Alumni Profile: Crystal Crutcher Richards, MHA
Crystal Richards is the owner of Mosaic Resource Group, LLC, a project management training company based in the DC area. She is a certified project management professional (PMP)®, a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® and certified in emotional intelligence (EQ) assessments.
Richards received a Master of Health Care Administration (MHA) degree from the Gillings School in 2003. After having worked with various health care organizations in the public and private sectors, she decided to pursue independent consulting providing project management training and advisory services to organizations in the public health and life sciences fields.
She shared with us her experiences at the Gillings School and how the education she received gave her opportunities to advance her health care career.
Tell us about your public health journey since graduating from UNC.
As a graduate of the HPM program, my career path focused on health care administration positions. After graduation, I worked at a DC-based hospital in an administrative fellowship position. After the fellowship, I wanted to try out consulting and had a blast working with the Advisory Board Company for a year.
After the Advisory Board Company, I spent a few years working as a consultant for various organizations including Ernst & Young, a healthcare federal agency, and a healthcare system in Maryland. The culmination of my experiences led me down the path of entrepreneurship, particularly in the area of project management training and management consulting.
How did your education and degree from UNC impact or influence your career?
The reputation of the Gillings School and the quality of the education is widely known in the public health and health care administration fields. I felt prepared and confident going into my fellowship after graduation and consulting positions thereafter. Without a doubt, my experiences and the connections I made at UNC opened doors and opportunities for me in my health care career.
What was the pivotal moment that led you to public health?
I always knew I wanted to work in health care. In college, I didn’t know there were other health care careers other than being a doctor or nurse. My first economics class was with a health economist who talked about hospital administrators. From there the rest is history…well, kind of. My very first job out of college was with a health policy organization and we hosted an event at the Carolina Inn and the sponsor was the dean of the School of Public Health; that was it for me. Pretty much from there I knew the Gillings School was the place for me in pursuing a master’s degree.
What are some of your favorite memories at UNC or the Gillings School? Any favorite faculty?
My classmates, for sure. Since we all had the same schedules, we became really good friends. We still stay connected to this day. As far as faculty, I will forever have fond memories of Dr. William Zelman [professor emeritus in health policy and management]. I always enjoyed our conversations talking about the next steps in my career as well as just having a fun conversation with him.
Tell us something most people may not know about you.
I attended five high schools but I was never expelled! This was the life of an Army brat like me. My father was a career Army officer and we moved a lot in my formative years—12 schools from K through 12th grade – five high schools in four years. My ability to be flexible and adapt to new environments is attributed to my successful career moves.
Connect with Crystal
To learn more about Crystal, visit her website at mosaicresourcegroup.com.