Chelsea Kalika

Degree: Master of Business Administration

College/School: College of Business

Chelsea Kalika used the strategic thinking she honed at FIU to streamline response time for a Miami-Dade emergency response program—an achievement that could help save lives.

After receiving an undergraduate degree from FIU in Health Services Administration in 2013, Chelsea went to work for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County’s Medical Reserve Corps with over 700 nurses, doctors, EMTs and other trained professionals who volunteer during emergencies, and continued her FIU education online through the College of Business’ Corporate MBA. She analyzed how hospital staff shortages during emergencies had a negative impact on patient care and public health. She realized that Corps members could step in to help and cut the reporting time from 72 hours to 24 hours - but only if they were properly credentialed and certified. Chelsea embarked on a plan to get that certification.

Her plan was initially rejected due to lack of funding for training, but she persisted, writing and winning a national association grant to pay for credentialing. Her work enabled the county to develop faster, more effective responses to emergencies by using its trained, qualified volunteers to deal with natural disasters, disease outbreaks, chemical spills and other situations where rapid response is critical to success and safety.

Chelsea now works as a coordinator for FIU’s Health Services Administration department. She hopes to continue her education through the Ph.D. level, serve as a faculty member, and ultimately open her own firm to work in the field of telemedicine.

By Ellen Forman