Future Leadership Opportunities -
Administrative Fellowship

Structure | Compensation | Application | Selection |
Current Fellows | What the Current Fellows Are Saying

The Administrative Fellowship at Presence Health aims to enhance the analytic and problem-solving skills of future health care leaders. This will be achieved through dynamic and diverse work experiences in a supervised and mentored professional and skill-building environment.

Presence Health will commit to career development and placement support either within its own health system or to an external organization.

This year three Fellows will be selected to participate in the Presence Health 12-month program. Application to the Administrative Fellowship Program is open to those candidates who have recently completed an advanced degree: MBA, MHA, MHSA, MPH, or another general healthcare-related advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. We also accept applications from students who have completed their coursework in graduate programs requiring a third year of residency or fellowship.


The Presence Health Administrative Fellowship will be project based and individually structurally around the fellow's interests and system priorities with work experiences spanning the continuum of healthcare services offered within and across the Presence Health system of care. System services may include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Performance Distinction
  • Process Improvement/Redesign
  • Legal
  • Governance
  • Compliance
  • Development
  • and Marketing/Communications

The acute hospital experience may include projects across clinical service lines and departments in multiple hospitals. Project experience in the post/non-acute services experience may occur in long-term acute care, ambulatory, immediate care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, and retirement living ministries. Opportunities are also available with Presence Health Partners (PHP) as well as with Presence Medical Group (PMG).

The Fellowship Program may include experience in the following areas:

  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Revenue Cycle
  • Information Systems
  • Human Resources, and
  • Program Development

The Administrative Fellow will receive a mini-orientation to each division prior to each project. The Fellowship will be orchestrated by assigned preceptors and will be supervised by a system-level executive. Each project will have a leader responsible for the fellow's work experience. Regular feedback and mentoring discussions will occur.

Current Fellows' Sample Project List

  • Patient Centered Medical Home - A population health management initiative to support the Medical Group in reaching NCQA PCMH Level 3 recognition
  • Physician Practice Review - Identify, review, and update current physician practices for potential future consolidation
  • Becoming One Initiative - Identifying post-merger opportunities to implement specific initiatives related to revenue cycle management and physician productivity
  • Quality and Analytics Redesign - Functional task redesign to standardize roles in the quality and analytics department to better meet the operational needs of each department
  • Support Services Strategy - Analyzing the current state for post-acute care areas and developing a business plan to propose recommendations for improving efficiency
  • Clinical Trials Inventory Analysis - Update clinical trials inventory to improve quality of care
  • Oncology Patient Retention Analysis - Identify areas to improve patient retention and develop a system-wide communication plan

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The fellow is paid a competitive salary with benefits. This exempt employee will be working at different locations throughout the Presence Health System. This will require scheduled and unanticipated travel. Public transportation is available to many of the locations, however access to a car is required. A stipend for continuing education is available. Membership dues to ACHE will be reimbursed.

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Application Process

The following materials should be submitted in ONE complete paper packet to 7447 West Talcott Avenue #139, Chicago Illinois 60631, Attention: Claire Watkins to be considered for the fellowship:

  • Presence Health Administrative Fellowship checklist
  • Cover letter with Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Statement of fellowship and career objectives (one-page maximum)
  • Three letters of recommendation (one letter of recommendation from the graduate program director, one from a faculty member, and one from a preceptor or employer)
  • Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts (official copies in sealed envelope only)

For questions, please contact the current administrative fellows at Fellowship@PresenceHealth.org or Claire Watkins at (773) 990-7645.

Applicants will be asked to complete an online application at a later date.

Key dates in the 2015-2016 application process include:

  • Application postmark deadline - September 22, 2014
  • Selection announcement date - End of October, 2014
  • Start date - June 24, 2015

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After careful review of application materials, qualified applicants will be scheduled for a phone interview. After the phone interviews, a Skype interview will be scheduled with those candidates selected to move onto the next selection level. Finalists will be invited to Chicago for on-site interviews with Presence Health leadership.

