Alumni Spotlight Stories

Ernesto Cerdena, M.S. '01 Healthcare Administrator Committed to Lifelong Learning

 

You might say Ernesto Cerdena, M.S. ’01, an executive in healthcare administration knows medical technology truly from the inside out. Starting out as an imaging technologist in the mid-1980s, he activated a love for diagnostic imaging and its role on a patient’s positive experience.

Growing up in the Philippines, his father had worked as an attendant at a maternity hospital. “I guess you could say this career was in my roots,” said Ernesto. When Ernesto moved to the U.S. at the age of 23, barely speaking English he was certain of one thing based on his father’s inspiration – furthering his education. Ernesto found imaging to be a field he could excel in, having already had an early exposure to life in a hospital.

Recalling his father’s own devotion to the patients he encountered, Ernesto committed to learning everything he could about his field. “Following the footsteps of my father, who had a fourth-grade education, the importance of education was instilled in me every step. Education was always a constant,” said Ernesto.

Ernesto had first obtained his associates degree and worked toward his business degree while working fulltime as a radiation tech. He had his sights set on understanding and changing the face of the administration side of healthcare. Working his way up through to senior radiology positions at
Hudson Valley Hospital Center and Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, he sought a way to nurture his leadership skills. Entering Mercy College’s Organization Leadership program became that door to opportunity.

“Mercy’s master’s program gave me a foundation of leadership, it helped me hone my approach to leadership. It allowed me to share expertise with a cohort of students across all different fields,” said Ernesto. He said the program’s flexibility allowed him to continue his full time work as a professional in a way that enhanced his entire outlook.

His path would take him to director roles at Health Quest in Poughkeepsie and later at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Maine. Working toward a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration, he began to realize the value of what he learned as an entry level professional on his whole understanding of the administration side of healthcare. “The beginning of my career stays with me. Because of my closer experience with patients, having that empathy I can see a clearer picture.” Said Ernesto.

Today, as President of MTMI Global - Medical Technology Management Institute, he oversees all aspects of continuing education programming and training for medical professionals across the country. It’s a fitting role for the self-described “lifelong learner”. Learning came full circle thanks to a call from M.D. Anderson in Texas, where he has spent the past four years teaching radiology as an adjunct professor. “I believe healthcare is a special calling. It’s truly rewarding, and it’s allowed me to tie together my earliest career experiences with all that I know now.”

He says he continues to employ the lessons he learned at Mercy and is constantly influenced by things he learned. “I’m very proud of what Mercy brought to me on my professional path,” he said.