Administrative Fellowship

Program Overview

The Administrative Fellowship at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a 12-month, non-clinical program that admits one fellow per year.

Program Details

The Administrative Fellowship is designed to provide qualified young leaders with hospital management and administration training in all aspects of an academic medical center.

To become successful healthcare administrators, fellows must not only possess innovative management tools, but also develop interpersonal and behavioral skills. These skills, such as the ability to manage teams and navigate complexity and ambiguity are developed as the fellow is encouraged to test the principles learned in the classroom through experiential learning. This unique opportunity allows fellows to begin building a solid platform of leadership and project management skills which will certainly aid them throughout their professional careers.

The fellowship program is primarily project-based, but also allows the fellow to have the opportunity to participate in high-level discussions and committees regarding the myriad of strategic and operational issues affecting the Medical Center. With our flexible structure, fellows could tailor their experiences around specific areas of interest in addition to the needs of the organization.

Fellows will be mentored throughout the experience by Alan Brechbill, Executive Director of the Medical Center. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is committed to the growth and development of healthcare’s future leaders and is consistently willing to engage the administrative fellow in even the most confidential meetings.

Areas of opportunity for project work include, but are not limited to:

  • Operations
  • Strategic planning
  • New business development
  • Finance
  • Quality improvement
  • Marketing and communications
  • Physician practice management
  • Process improvements
  • Integration

There are various ways that fellow is assigned to projects. These include the fellow reaching out to the specific area(s) of interest, asking stakeholders during meet and greets, or working directly with the preceptor on projects critical to organizational needs. The preceptor will review the project list with the fellow to ensure that the projects are appropriate and meaningful for the fellow.

The fellow is paid a competitive salary and receives benefits commensurate with our first-year medical resident training program. The fellow is eligible for medical, dental and vision insurance as well as personal days and paid time off. In addition, the fellow can make contributions into a 401(k) retirement plan.

Our Team

Examples of Past Work

Projects completed by past administrative fellows have included:

Business Development

  • Creation of a business plan for the Eyewear Center
  • Creation of a business plan for the Dermatology Department to build sunscreen stations on campus and in the community
  • Development of a centralized scheduling process and implementation plan for outpatient clinics


  • Acting as Interim Operations Director for Dermatology and Ophthalmology
  • Serving as project manager for an Emergency Department operations assessment
  • Serving as project consultant for the development of a mass-casualty incident action plan
  • Serving as project manager for the development of an algorithm to detect sepsis and severe sepsis to help to reduce treatment time and overall observed/expected mortality ratio
  • Serving as project manager for a Dermatology clinical trials research group

Process Improvement

  • Becoming certified as an Rapid Improvement Event Leader (Kaizen)
  • Participating in Six Sigma Black Belt projects


  • Serving as the co-lead for Penn State Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety Readmission group
  • Creating an organizational quality and safety presentation

Policy Development

  • Developing an administrator-on-call reference guide as a protocol for administrators to follow during emergencies

Finance and Data Analytics

  • Supporting organizational scenario-planning by collecting and analyzing institution-wide data and supporting work groups to reduce cost and enhance revenue
  • Trending monthly patient transfer data to enhance bed utilization and increase collaboration with referring hospitals
  • Providing recommendations for streamlining the budgeting practices for new faculty positions across departments


  • Configuring, training, implementing and supporting the Avantas Smart Square scheduling system
  • Conducting an IT risk assessment to determine IT security and vulnerability


  • Serving as project assistant for faculty recruitment process

Marketing and Communications

  • Assisting with the marketing campaign for the MD Network service
  • Helping to create a video to market the Penn State Rite Aid Health Alliance program

Fellowship Exchange

  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania
  • PinnacleHealth
  • Lancaster Regional


  • Organizing a one-week residency experience for Penn State’s iMBA program
  • Serving as Guest Lecturer at Penn State’s Health Policy and Administration program at the University Park campus and in the MHA program at the Harrisburg campus

To Apply

Candidates for the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Administrative Fellowship Program should be currently enrolled in or have recently completed an accredited graduate program in health administration (MHA/MBA/MHSA).

All applicants should have completed their coursework and received their graduate degrees before to the start of the fellowship, or your degree completion may be contingent on the completion of the fellowship. This program is designed for more recent graduates.

Applicants must be either citizens of the United States or be able to maintain work authorization throughout the fellowship program. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center does not offer visa sponsorship to candidates for this fellowship program.

Candidates should demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Self-starters and independent
  • Self-motivated and teamwork-oriented
  • Possess strong analytic skills
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Presentation and facilitation skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication

Application Information

Qualified candidates should submit a formal employment application by going to the Penn State Health Careers website and searching for “Administrative Fellow,” or through the NAFCAS application site.

Within the online application, please attach:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (one academic, one professional and one other – academic/professional)
  • Personal statement of interest in pursuing the Administrative Fellowship at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Official graduate school transcript

If you are unable to attach letters of recommendation or your transcript to the online application, please send the information in one packet to:

Cody Castillo
Administrative Fellow
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Dr.
P.O. Box 850, MC H142
Hershey, PA 17033

Applications must be received by October for consideration for the following year’s entrance.

Important Dates

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Administrative Fellowship Program will be participating in the National Administrative Fellowship Centralized Application Service and will be adhering to the National Council on Administrative Fellowship timeline.

  • August: Online application opens
  • Oct. 2: Complete applications must be submitted
  • Mid-October: Selection and interview
  • Nov. 13: Offer date

About the Preceptor

Alan Brechtbill, MBA, MHA, is pictured in a dark suit jacket and light blue dress shirt against a dark blue photo background.

Alan Brechtbill, MBA, MHA

Alan Brechbill, MBA, MHA, is Executive Director of Hospital Operations for Penn State Health. In this capacity, Alan oversees a medical center that employs more than 9,000 as well as other hospital operations in seven counties throughout central Pennsylvania.

Before joining Penn State Health in 2006, Alan served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has more than 30 years of university hospital experience, the majority in leadership roles. Between Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Alan has been working with fellows for more than 25 years, serving as the fellows’ preceptor.

Alan has a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado, MHA from George Washington University and MBA from Loyola University of Chicago.

Current Fellows

Past Fellows

Contact information

Penn State College of Medicine is an equal-opportunity employer and accepts all qualified applications regardless of their gender, ethnic origin or religious background.