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Current Fellows

Nertila Brakaj, MHA - The Ohio State University
Nertila Brakaj received a Master of Health Administration from The Ohio State University in May of 2013. Prior to earning her Master's degree, Nertila earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, with a concentration in Health Management, along with a minor in Public Health from The Ohio State University in June of 2011. Prior to starting the fellowship, Nertila worked in Admitting/Patient Access for OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio for over three years. Between her two years of graduate school, Nertila completed an Administrative Residency for Nationwide Children's Hospital and worked on multiple projects ranging from business planning, quality and process improvement, program development and strategic planning. Nertila has worked for various healthcare organizations ranging from an academic medical center, a children's hospital, a faith-based healthcare organization and an assisted living department. Through these various experiences, Nertila has gained essential skills in business planning, strategy, data analysis, healthcare operations, health insurance, and patient experience.

Hayley Linden, MS-HSM - Rush University
Hayley Linden received her Masters of Science in Health Systems Management from Rush University in May of 2014. Prior to earning her Master's degree, Hayley attended Purdue University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. During her time at Rush University, Hayley held two internships within the medical center, first at Rush Children's Hospital, followed by Rush University Medical Group. During her internship at the children's hospital, Hayley played a pivotal role in the design, construction, and move into Rush Children's Hospital new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Labor and Delivery Center, and Mother-Baby antepartum/postpartum areas. Within the medical group, she performed data analytics that would inform management on service line process improvement initiatives. Through these experiences, Hayley has earned skills in operations, strategy, and data analysis.

Claire Watkins, MHA - University of Iowa
Claire Watkins received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology along with minors in Medical Sciences and Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in December of 2011. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Claire earned her Masters of Health Administration from University of Iowa in May of 2014. During her time at the University of Iowa, Claire completed two internships with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) where she analyzed best practices of short stay units to assist in the planning of building the new children's hospital, assisted in the operations of the UIHC Center for Disabilities and Development through analysis of patient access and throughput, and facilitated a tele-health initiative for patients with special healthcare needs. She was also elected by her classmates to serve as president of the Iowa ACHE student chapter. Between her two years of graduate school she also completed an internship with Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois where she completed a baseline assessment for the creation of a women's heart program and created a comprehensive database of medication assistance programs available in the community for the uninsured and underinsured. Through these experiences, Claire has gained skills in data analysis, planning, operations, and strategy.

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Administrative Fellowship Alumni

Since the creation of the fellowship in 2010, Presence Health has been fortunate to welcome a diverse group of students from various universities. A list of the graduate schools attended by our alumni is listed below. 100% of all fellows found job placement post fellowship with the majority currently employed within the Presence Health System.

Graduate schools represented:

  • Rush University
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Iowa
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Michigan
  • Xavier University
  • Yale University
  • The Ohio State University

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What the Presence Health Fellows Are Saying...

"Leadership support structure is unique as compared to other Fellowships; dedicated preceptors at sites"

"Senior Leadership is committed to involving Fellows on high-level projects throughout the organization"

"The opportunity to participate in one of the largest Catholic healthcare mergers is a unique experience, it is a great time to be a part Presence Health"

"The fellows have a home office site with Presence Health executive leadership at an arm's reach. Each fellow has their own office, business cards, and work laptop - all received on first day"

"Home office site with Presence Health executive leadership at an arm's reach, each Fellow has own office, business cards, work iPhone and laptop - all received on first day"

"Well organized interview process, very structured and interactive process"

"Fellowship program is very well-known and supported within the organization"

"Project preferences and opportunities are prepared prior to start date"

"Calendars are pre-loaded prior to start date... began meeting with key leaders immediately... were able to hit the ground running"

"Employee benefits are at managerial level"

"Multiple project opportunities available due to the dynamic healthcare environment of Presence Health"

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