To say that Andrew Giles, MBA ’17, has been busy over the last few years is putting things mildly.
It’s more like he’s been running a marathon—at a sprinter’s pace.
Giles was recently selected to serve as the chief operating officer of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Moanalua Medical Center. Previously, he was the assistant administrator of hospital operations and support services. And in early 2020, he was also tapped as Kaiser’s COVID incident commander.
It’s a role that required him to “live and breathe” epidemiology and virology while also working to understand ever-changing facility needs, secure needed supplies and expand to meet new demand.
Testing centers, hospitalization surges, mass vaccine clinics. Welcome to Giles’ world.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Giles said, huffing a laugh. “Educating, testing, and from a leadership perspective, keeping the staff motivated and ensuring they have the appropriate equipment.”
And that’s not all Giles has been up to.
In December, Giles wrapped up a one-year term as president of the Hawaii chapter for the American College of Healthcare Executives, an organization that provides scholarships, networking, and continuing education opportunities. He’s also active in American Hospital Association and other industry groups.
All that hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
In 2021, Giles was honored as one of Pacific Business News’ “40 under 40” Hawaii professionals.
“On a day-to-day basis, my priority typically lies at the hospital, ensuring we’re providing safe and quality care to patients,” said Giles. “I really like to engage with staff and serve as a conduit to make sure they have the tools they need to be successful, including looking at our operational metrics and targets.”
Giles moved to the islands about a decade ago, after wrapping up an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management at Wilmington University and working in operations and environmental services. He worked at other Hawaii hospitals before finding a spot at Kaiser Permanente as director of support services, overseeing everything from hospital communications to patient transport.
It was around that time that Giles started to look at MBA programs.
He considered several different universities but ultimately decided on Chaminade’s MBA program after taking a tour of the campus. Giles said he wanted to take classes in person and liked the university’s strong Marianist mission, individualized approach to the degree and emphasis on hands-on learning.
“The mission and involvement in the community, it certainly resonated with my faith,” he said.
Giles added that the small class sizes also helped students create stronger relationships and bring the content to life. “I had a really diverse group of people in my classes,” said Giles. “There were folks earlier in their careers. There were later careerists in the military. I made some really good connections.”
Looking back, he said several projects he undertook as an MBA student still resonates with him.
In one, he explored the delivery of healthcare to medically-underserved communities, including the Waianae Coast, Wahiawa and the North Shore. He said he also appreciated the Hawaiian Studies course he took that helped him better understand culturally appropriate ways to serve patients.
And while at Chaminade, Giles also participated in the signature Hogan Entrepreneurial Program and described it as a highlight. “The Hogan program was an extremely valuable learning experience, hearing the inspirational stories from entrepreneurs and connecting with community leaders,” he said.
Shortly after graduating with his MBA degree, Giles was promoted to the assistant administrator role at Kaiser.
And he said he’s just as excited today about his work as he was when he started.
“I’m really thankful for what I do,” he said. “I just genuinely enjoy helping people.”