A headshot photo of Shilpa.

MHA '92

Service Line Vice President of Musculoskeletal and Spine Service
Duke University Health System

1. Where has life taken you since you graduated from Fuqua?

I initially ventured out to Michigan for a job but then quickly realized I was not a fan of the weather there and missed Duke and Durham. I was lucky enough to find a position back at Duke University Hospital and thought I’d be there for a few years before heading on to other jobs and cities. However, I’ve had so many opportunities for career growth as DukeHealth has grown, and I met my NC-native husband, which has kept me in the Raleigh/Durham area. We’ve raised two kids and enjoyed the NC lifestyle.


2. As the service line vice president of musculoskeletal and spine service at Duke University Health System, what business or professional advice has served you well over the years?

I think the best professional advice I’ve been given over the years is to build trust in each relationship, be authentic and don’t seek perfection. Building trust and authenticity go hand-in-hand. In my role as a leader, staff need to be able to relate to me as a person in order for them to trust me. Being authentic and real allows them to see me as a person, and then as their leader, who genuinely wants the best for them and our organization. As a colleague, others need to be able to rely on me to be a source of truth, whether it’s good news or bad news. Knowing that they will always get the truth from me allows us to discuss our options in an honest way and get to a win-win more easily or make the best decision we can given the obstacles. It may not be perfect, but it will still allow us to move forward.


3. How does the Health Care Alumni Advisory Board (HCAAB) aim to influence the Fuqua community, and as a long-standing HCAAB, what encouraged you to join the group?

We strive to strengthen the relationships between alumni, students, faculty and staff who support and are committed to the healthcare community. We also advocate for Fuqua overall in every facet of our professional and personal endeavors. Our hope is to build a network and community that extends the ‘Team Fuqua’ mindset across all alumni interactions in the healthcare space.

What encouraged me to join the group was being nominated by Christine Hale, a close friend and someone whom I respected and trusted. She did a summer internship with me years prior when she was a student at Fuqua. She had excelled after graduation, and it was such an honor to see her flourish in her career. We had always stayed in touch, and she enjoyed being on HCAAB. When she nominated me to join, I could not pass up the chance to work with her again and join such a prestigious group of alums. Fuqua holds a piece of my heart, and I want to give back in any way that I can, whether it’s taking on interns, mentoring students, supporting alumni, or serving on the Board.


4. What have you found to be the most meaningful or enjoyable aspect of HCAAB’s work?

I have really enjoyed meeting my fellow board members, who come from so many different areas of healthcare. We’ve enjoyed sharing our experiences and building our network. In addition, our interactions with current students has been so rewarding. It’s one of my favorite parts of being on the board. Being able to support our students is a way for me to give back to Fuqua as its done for me when I was a student.


5. How can Fuqua alumni partner with HCAAB to strengthen the professional and personal development opportunities of alumni in the health care field?

We are trying to be creative about ways that we can reach out to our fellow alumni and would love to have input from any of them. This year, we hope to bring together alumni at conferences they already plan to attend and coordinate a gathering for networking and comradery. We hope to bring a panel discussion to events where we can and support the student-led Fuqua Healthcare conference on campus. We are always open to ideas and welcome them. Our goal is to re-engage alumni in cities where they reside to make it easier on people’s busy schedules.