D'Amore-McKim School of Business Professor of Management Timothy Hoff was recently named the 2022 Myron D. Fottler Exceptional Service Award winner—the most distinguished honor bestowed by the Health Care Management (HCM) Division within the Academy of Management (AOM). It is reserved for individuals who have dedicated at least 10 years to the organization and profession and have an illustrious career that focuses on mentoring, professional leadership, and extensive research in the healthcare field.

Hoff says he was honored to receive this prestigious award. “It's like a lifetime achievement award,” he says. “It's nice because it means your peers respect you and the contributions you've made.”

“Hoff's books, scholarly publications, and op-ed articles in leading healthcare outlets and the popular press have been widely read and are influential in the academic and practitioner communities. It's only fitting that he's been honored with this significant award,” says Olubunmi (Bunmi) Faleye, Interim Associate Dean of Faculty and Research.

Like many college graduates, Hoff was unsure of the career path he wished to pursue after attaining his BS in Business Administration at the University of Albany. He found himself in healthcare by accident while looking for a part-time job. He enjoyed the meaningful work he did, and he continued consulting and administration in the space. After almost a decade in healthcare, Hoff became interested in opening a consulting firm, which led him to his PhD program in Public Administration and Policy at his Alma Mater.

Hoff owes the accomplishment of becoming a professor to his PhD faculty and mentors, who encouraged him to teach because of his excellent research and consulting skills. “(When I started teaching during my PhD program), I really enjoyed it. I liked working with students and people who wanted to learn. It was rewarding, and I felt like I could make a difference in the lives of multiple people,” he says.

The kindness of the people around Hoff influenced a “pay it forward” mindset that he continues to live by today. He loves seeing the evolution of young people and young academics who consider him a mentor. One of his peers and mentees, Matthew J. DePuccio, who nominated him for this award says, “On a more personal level, he gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in academia. He shared his wisdom about the benefits of joining the HCM Division while also helping me navigate the process of applying to doctoral programs.”

While young people have their parents and friends, it's important that they align themselves with people who have been through similar things or made the same mistakes, so they can reassure you every step of the way. “Life's a marathon, not a sprint,” Hoff says. “You've got to take it slow.” – a guiding principle he encourages his students to adopt.

Hoff's research focuses on the areas of health policy and management. He's published over 75 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous opinion pieces in multiple news outlets, and has written four books. He says his formula for writing has changed greatly over the years. He encourages young academic writers to be risk-takers in their writing by using simple, specific language and concise sentences to reach a larger audience. “While not easy to achieve as a new researcher and writer, the more your work is read by lots of different audiences, the more confidence you will have to take your work to the next level,” he says.

All the advice Hoff offers are things he's told his students and mentees countless times. One of his favorite classes to teach is the required Health Management course offered in the undergraduate Health Care Management and Consulting concentration at D'Amore McKim. “It's a great course to introduce students to the healthcare industry… if I'm lucky and I did a good job, students leave the class, knowing more about health care than probably 99.9% of the public.” Hoff advises students looking to enter the healthcare field to look for interesting experiences early in their careers. He encourages his students to apply for generalist roles where they can gain a plethora of knowledge and network with various kinds of people and organizations. In positions like these, he suggests students will be doing beneficial work before deciding on the field in which they'd like to specialize.

Ultimately, Hoff finds his work very rewarding. He believes that helping doctors, nurses, and young people improve their work, situations, and interactions with clients, on both a personal and policy level, makes all the difference. It's not easy work, but he has no complaints.