nate_robinsonNate Robinson

Clinic Manager, Sea Mar Vancouver Medical Clinic
2013 – 2014 Administrative Fellow

Can you speak to the project selection and post-fellowship job search processes?

Throughout my fellowship experience I was impressed with the range of meaningful project opportunities available to the fellow. Not only were the majority of my projects based on my particular areas of interest, they were also linked to important initiatives at Providence.

Initial project opportunities for the fellow are arranged before the fellowship even begins. The fellow’s manager will reach out to the fellow in advance to understand what functional areas he or she is interested in. Leaders in those areas are contacted and project opportunities are discussed with the fellow in the first few weeks that he or she arrives. There are usually more projects available than the fellow has capacity to take on, so projects are determined based on fit and organizational need. Because the fellowship program has increased in exposure over many years of existence, Providence leaders are familiar with a fellow’s capabilities and entrust the fellow with challenging projects.

While I was working on my first wave of projects, other opportunities arose as I met with leaders throughout the organization. Not only did they have projects in mind for me, but these leaders also made themselves available for questions and guidance. The majority of my projects came about from ongoing networking with leaders, and also as a result of the projects I had already completed. Needless to say, there was a plethora of project opportunities during my fellowship and I was more than satisfied with the ones that I was fortunate to take on. While fellows are not guaranteed a position after the fellowship, they are provided with more than enough support to secure a permanent position. The fellow is strongly encouraged, and given the autonomy, to network throughout the fellowship and position himself or herself for employment.

The post-fellowship job search begins soon after the winter holidays. The process begins with the fellow working with program mentors to develop a quality resume. Simultaneously, the fellow will ramp up networking efforts and may look for project opportunities in areas where Providence is growing or where job opportunities may be developing. The fellow is expected to devote time at work towards efforts aimed at obtaining a job. Regardless of the functional area or the location of where the fellow pursues employment, program leaders are incredibly supportive. While applying and interviewing for jobs, I had multiple individuals to consult with and/or to seek advice from. And when I accepted a post-fellowship job offer, I was provided flexibility to transition existing projects if needed.


Justin Bronkhorst

Senior Manager, Clinical Performance, Providence Health & Services
2012 - 2013 Administrative Fellow

What has been the most valuable part of the fellowship for you thus far?

Every bit of the fellowship experience has been amazing these past few months. But, if I had to pinpoint one component as being the most valuable, I’d probably choose the ministry site visits.

One of the many advantages of being part of an organization the size of Providence Health & Services is that our services span the whole continuum of care. Gaining exposure to each of these elements on the continuum is a fundamental component of the Providence Health & Services Fellowship Program. One way this exposure takes place is by the fellow being expected to go on at least one site visit to a Providence facility every month. This has allowed me the opportunity to experience health care from many different vantage points including urban medical centers, rural hospitals, assisted & independent living, a health plan, and many others.

For my site visit in early September, I had the opportunity to shadow our VP of Government Affairs in Washington D.C. for three days. We spent time meeting with several different congressional leaders from the State of California and talking with them about the transformational work that is currently taking place within Providence. Experiences like this make the PH&S Fellowship Program truly unique and the fellowship a worthwhile experience for anyone looking to learn more about healthcare system operations.

Andrew Arai

Senior Strategic Project Manager, Leadership Services, Providence Health & Services
2010 – 2011 Administrative Fellow

What makes the Providence Health & Services Administrative Fellowship experience unique?

Unlike many operations-based fellowships, the Providence fellowship is hosted at the system office. Working at the system level, under the guidance of senior executives and system directors, provides the fellow a unique perspective on strategy development, decision making, and complex organizational structures.

A benefit to being a part of a large, mission-focused system like Providence is that it creates many diverse learning opportunities for the fellow to pursue. My fellowship year included projects in telemedicine, hospitalist structures, community governance, and mission integration review, among others.

