Kimball, the program’s Director of New Business Development and Recruitment, was a true mentor,” Ed recalls. “Her advice on what course to take was always helpful, and the faculty was no less dedicated to the students.”
“As a working professional with a full family life (Ed has ten children, the youngest being ten years old), the MBA gave me the flexibility to do many of its assignments at my convenience,” he continues. “I was able to complete my degree in two years, while managing my growing administration responsibilities and caring for patients.”
As a physician, Ed had lots of company at Isenberg. Medical doctors account for over one-third of the online program’s current enrollees. Three-quarters of those 400 physicians come to Isenberg as members of the American Association of Physician Leaders. “Dr. Kolb has referred colleagues and friends to Isenberg,” adds MaryBeth. “He’s been a tremendous advocate.
“As an adult learner, I was considerably invested in my MBA education,” Ed emphasizes. “In that quest, I always received generous support from my professors and the program’s staff. Clearly, they wanted me to succeed.”