Hillary Chappo: Leading by example as a lifelong learner

Hillary Chappo, MHA, considers herself a lifelong learner—a title that extends into every aspect of what she does.

After graduating from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s in psychology, Chappo worked as an Infusion Suite clerk at the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. During her time in this role, she found herself wanting to do more by leading initiatives toward health care improvement, motivating her to return to school and join the UI Master of Health Administration program.

Now, as associate director of Education and Accreditation Initiatives at UI Hospitals & Clinics, Chappo leads institutional and program-specific accreditation efforts across 88 medical residencies and fellowships.

“I really enjoy being able to work with program directors and coordinators who work very hard to train the next generation of physicians,” she says. “I enjoy being able to offer them a service and knowledge that is nuanced and feel like I can help make their jobs a little easier.”

Creating opportunities for mentorship and collaboration

Grateful for her own professional and personal mentors, Chappo hopes to have an increasingly meaningful impact on others. This motivated her to create the Program Coordinator Professional Development Collaborative, a team that provides ongoing professional development for program coordinators who oversee the administrative components of leading a Graduate Medical Education (GME) training program.

“The GME office saw an opportunity to invest in professional development opportunities for our program coordinators,” Chappo says. “Because they knew I have a passion for professional growth, our associate dean tasked me with developing a collaborative dedicated to supporting program coordinators in their growth and development.”

Chappo hopes to pass along the passion for continuous improvement to others.

“I think lifelong learning is what brings me the most joy and fulfillment both professionally and personally. The quote attributed to Aristotle, ‘The more you know, the more you know you don’t know’, really resonates with me,” Chappo says.

Her commitment to lifelong learning and development extends far beyond her professional obligations. Chappo is a talented violinist and a dedicated supporter of philanthropic activities in her community.

“As I explore my passions, be it music or more recently Christian theology, I crave a deeper understanding and feel excitement about all the knowledge out there still to be grasped,” Chappo says.

Colleagues nominated Chappo for the Corridor Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, an honorary award for young professionals making an impact in their business and community early in their careers. As a recipient of this award, Chappo will be recognized by CBJ on Oct. 20.