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Fellows and Faculty

Program Director, David Joseph Administrative Fellowship

Rachel Lefebvre
Vice President, Operations
Director, Administrative Fellowship Program – Hospital Operations

Rachel Lefebvre is Vice President, Operations for the recently approved Lehigh Valley Hospital campus in Lower Nazareth. In this capacity, Rachel has responsibility for the development and operational leadership of the Lower Nazareth site. Rachel also serves as Senior Military Advisor to the LVHN Veteran Health Program. In addition to these leadership roles, several other programs/responsibilities will align under Rachel, to include Nuclear Regulatory Commission – Part 37 Compliance, Air Force Education With Industry program, and the Administrative Fellowship program. 

Prior to joining LVHN, Rachel retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel, after serving 26-years in health care operations. She served in a variety of leadership positions to include at the clinic, hospital, medical center, and corporate headquarters level, as well as at the Pentagon. Deployed to Southwest Asia for 12 months in 2010-2011, Rachel commanded the combat hospital at Al Udeid (Qatar) in support of U.S. and coalition air operations over Iraq and Afghanistan. In her most recent assignment, Rachel served as Chief Executive Officer for the largest physician group in the United States Air Force as well as the largest ambulatory surgical center in the Department of Defense (59th Medical Operations Group, San Antonio, TX). Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Audiology from Auburn University, a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Business Administration degree, also from the University of Colorado. She is board certified in healthcare administration, and is a Fellow in both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Academy of Medical Administrators. Rachel hails from Sarasota, Florida, and her husband, Pierre, is a retired Canadian Forces officer.

Program Director, Lehigh Valley Physician Group Administrative Fellowship

Denise Kaplan
Vice President, LVPG Operations
Director, Administrative Fellowship Program – LVPG

Denise Kaplan, MSA, is Vice President, Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) operations. She spent the last 30 years in various health care settings including public health, non-profit community organizations, and hospital/service line and practice leadership positions. Denise joined LVHN in 2006 as the Administrator of the Department of Medicine. In that role, she had direct and indirect oversight and responsibility for 600 physicians and advanced practice clinicians in 19 divisions incorporating educational programs, research and quality. Denise has spent a significant amount of her career dedicated to investing in patient centered care/ service excellence and human capital.

In her role as vice president, her leadership scope includes the areas of community practices, OACIS/palliative medicine, rheumatology, obstetrics/gynecology, oncology, endocrinology, infectious disease and pulmonary/critical care. Additional responsibilities include financial performance management, patient access and exceptional service, outmigration, acquisitions and quality. As we face tremendous challenges in the improving and/or maintaining the quality of health care in the future, Denise has a broad base of experience to apply to creating better health, better cost and better care for our community.

Current Fellows

Madeline Kemp, MHSA, David Joseph Administrative Fellow
University of Kansas Medical Center

Arash Aulakh, MHA, Lehigh Valley Physician Group Administrative Fellow
George Washington University

Past Fellows

Jacklynn Wong, MHA
George Washington University
First position post-fellowship: Interim Patient Transport Manager, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg

“LVHN’s administrative fellowship program provided me with an opportunity to truly develop my leadership style and analytical skills. The unique structure of the one-year fellowship program allowed me to gain exposure to core areas of LVHN and to cultivate front-line management skills. Leaders across the network provided valuable mentoring and strategic guidance on the diverse portfolio of projects I had the opportunity to work on during my fellowship. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead and participate in initiatives that will ultimately enhance the quality of care we provide patients.”

Julie Vardaro, MHA 2014-2016
The Pennsylvania State University
First position post-fellowship: Project Manager, Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital

“The fellowship program provided a personalized experience that allowed me to explore areas of interest while expanding upon knowledge and skills developed in the classroom. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to network initiatives and receive invaluable mentorship from senior leaders. After completing the fellowship, I felt confident that the experience prepared me for future leadership roles.”

Jennifer Jozefiak, MHA 2013-2015
University of Pittsburgh
First position post-fellowship: Project Manager, New York Presbyterian-Columbia

“My experience in the fellowship program at Lehigh Valley Health Network was truly unique. I was able to be a part of large network initiatives and also gain experience in managing very specialized practice operations. The skills and knowledge I gained as a fellow opened the doors to extraordinary opportunities.”

Joseph Hwang, MHA 2012-2014
The Pennsylvania State University
First position post-fellowship: Assistant Administrator, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Universal Health Services

“The fellowship offered me an opportunity to exponentially grow and develop my skillsets as a future leader. The experience allowed me to take all the concepts learned throughout my graduate studies and to apply it in a practical way through interim management positions. I would not be where I am today had I not gone through the fellowship.” 

Danielle O’Brien, MBA, MPH, 2011 - 2013
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
First position post-fellowship: Practice Administrator, Reproductive Medicine Associates

"The passion for education at LVHN is palpable and I am thankful for my administrative fellowship every day. The experience was personalized, allowing me to push outside of my comfort zone and gain a multitude of varied experiences on network-wide projects. The leaders at LVHN shaped my leadership style, technical and communication skills and business acumen, providing me with a strong foundation for my career."

Lindsay Altimare, MPA, 2010-2012
University of Delaware
First position post-fellowship: HCAHPS program manager, Department of Operations, Lehigh Valley Health Network

“The LVHN administrative fellowship was an exceptional building block for my success in healthcare operations. It provided me with networking opportunities, relationship building among all levels of the organization and tactical operational skills that will translate to future stages of my career path. The network’s support of the program speaks volumes with the dedication of senior leadership and their motivation to develop and mentor emerging healthcare leaders.”

Mary Schoenwetter, MBA, 2008-2010
SUNY Buffalo
First position post-fellowship: Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network

“The fellowship at LVHN provided experience not typically achieved early on following a more traditional, progressive career path such as operational involvement across multiple service lines and working with senior level executives on high profile projects and meetings.”

Marybeth Maly, MPH, 2007-2009
Emory University
First position post-fellowship: Director, Practice & Program Development, Department of Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network

“The administrative fellowship at Lehigh Valley Health Network has provided me with a strong foundation from which to build. The exposure to senior leadership, participation in network-wide initiatives and core project ownership allowed for unmatched professional growth early in my career."

Kelly Lago, MHA, 2006-2008
The Pennsylvania State University
First position post-fellowship: Director, Department of Surgery, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Brian Connolly, MHA, 2005-2007
University of Scranton
First position post-fellowship: Business manager, Division of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“My experience at LVH has proven to be invaluable. The ability to interact with senior leaders and physicians as well as gain exposure to all facets of an integrated health system provided me the exact foundation and experience needed to begin my career.”

Jen Hunara, MHA, MBA, 2004-2005
University of Scranton
First position post-fellowship: Business manager, Perioperative Services, Lehigh Valley Health Network

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