Image: Aaron Wilkerson
Trulaske Class of 2008 and Crosby MBA Class of 2010

Aaron Wilkerson

"Mizzou greatly impacted who I am post-graduation.  The combination of knowledge that I attained, tools provided, and resources available through the business school has, in essence, made me who I am today."

Current Role/Title

Supervisor, Financial & Business Informatics

North Kansas City Hospital

 I currently manage a team of 12 IT analysts that support over 88 applications at our hospital.  This ranges from Cerner Revenue Cycle (Scheduling, Registration, Patient Accounting) to Business Applications (Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Marketing, etc.). Help manage support of my team and all application vendors involved.

What is something fascinating happening in your industry right now?

Hospital revenue is the most complex and ever-changing thing in my industry. North Kansas City Hospital was chosen as one of five ‘mass vaccination sites’ during COVID by the Missouri governor. Setting that up was a tremendous effort for my team not only IT-wise but with physical staffing of the mass vaxx clinic. 

After COVID had settled, a lot of the grants and money that were appropriated to hospitals were retired. This caused over half of hospitals to come out with negative operating margins post-pandemic policies. Finding lean and smarter ways to manage IT systems and cash flow/revenue has become a top priority for all hospitals and a great portion of my job is that. I find ways to maximize reimbursement, catch missed claims and combine applications for simpler or less pricey systems.

How did you end up in your current position?

I graduated from the Crosby MBA program in December of 2010, shortly after I got hired at Cerner Corporation (now Oracle Cerner) as an IT Analyst. I was there for 5 years, became an architect of two solutions and then went to Children’s Mercy hospital. I was at Children’s for 5 years as well and worked my way into leadership at that organization. After that, I saw an opportunity to not just manage three solutions, but over 70 (at the time) with North Kansas Hospital and expand my team and personal knowledge. I accepted the role where I am currently in July 2020 and have loved the vast amount of financial and business impact that my team has and helps me manage.

In what ways has your Mizzou education/affiliation impacted your life since graduation?

Mizzou greatly impacted who I am post-graduation.  The combination of knowledge that I attained, tools provided, and resources available through the business school has, in essence, made me who I am today.

The Crosby MBA program gave me the tools needed to secure an executive internship at Boone Hospital with their administration under the Chief Marketing Officer.  While there, I attended almost all c-suite meetings and shadowed every hospital department in the hospital. This was all to help me understand hospital systems and fell in love with this industry that always has the most caring people working for it and upper leadership that always supports staff.

In addition, the Crosby MBA program set me up with a summer internship as executive intern at Equity Bank at their Kansas City branches. This was due to an alumnus from Mizzou that wanted a Mizzou MBA to be an intern and that just significantly impacted my financial experience when it comes to banking and finance.

Why did you choose Mizzou—what makes Mizzou special? Why should someone consider Mizzou?

Choosing Mizzou was a difficult decision when I was in high school. I would say there wasn’t any reason specifically. It was a combination of the campus being one of the most impressive places I had ever visited and seeing how much they had to offer me if I attended there.

The Crosby MBA program was an easy choice. I know it’s sometimes advised that you attend a different school for graduate degrees but Mizzou was a top school in the nation for MBA at the time. I actually ended up having to apply 3x to get in and don’t regret that decision at all given where I am at today.

Fondest memories while a student or faculty member here?

My favorite memory while being there was meeting my wife.  I met her in the dorms freshmen year (Discovery dorm shoutout!) and while I was from St. Louis, she was from Kansas City.  We met back in 2004 and she has driven me beyond any expectations that even my own family had for me.  I was the first person in my family line to not only get my undergraduate degree, but also a masters and credit her for lifting me up to levels that I never could have achieved on my own.

In your spare time, what do you like to do?

Outside of work, I have 3 passions:  Smart home automation, Mizzou Football and Fantasy Football/NFL or Chiefs specifically. I have over 80 ‘smart devices’ in my own home and operate everything on my own server without anything cloud-related meaning I don’t pay subscription fees or if my internet went out it would all still work if I have power. I have been a Mizzou Football season ticket holder for almost over 15 years at this point and love spending time with friends from Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia going to each home game. The tailgating is also a huge plus! Chiefs, well I don’t think I even need to explain why I love them, and Missouri has the best NFL team in the nation thanks to them.

Please feel free to add any other thoughts!

To anyone questioning an undergraduate or graduate degree at Mizzou I just want to say do it!  Also, ensure you use all resources that the business school provides to ensure you have the best experience possible like I did. There’s so much out there I didn’t even know about until a few years in and not one single thing didn’t help me at some point in my career.