In addition to project and shadowing opportunities, the fellow is encouraged to attend and participate in senior level meetings and training events. I attended system and community board meetings, industry conferences like ACHE Congress and Catholic Health Association Assembly, and Change Acceleration Process and Work-Out training courses.

The Providence fellowship program places great importance on developing the fellow for future success. Education and development opportunities occur throughout the year, but are especially beneficial during the post-fellowship job search. The fellow program director does an excellent job at providing resume writing advice, access to mentors, and contact with potential employers. As a result of their positive experience, many fellows have chosen to continue their careers at Providence.

Kristina Hansen-Smith

Chief of Leadership Services, Providence Health & Services
2000 – 2001 Administrative Fellow

How is the reporting relationship structured for the fellowship and what role does preceptor mentorship play in the experience?

The fellowship at Providence is highly valued, and we structure the reporting relationships accordingly. The preceptor for the fellowship is Rod Hochman, MD, President and CEO. Having an executive preceptor at the most senior level in the organization gives the fellows ready access to senior executives, and affords them with unmatched mentorship, project, and shadowing experiences. For day-to-day management oversight, the fellow reports into the Leadership Services Department. The Leadership Services team eases the way of senior leaders by providing the following services:

  • Operational Excellence: change management and performance improvement, including leader training and mentoring

  • Strategic Project Management: systems, structure, and leadership for complex and strategically important projects

  • Systems & Structures Infrastructure: staff support for senior management teams, management of large scale meetings, the policy process, and chartering/status reporting for management groups

Connection to this dynamic, cross-functional group gives the fellow direct involvement with high-priority initiatives across operations, support services, and clinical services. While we balance the fellowship with selected shadowing opportunities, the Providence fellowship places a heavy emphasis on direct project leadership experience, actively preparing the fellow for his or her next position after the fellowship.

haslamAndrew Haslam

Regional Director, Real Estate & Construction
2011-2012 Administrative Fellow

What is the most interesting or memorable moment you experienced during your fellowship?

The fellowship experience for me was a mix of project based learning, mentoring, and shadowing. This pattern was consistent with every project I worked on, and allowed me to learn about the many complex layers of a large multi-state health system.

As the fellow I was able to ask questions of leadership freely and in addition to my assigned duties, seek out additional projects I was particularly interested in. This culture, and my interest in strategy and business development, allowed me to get involved with a large affiliation project Providence was working on at the time. I was able to take on additional responsibilities and actively participate with the executive team in the decision making process. This experience was not the most memorable simply because it was exciting, it was the most memorable because it was an extremely challenging project that stretched my abilities and taught me valuable skills that I am able to use in my role today.

Sarah Cameron

Planning and Strategy Manager, Providence Senior and Community Services
2008 – 2009 Administrative Fellow

What makes Providence Health & Services a unique health care system?

One of the largest health systems in the country, Providence Health & Services has a rich history and faith-based culture founded by the Sisters of Providence, pioneering women who continue to inspire us today with their vision of service. While most organizations typically have a Mission Statement and Core Values to guide behavior and decision-making, Providence invests in its Mission and Core Values unlike any organization I’ve ever encountered. Every day Providence asks employees to take time for reflection and personal development to thoughtfully consider the intention of our work and make decisions based on our values and commitment to our Mission. I’m frequently reminded that the Providence values are intended to both guide our own behavior and express how we should each expect to be treated.

When I was welcomed into the Providence family as an Administrative Fellow, I quickly learned about Providence’s tradition of starting meetings with a reflection or prayer. While somewhat ambivalent to this tradition at first, I have since found these reflections to be profoundly grounding, allowing me to connect more deeply with my purpose and with my co-workers.Through reflection, I have the opportunity to grow as a person, not just an employee, in my workplace and community.

At the end of the day, time for reflection creates a safe space for developing community and engaging in honest dialogue to ensure we make good decisions. As a result, I know that I’m surrounded by people with authentic, honest intentions – people who serve with compassion and make a difference in the lives of those who are poor or vulnerable.