SPHIS alumna, Andrea Johnson, secures fellowship at pediatric hospital

Name: Andrea Johnson
Graduation Date: 2019
Degree: MS in Health Administration
Mentor: Dr. Lee Bewley
Title: Administrative Fellow
Location: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Length of Fellowship: 12 months

About the fellowship

As a native of Greater Cincinnati, she has followed the expansion of Cincinnati Children's and their successful journey to become one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation. What appealed to her most was the focus on quality improvement, the academic learning culture, and their mission--to be the leader in improving child health.  As a result, she became very interested in obtaining a fellowship in a pediatric-focused healthcare institution with a great mission and a culture of collaboration and shared learning. After an extensive interview process, Andrea was selected for a 12-month fellowship at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She said, “Dr. Alex Kerns was a major resource during the process.  He spent a lot of time helping me prepare for my onsite interviews and was a source of wisdom and encouragement throughout the entire process.”

This is a project-based fellowship. She will work with leaders from across the system on strategic initiatives as well as with a preceptor and executive sponsor whom she we meet with regularly to discuss her projects and career goals.

Reflection on earning a public health degree from SPHIS

Dr. Lee Bewley was her advisor and mentor. She said, “He was always available to meet with me when I had questions about the course material or needed to discuss career goals. He was very engaged in connecting the students to professional development opportunities like ACHE events, and they had a major impact on my career planning and fellowship interests. When I returned from maternity leave during my second year, he was supportive and understanding and made sure to check in on my health and wellbeing in addition to my course work and grades. He also gave me sound advice when I began applying for fellowships and went through several interviews. Dr. Bewley promoted the ACHE congress and I attended with other students where I learned advice from current and past fellows about their journey and strategy for securing a fellowship. Continued diligence in my coursework and going to local healthcare events promoted by Dr. Bewley were vital in my successful transition into a fellowship.”

Andera became interested in health at a young age. She said, “My later experiences in undergraduate courses allowed me to connect social determinants as major factors shaping the U.S. health landscape.  I became passionate about improving the health and future of children by working with organizations who wanted to improve community health through programs and community partnerships with healthcare organizations. Through these experiences, I became attentive to the operational decisions that drive healthcare delivery, patient and family experiences, and health outcomes.”

She chose the MS in Health Administration program at SPHIS because the courses are designed to prepare healthcare leaders to balance the operational and fiscal responsibilities of delivering care as well as the development of strategies to tackle health challenges that impact communities at large.

Her leadership seminar encouraged her to map out her career plans, research fellowships, and learn as much as she could about current topics in healthcare.

Andrea’s professional experience

Prior to beginning the program at SPHIS, Andrea worked on health initiatives for youth and families with National Youth Development organizations such as 4-H and land grant universities (Ohio State University). She was also the Operations Assistant in University of Louisville Division of Infectious Disease Business Office. Additionally, she interned in the quality department at University of Louisville Hospital.

Advice to students

  • “Leverage the faculty’s expertise and resources by seeking mentoring relationships and opportunities to help with projects/initiatives to expand skillset and knowledge.”
  • “Be honest about what you don’t know or areas for improvement by doing self-assessments and creating an action plan to round out your experiences as a student.”
  • “Begin learning how to get comfortable with networking now by taking opportunities to talk with people at events you attend and following up afterward to maintain a connection. This will help you create relationships when you are in a new institution and must meet new people constantly.”

Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn.

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