Transforming systems, students, and snacks: Jared Pavlick’s graduation reflections

Jared Pavlick graduates May 4th, 2024 with his master’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering. After three semesters with CHEPS, Jared reflects on his experiences in an interview with his roommate and fellow graduating CHEPSter, Alexios.

Close-up photo of Jared smiling in a conference room while wearing a Michigan hockey jersey.

Like many others at CHEPS, Jared Pavlick (BSE BME ‘23 / MSE IOE ‘24) has his morning routine on lock. At around 8 AM he gets up, gets the kettle boiling for his Earl Grey tea, takes his Vitamin-D gummies, and has his bowl of Greek yogurt to get his energy for the day. He hops on a Commuter North from the Central Campus Transit Center, and his first stop without fail will be at SI-North: the home of CHEPS. He wastes no time in getting to his many emails as he manages three teams this semester as a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA).

In his role as a GSRA, Jared acts as a liaison between the Faculty Director of CHEPS and Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) of Michigan Medicine, Amy Cohn, and Senior Business Analyst, Luke DeRoos, to onboard and teach students necessary skills, determine short and long term goals, and keep the rhythm going across the three projects.

Jared standing in a line with three other CHEPSters. Each wears a navy blue CHEPS fleece and waves at the camera.

“The overall theme of CTO projects is not to only put CHEPS students on solving problems that burden Michigan Medicine, but all over the country,” Jared says. “Even just a 1, 2, or 3% improvement on systemic issues like emergency department crowding or improving access could make a world of difference for patients.”

With Amy Cohn having been appointed to the CTO role in 2021, CHEPS has expanded to incorporate more traditional process improvement projects like those that Jared works on. This semester, there have been three: Reducing Emergency Department Crowding (REDC), Improving New Patient Access (INPA), and the In Basket Overburden Team (IBOT). Alongside these projects, CHEPS students have begun doing extensive in-person shadowing in clinics and hospitals, where they observe processes and speak with healthcare providers to identify pain points in their everyday work.

The projects and observations have goals to reduce patient wait time and length of stay in the emergency department, improve provider well-being, and quicken access to specialist appointment.

Jared, also a Fellow of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, lauds the skills that CHEPS has been able to help him develop, and gives some advice for students interested in going into the intersection of healthcare and operations:

“There are two categories of skill sets that you can develop at CHEPS. First, you get to practice communicating technical information to a variety of clinical, engineering, and layman audiences. Second, you will gain a strong understanding of how to manage data, work with a variety of technical tools, and apply numbers of data-backed evidence to the solutions you propose.”

It doesn’t stop at developing skills for Jared, though. When hearing about the work at CHEPS, he proclaimed that “it sounded like just about the coolest thing ever.” Since then, he’s become integrated into the loving CHEPS community, and never misses the chance to wear his CHEPS fleece on Fleece Friday. “To say this is a job, is pretty absurd—it is an absolute privilege. I feel welcomed walking into the Student Work Room and energized by seeing all the great work that is getting done. Our inviting and inclusive nature is evidenced in our semesterly potlucks, where people come together to share in community and eat good food.” (Jared also made sure to note that while he has never cooked something from scratch for the potluck, the cheese and bread he brought were almost always the first things to go.)

Jared will be graduating from the University of Michigan—again!—with his Master’s of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering this May, and he will certainly be missed dearly at CHEPS for his leadership and contributions to the community. The Oreo inventory in the break room is also sure to recover following Jared’s graduation.

“It’ll feel weird not being at the CHEPS office just about every minute that I come to North Campus, but there’s clearly nothing like it, and I am so grateful to have had this experience in my college career.”

— Written by Alexios Avrassoglou, Jared’s roommate and fellow graduating CHEPSter