Michael Cahill worked in information systems, when a visit to the hospital changed his course.  

Lying there as a patient, Cahill couldn’t help but be Impressed with those taking care of him. Right then and there, Cahill knew he needed to be in health care.  

"Then I got laid off," he said. "It was then natural to move to health care." 

Cahill, who has spent the past 17 years at health care organizations across Colorado, mostly in quality and process improvement, was named the assistant provost in September.   

Cahill is incredibly familiar with Regis. He received his master’s in health service administration from the University, and his wife received her nursing degree here. Cahill also graduated from Regis Jesuit High School.  

He has been an affiliate faculty member teaching statistics and research in the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions for 14 years.

"The Jesuits set the stage,” he said. “They never taught us what to think, but taught us how to think."

Cahill recently sat down with Regis Today to discuss his role in health care, what he expects for Regis and what he likes to do outside of work (hint: it involves sparring).  

Why change paths and enter higher education?  

It’s a different industry, but I believe that the principles you have are independent of any industry. For instance, we applied Toyota principles to health care. Specifically, the respect for people and the continuous improvement. At one place we saw patient satisfaction go to the 95th percentile, we saw length of stay drop by a quarter and we saw employee turnover decrease by half. I truly believe principles transcend industries.  

How does that translate to Regis?  

This position’s responsibilities — from academic affairs budgeting, resource allocation and the analytics reporting side — fit with what I’ve done in health care. In health care I was working with executives but also with those at the bedside. I want to know what the heads of the colleges think but also those at the frontline. I want to make sure we are hearing everything we need to hear.  

What’s something people may not know about you?  

Our whole family does Kenpo Karate. I did martial arts when I was a kid, but that fell to the wayside. When my 4-year-old (now 6) was interested, I said I want to do that too. He had classes and my daughter (age 9) said I want to do that. Then my wife saw me doing it and said I want to do that. In seven months, we were all doing it. This year I won the state championship in my division for sparring.

Published October 24, 2018