Master of Health Administration students awarded fellowships

Nichole Rydahl

Nichole Rydahl

Students pursuing a Master in Health Administration (MHA) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health are encouraged to compete for administrative fellowships at various health-related organizations as part of their post-graduate experience. Students begin preparing for their fellowships during the second semester of their first year and continue through their final year. 

Administrative fellowships are paid opportunities that allow students to work within an organization and experience real-world application of the skills they learned during their coursework. From the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital to the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, here are a few examples of where our MHA graduates will begin administrative fellowships this summer. 

Leslie Fair

Leslie Fair

Though most administrative fellowships are one year in duration, Nichole Rydahl has been awarded a two-year administrative fellowship at the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas. Memorial Hermann is the largest not-for-profit health system in Southeast Texas with 12 hospital locations and numerous specialty programs. It has one of the nation’s busiest level I trauma centers and is the primary teaching system for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School. During Ms. Rydahl’s first year, she will rotate through out the entire Memorial Herman Health System and focus primarily on project work at the system level during her second year. 

Leslie Fair will complete an administrative fellowship at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital (UAB). UAB is the centerpiece of the UAB Health System and is situated among major research centers and clinics. As a 1,046-bed facility, it provides patients with a complete range of primary and specialty care services. UAB operates a heart and vascular center, a trauma center, is the primary teaching hospital for UAB School of Medicine, and is home to the largest comprehensive transplantation program in the Southeastern United States. Ms. Fair will be tasked with developing a broad knowledge base of hospital and physician practice management and operations by working on strategic and operational projects and programs. She received the only fellowship awarded and will work with the senior management team. 

Andrew Herndon

Andrew Herndon

Andrew Herndon will complete his fellowship at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston, Texas. The MEDVAMC has a 40-bed spinal cord injury center and a 141-bed community living center. MEDVAMC serves as the primary health care provider for almost 130,000 veterans in Southeast Texas, which also includes outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City. During Mr. Herndon’s fellowship, he will participate in various projects while completing comprehensive rotations within multiple departments. Mr. Herndon will be considered part of the leadership team and work under the direction of the Medical Center Director. The MEDVAMC prides itself on the success of its past fellows, many of who are currently in middle to senior management positions within the Veterans Health Administration. 

Holly Hrabik-Chmiel

Holly Hrabik-Chmiel

Holly Hrabik-Chmiel will complete her fellowship at Lone Star Circle of Care in Austin, Texas. Lone Star Circle of Care is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center that serves Central Texas with over 25 community clinics. Their services are patient-centered primary care, dental, mental health, women’s health services, and low cost medications. A number of Lone Star Circle of Care clinics have received National Committee for Quality Assurance Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home designation as well as Joint Commission Accreditation. Ms. Hrabik-Chmiel will work directly with the executive leadership team. She will be involved in strategic planning, development of care models, and in the roll out of new clinics throughout Central Texas.

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