Online and Distance Education Banner

Doctor’s Business Plan Becomes a YMCA with Medical Services

John Sparzo, M.D.
“The education I had allowed me to turn a concept into a business plan that the [hospital’s] board of trustees as well as other administrators felt was a good one.”

—John Sparzo, a physician and hospital administrator who returned to Ball State’s online classroom to earn his MBA

VideoVideo: Sparzo talks about MBA.


When it comes to the payoff of an MBA degree, John Sparzo, MD, can point to Hendricks Regional Health YMCA, a $20 million, 120,000-square foot facility located in Avon, Ind., and serving the western suburbs of Indianapolis.

Vice president of medical affairs for Hendricks Regional Health, Sparzo credits the Ball State MBA with helping him put his vision for a combined fitness and medical services facility into a business plan which won his employer’s attention and approval. Community residents were the biggest beneficiaries when Sparzo’s vision celebrated its grand opening in June 2011.

Sparzo, who completed his MBA online in 2008, had the idea for a YMCA with hospital-based outpatient services several years ago.

“What I didn’t have the capability to do, before pursuing graduate education, was to express my idea in a business case, to show how it would not only help our community but also further the mission and business of Hendricks Regional Health,” he says.

Hendricks Regional Health YMCA offers visitors an indoor therapy/recreational pool, fitness center, two full-court gyms, aerobics rooms, indoor rock-climbing wall, and outdoor athletic fields and walking trails.

Physicians are on site, as are laboratory and radiology services, physical and occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, and a number of other medical services and wellness programs.

Sparzo practiced for five years as a pediatrician and internal medicine physician before joining the Hendricks administrative team. That’s when he realized his need for an advanced degree that addressed management and administration.

In his search for an MBA program, Sparzo was looking for reputation and accreditation. He found that Ball State’s Miller College of Business is among only 15 percent of business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), considered the ultimate standard in business school accreditation.

But he was also looking for a program that would accommodate a hospital administrator’s schedule and leave family time for his wife and four young children. On that point, he had the recommendation of a hospital colleague, the mother of three children, who had finished her Ball State MBA and gave the online program high marks for flexibility and quality faculty interaction.

Sparzo says the degree enlarged his capabilities as a manager and administrator.

“Graduate education improved me as a leader and allowed me to do things that I don’t believe I could have done without it,” he says. “The education I had allowed me to turn a concept into a business plan that the [hospital’s] board of trustees, as well as other administrators, felt was a good one.”

Sparzo says the YMCA project is helping Hendricks Regional Health achieve the goal of “helping heal people and returning them to a sense of well-being and health—but also keeping them from illness while focusing on wellness and prevention.”

If anyone goes the extra mile toward wellness, it’s Sparzo, who resolved to exercise every day of the year, beginning in May 2010. He reached the 365-day mark in May 2011 and was more determined to continue. You can follow his daily regimen on his Facebook page, Exercise Every Day.

Ball State offers multiple online undergraduate and graduate degrees in the area of business and leadership.

Online and Distance Education
David Letterman Communication and Media Building (LB), Room 131
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday
Phone: 1-800-872-0369 or 765-285-1581
Fax: 765-285-7161
View E-mail Address