CSULB Graduate Student 1st in University History to Win Southern California Kaiser Fellowship

Natalie Whitlock, a graduate student at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has become the first CSULB student to receive the Southern California Kaiser Fellowship.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and am honored that I was one of six who were chosen out of over 100 applicants. Kaiser is very excited to have someone represent Cal State Long Beach. I am looking forward to completing my master’s in health care administration and beginning my career with Kaiser,” said Whitlock. “The knowledge and skills I have learned through my work experience as well as the master’s program here at CSULB aided me in obtaining this fellowship. I am proud to be able to represent CSULB in the fellowship program.”

She will start the postgraduate fellowship in July in San Diego for her first of three rotations in the 24-month program. The first two are at a medical center and/or medical office, and one at the regional offices. Fellows are placed in their first rotation by the organization, but fellows generally choose their location for the second and third rotations.

The Postgraduate Fellowship in Health Care Administration is designed to develop skills and leadership potential. The program is structured to maximize the learning opportunities for fellows as well as support the operational needs of the organization. The goals of the fellowship program include:

  • Identify promising candidates for management and future leadership positions at Kaiser Permanente.
  • Provide fellows with an educational and hands-on experience that will contribute to their professional development as well as to their understanding of Kaiser Permanente.
  • Create opportunities to enhance skills in project development, strategic implementation, and operations management.

The fellowship program allows for learning opportunities at both the professional and personal level as well as a balance between project and operational work. Learning opportunities include hospital and outpatient operations, strategic and market planning, facility planning, financial and analytical performance, analytic skills and communication skills.

Whitlock has been a quality improvement officer at Morningside Recovery, which is dedicated to providing care for men and women who are chemically dependent or suffering from co-occurring disorders, since June. She has also worked at Spencer Recovery Center, a substance abuse facility, for five years as a utilization review direction, quality coordinator and medication administrator.  At CSULB, she served as a research assistant with a psychology professor on a nicotine study. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology cum laude from CSULB in 2006 and is working on her master of science in health care administration.

Fellows often find a number of informal mentors through both project and operational work. These relationships often form a strong professional network. In addition, incoming fellows can benefit from a network of fellowship alumni who provide support, insight and guidance.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s leading health care organizations, serving 8.7 million members.

Spring 2012 Issue

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