PhD student profile: Charles Senteio

Charles Senteio

Charles Senteio: “Doing well by doing good”

Doctoral student and entrepreneur Charles Senteio is the embodiment of the philosophy “doing well by doing good.” His research and his professional work are both focused on improving health outcomes for vulnerable patients and reducing the cost of care by leveraging health behavior and health informatics.

After earning his MBA from the U-M Ross School of Business in 1994, Charles accepted one of several job offers and began work in the Dallas office of Booz Allen Hamilton as an associate in the information technology group. In 1998, he joined Accenture, where he spent six years in IT strategic services senior management, spending most weeks of the year on the road, working with Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and around the world.

“I was happy working as a corporate IT consultant,” he says, “but I decided to take the knowledge I had gained from the corporate world and move from success to significance.”

After completing training as an emergency medical technician (though he never worked professionally as one), Charles turned his attention to health care and especially health care for low-income individuals.

In 2004, he founded his own healthcare consulting company, The Senteio Group, and worked on various wellness initiatives for underserved populations in the U.S, Central America, and Asia. In 2008 he created Namamai Services, a Dallas-based health services and consulting firm licensed for home health and hospice services, of which he is president and CEO.

Experience he gained while working with the non-profit Central Dallas Ministries on urban health issues led him to ponder ways to improve chronic care for low income people and to decide, “I want to participate in fundamentally changing the way health care is delivered in this country.”

He began to look for a place where he could combine theory and research with practice and learned of the practitioner-oriented PhD program at the School of Information. “I hadn’t even known about this program–or the school–when I was an MBA student at Ross,” he recalls. “But this seemed like the ideal place for me to translate research and theory into practice to develop sustainable models of chronic care delivery.”

Charles still runs his Texas companies, serves on numerous nonprofit boards, and chairs the Community Advisory Board of a National Institutes of Health-funded project on breast health for low-income women. He has been active in the Big Brother program since 1994 and also mentors youth at risk and ex-offenders. Among his many awards and honors, he was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Michigan Business School Black Business Association in 2003 and Volunteer of the Year by the Dallas Leadership Foundation in 2011. He also–somehow–manages to find time to enjoy reading biographies, travel, sports and Shao-Lin Kung Fu.

VIDEO: Charles Senteio discusses chronic disease care

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