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list of fellows

2009 Administrative Fellows

Elise Trauscht
Elise received her Master in Health Care Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in 2009. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Religious Studies from St. Mary's College of California. Elise is currently the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Administrative Fellow working under hospital President, Karen Lambert. She previously worked at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center as an Administrative Intern.

Elise is working on projects with an emphasis on operations and performance improvement, including an initiative to increase patient satisfaction in the Ambulatory Surgery department. She is also reviewing the current patient transportation system within the hospital to identify how it could operate more efficiently. In addition, she is analyzing the need for an observation unit within the hospital. Elise describes her experience as an Administrative Fellow in her own words:
"At the beginning of my graduate program I was told by alumni of the UIC program about this great opportunity called an Administrative Fellowship.  When I started my research, I was very excited to learn that Advocate had a Fellowship program.  Being the largest system in Illinois, I knew that an Advocate Administrative Fellowship would give me the greatest number of opportunities to see many different areas of healthcare.  I also learned that Advocate is always striving for higher quality through initiatives such as the Clinical Integration Program operated by Advocate Physician Partners.  I also had some great personal experiences with Advocate being an E.D. volunteer at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital during college summer breaks.

During my time spent at Good Shepherd, I have really seen how dedicated and passionate the associates are when it comes to their hospital and healthcare as a whole.  While working on projects that range from improving patient satisfaction to analyzing the patient transportation system I have learned that associates are given the chance to really affect change in their environment within the hospital.  The leaders at the hospital really encourage this participation by including front line associates in project teams and rapid improvement events (RIE). My Administrative Fellowship experience at Good Shepherd has given me a wide variety of projects that incorporate almost all aspects of the hospital.  This will be very helpful in my career goal to work in hospital operations in the future."   


Jequeatta D. Upton
Jequeatta received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Virginia's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences/School of Medicine for an interdisciplinary graduate program in Public Health Sciences. She also attended the University of Virginia for undergraduate education where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. In her role as the 2009 John Lassiter Administrative Fellow for the Advocate System, she reports to Bill Santulli, Chief Operating Officer for Advocate Health Care.

Jequeatta is working on several performance enhancement projects throughout the system.  Currently, she is leading a Six Sigma process improvement team focused on reducing the congestive heart failure readmission rate at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.  She is also working on an organizational development plan proposal for Advocate Children's Hospital - Park Ridge to strengthen its efficiency and identity opportunities for improvement.  Again at Good Shepherd Hospital, she is leading a team in an operations improvement project to standardize the placement and medical management of intoxicated patients through the hospital's Emergency Department.


Previous Administrative Fellows

Nichia McDowald
Nichia graduated from Emory University with a Master of Public Health, Health Policy & Management degree in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science from Howard University. Nichia worked as the 2008 John Lassiter Administrative Fellow for the Advocate System. During her fellowship, she worked under the mentorship of Bill Santulli, Chief Operating Officer for Advocate Health Care.

As a Fellow, Nichia worked on Performance Enhancement Initiatives utilizing LEAN, Change Acceleration Process (CAP) and Work-Out Methodologies at Advocate South Suburban Hospital including, Emergency Department transformation, Diagnostic Imaging improvement and Patient Access redesign. She also collaborated with key stakeholders in the development of system-wide goals related to patient satisfaction and physician engagement. Upon completion of her Fellowship, Nichia secured a position as Director of Patient Intake at Lutheran General Hospital. Nichia describes her experience as John Lassiter Administrative Fellow for the Advocate System in her own words:

"I became interested in Advocate Health Care after learning of the organization's mission, values and philosophy. To draw from the wholistic philosophy, Advocate believes that human beings are created in the image of God and each individual has not only physical needs, but emotional and spiritual need as well.

The projects I worked on during my Fellowship gave me exposure to committed people at all levels of the organization. In addition to the hands-on learning opportunities, I was actively engaged in Executive Leadership meetings related to strategic planning and development, budgeting and overall system operations. I also had the great honor of learning from and being mentored by phenomenal healthcare executives. My professional development as a Fellow, as well as my experience of how Advocate's mission, values and philosophy are demonstrated by our Associates motivated me to accept my current position as Director of Patient Intake at Lutheran General Hospital."


Amanda Erspamer
Amanda earned a Master of Arts in Hospital and Health Administration along with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa where she also received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Science. Amanda worked as an Administrative Fellow at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital under then Vice President of Finance, Susan Nibbe. As an Administrative Fellow, she was involved in the capital planning and capital budget processes as well as community benefit reporting. Amanda was also assigned as chapter leader for the hospital's Joint Commission survey. After her Fellowship, she secured a position as Operations Analyst in the Lutheran General Finance department.  Two years later she was promoted to Manager of Operations Analyses. Currently, Amanda has accepted a position as Director of Finance at Advocate Condell Medical Center.


