Meghan Painter, director of business operations at Sentara RMH Medical Group, was recognized in December 2018 by the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal as one of the top 10 rising business leaders in the community.  She earned an MBA with a health services administration concentration from Eastern Mennonite University in 2013. (Photos by Andrew Strack)

MBA grad working at Sentara RMH among Valley’s top 10 under 40 rising business leaders

Eastern Mennonite University alumna Meghan Painter MBA ‘13 has been named one of the community’s top 10 rising business leaders under age 40 for 2018 by the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal. She is the business operations director at Sentara RMH Medical Group.

On her way to and from school when she was a child, the Shenandoah Valley native would often accompany her father to the hospital where he was a physical therapist. Now, Painter supports over 150 medical care providers with behind-the-scenes administrative oversight for the daily operations, insurance credentialing, data reporting and finance, while supervising six analyst specialists.

Meghan Painter, director of business operations at Sentara RMH Medical Group, talks with fellow EMU alumnus Dr. Edward A. Sandy. 

After earning her bachelor’s degree in health service administration and minor in business at James Madison University in 2002, Painter worked for five years in a private multispecialty practice, in part obtaining certification in medical coding, working as a member of a team that implemented electronic records, and helping to shape the revenue cycle. The on-the-job experience and knowledge that she gained there were “valuable to my development as a healthcare leader,” she said.

In 2007 she accepted a management position at Rockingham Memorial Hospital (now Sentara RMH), ultimately also filling billing, financial/reimbursement analyst and revenue cycle project manager roles. She was promoted to her current position in 2017.

It wasn’t until 2011, with nearly a decade of experience under her belt, that Painter enrolled in EMU’s MBA in health services administration program.

“The delivery of healthcare depends on passionate physicians, medical personal and business administrators,” she said. “The elaborate management of this system requires advanced education and training.”

Several factors drew her to EMU’s program: small class sizes, personal relationships with professors, the hybrid blend of online and on-campus courses, and a program structure that allowed her to continue her full-time employment – and fulfill her home responsibilities – while getting her degree.

And there was the program’s philosophy of leadership for the common good. “A focus on people, planet, and profits is mutually beneficial,” she said.

EMU turned out to be “an incredible experience,” she said. “I was inspired to become a transformational leader, a continual journey for me. I learned to focus on developing relationships with people while advancing my organization’s mission of ‘We improve health every day.’ I learned to focus and find purpose in my work, lead with integrity, and continue to reach beyond my self-interest for the sake of the greater whole of healthcare for our community.”

Living and serving in the area where she has lived her whole life is a priority for Painter; studying at EMU also allowed her to stay in the Shenandoah Valley.

“It is rewarding to me to be part of providing healthcare to the community that I was born and raised in,” she said. “I am blessed to be able to serve and give back to the community that has given me so much.”

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