Steven Chew honored with USF COPH Outstanding Alumni Award

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Steven Chew was born and raised in South Jersey in a very tight-knit family. After graduating from Cherry Hill High School East, he attended Rutgers University. A third-generation Rutgers alum, Chew said he was honored to continue the family tradition.

After graduating Rutgers cum laude in fewer than four years with a degree in biology and a minor in organic chemistry, he moved to Tampa and began his journey at the USF College of Public Health (COPH). 

Steven E. Chew, MHA, CPC (Photo courtesy of Chew)
Portrait of Steven Chew, director of operations management at Tampa General Hospital. Photographed on Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Chew).

Chew was first introduced to public health while working in physician practice offices during high school, and then later when he became a certified professional coder during his undergrad years.

“Watching the delivery of health care in various settings and seeing the complexities of the ‘back end’ of coding, billing, reimbursement, etc. sparked something inside that pushed me further into making a meaningful and sustained impact on people,” Chew said. “Public health is always adapting and constantly evolving to new technology, new interventions, better outcomes and less invasive techniques. Each one of these aspects is singularly focused on one thing: the patient.”

He chose the COPH to pursue his MHA degree because of its reputation and his respect for the programs, professors and successful alumni.

One of Chew’s favorite memories was the moment he found out he was accepted into the COPH.

“I was overwhelmed, overjoyed and scared to death at the same time,” he said. “That moment of getting into the next step of my education will forever live in my memory.”

During his time at the COPH, he actively participated in the Healthcare Management Student Association while creating meaningful and long-term relationships.

“Most of these relationships are still intact today and we continue to collaborate while we’re each in our professional careers,” he said.

Steven Chew with his Outstanding Alumni Award. (Photo courtesy of Chew)

After graduating with his MHA from the COPH in 2009, Chew began his current career path at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) as a financial contract specialist. After a few years, he moved into the surgical services and hospital operations side at TGH.

Currently, Chew is the senior administrator of neurosciences, orthopaedics and infectious diseases at TGH.

“I was attracted to this position because it’s something unique and outside my previous trajectory, with an opportunity to expand my knowledge and relationships in a new way,” Chew said. “Meeting and interacting with new internal and external professionals is also something I love about my job.”

For the future, Chew hopes to continue to round out his career, experiences and relationships in order to maximize the impact he can make to the patients and team members at TGH.

“Ultimately, my aspiration is to make healthcare more consumer-focused, easier to access and more affordable for everyone,” he said. “My career is nowhere near over and I’m always ready for the next challenges that await.”

Alumni Fast Five

What did you dream of becoming when you were young?

An astronaut.

Where would we find you on the weekend?

The beach.

What is the last book you read?

Start with Why (re-read!)

What superpower would you like to have?


What’s your all-time favorite movie?

Forrest Gump.

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health