J.P. Gallagher
Prior to coming to Advocate, J.P. completed his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. As an Administrative Fellow, he worked at Advocate Physician Partners - Operations Division analyzing the way APP interacted with insurers and identified ways in which the relationships could be managed more effectively. Upon completion of his Fellowship, J. P. accepted a permanent position at Advocate Christ Medical Center as Director of Ambulatory Services where he remained until 2002. He is currently President of Evanston Hospital, part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem.


Aron Klein
Aron received his Master of Arts in Hospital and Health Administration along with a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Iowa. He worked as an Administrative Fellow at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital under then Vice President of Finance, Susan Nibbe. Aron was involved in projects ranging from maintenance and strategic capital feasibility studies and financial analyses of various hospital programs and departments for business development purposes. He was also responsible monthly statistical reporting, revenue and statistical budgeting and forecasting. Upon completing his Fellowship, Aron accepted a position as Operations Analyst at Lutheran General he was then promoted to Senior Financial Analyst and again to the position of Business Manager for Surgical Services. Currently he holds the position of Director of Finance at Lutheran General.


Hemal Parikh
Hemal graduated with a Master of Science in Health Systems Management from Rush University Medical Center in June 2006. Prior to graduate school, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Communications at Boston University. While pursuing her Masters degree, she worked at Advocate Medical Group as a Business Process Redesign Analyst. At AMG she worked on identifying and analyzing new service lines, new business development projects and overall process improvement. As an Administrative Fellow, Hemal served as Interim Business Manager of Diagnostic Imaging Services at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and was responsible for business management of inpatient and outpatient allied health operations. She also prepared the 2006 Oncology Annual Report which highlighted key physicians, innovative technologies and clinical research in the hospital's service area. Hemal worked as an Administrative Fellow under then President, Bruce Campbell. Currently, she is an Operations Improvement Consultant at Lutheran General.


Lubina Perez
Lubina graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in 2007 with a Master of Healthcare Administration.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois. Lubina worked as an Administrative Fellow at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center under President Susan Nordstrom-Lopez. She worked on a wide variety of projects at Illinois Masonic ranging from business development and planning to quality improvement initiatives. Her projects gave her the opportunity to work in a number of departments including: Human Resources, Business Development, Finance and Ambulatory Care. Upon completion of her Fellowship, Lubina accepted her current position as Practice Manager for Advocate Medical Group-South Region.


Boyede O. Sobitan.
Boyede graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health in 2007 with a Master in Healthcare Administration degree. He also received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing. He worked as an Administrative Fellow at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital under then President, Bruce Campbell and in a rotation with the Executive Leadership Team at Lutheran General. Major projects that Boyede worked on included an international needs assessment, in conjunction with World Medical Relief-African Partners, which resulted in the signing of a network affiliation between Diff Hospital (Abuja, Nigeria) and Advocate Christ Medical Center, the development of a comprehensive neuroscience education plan and the pre-hospital transmission of EKG data from emergency service vehicles. Currently, Boyede works as Practice Manager - Cardiology for Advocate Medical Group- North Region.


LaShell Thomas
LaShell received her Master of Public Health in Health Management and Policy from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia. She also holds a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. LaShell joined Advocate as the second John Lassiter Administrative Fellow for the Advocate System. During her Fellowship, she worked under the supervision of Bill Santulli, Chief Operating Officer for Advocate Health Care. Her projects included a comprehensive make vs. buy analysis for the Cardiology service line at the Advocate Health Centers (now Advocate Medical Group), working with the directors at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center to increase compliance with the Clinical Integration program, and managing several projects for the system Chief Operating Officer. Upon completion of her fellowship, LaShell secured a permanent position at the Advocate Medical Group under Vice Presidents Dianna Grant, MD and Pamala Smith, RN.


Matt Wille
Matt Wille received a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Northwestern University. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Matt worked as an Administrative Fellow at Advocate's Support Center in Oak Brook, IL and was involved in projects ranging from operational improvements to strategic planning. He worked under the mentorship of President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Skogsbergh and Chief Operating Officer, Bill Santulli. Upon completing his Fellowship, Matt secured a permanent position at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center as Manager of Ambulatory Care. Currently, Matt is working as Director of Market Integration and Customer Service for Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Trinity Hospital.

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