Healthcare Fellows discuss community projects

By Sally McMahon

The Healthcare Fellows is a formal executive education program focused on the many business sectors in Louisville’s vast healthcare ecosystem.

Each year professionals are selected to participate in the 10-month program with sessions led by community leaders, academics, elected officials, organizational experts, researchers and entrepreneurs.

Fellows are tasked with completing a group project that has a community or economic impact. Current projects include quantifying the positive economic impact older adults have on the region’s economy; developing a marketing and communications plan to help raise awareness of the Alzheimer’s Association’s programs; and creatinga Kentucky Nurse Resource Book that profiles Kentucky nurses and promotes existing areas of excellence. We spoke to the project leaders with highlights below.

Project: Alzheimer’s Association – Marketing and Communications Plan

Project Leader: Aleah Schutze, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson


Medical News: What drew you to participate in the Healthcare Fellows program?

Aleah Schutze: The Healthcare Fellows program has a great reputation and I have been continuously impressed by the program alumni that I have met over the years.  I like that the Healthcare Fellows participate in a group project that has a tangible impact on the community.

MN: Describe the project you are involved with.

AS: I am working with the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter.  Specifically, my group is helping the Alzheimer’s Association create a marketing and communication strategy to raise awareness of its programs and services and to generally increase its reach within Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  Our group has identified four specific goals that we will focus on achieving over the next seven months. 

MN: What attracted you to your project?

AS: My grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease and I saw first-hand the devastation that it can have on a person and a family. My youngest daughter has Down Syndrome and people with Down Syndrome are at increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease as they age.  I am excited about the project because our group can have a real, positive impact on the Association with our work.

MN: What do you hope to achieve with the project?

AS: We have a talented, enthusiastic group of people working on this project.  Our immediate goal is to help the Association sign up teams to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s scheduled for October 10, 2020.  We are also recruiting corporate teams and sponsors.  We are planning to have our own Healthcare Fellows team and we are determined to be one of the top fundraising groups! We are also helping the Alzheimer’s Association strengthen its social media presence and are developing a social media campaign related to the Walk in October.  Additionally, we want to identify other educational and community events to promote the Alzheimer’s Association as a resource in the community. 

Project: AARP – The Longevity Economy Outlook

Project Leader: Craig Long, Chief Growth Officer, SentryHealth


MN: What drew you to participate in the Healthcare Fellows program?

Craig Long: I have worked in the healthcare technology space throughout my career.  While I have lived in Louisville for the past twenty years, I was covering other geographic areas around the US.  I was able to attend my first Health Enterprises Network (HEN) event in 2018 and was impressed with the membership and content covered during the sessions.  I joined a Louisville based healthcare company last fall and was finally able to take advantage of becoming active with HEN. 

MN: Describe the project you are involved with.

CL: I am on Team AARP.  We are examining the Longevity Economy and the impact that those over 50 can make to the work force.  Our research project will allow us to identify how Louisville and the surrounding area will be able to evaluate the contributions, experience and skills these workers can bring to the work force.  It will be very interesting as we move through the next several months of our research to determine the current environment and how we may be able to stimulate more discussion with local companies, particularly those in the healthcare space.

MN: What attracted you to your project?

CL: I am a member of the over 50 workforce and I wanted to be a part of identifying how others could be impacted by a desire to share knowledge and skills with the local economic market.  As we look at those over 50 staying more active in business and careers, I hope to shed light on those who have a desire to continue to work and also the local companies that may not know how to best tap into this resource pool.

MN: What do you hope to achieve with the project?

CL: The goal is to provide a framework of data that can act as a catalyst to foster more dialogue with those over 50 individuals and local companies.  While some in this age group are currently employed, as a group they make up 34 percent of the Kentucky workforce, approximately 40 percent are not in the workforce.  If the outcomes of our project can determine if a subset of these individuals are interested in working and we could be helpful in connecting them with local companies, it would be a rewarding outcome.

Project: Kentucky Nurses Association – Nursing Asset Resource

Co-Leaders: Holly Symonds Clark, Deputy Director, Commercialization EPI-Center, UofL and Jill Gaines, Associate Director of Admissions and Community Partnership Development, Egan Leadership Center, Spalding University


Medical News: What drew you to participate in the Healthcare Fellows program?

Jill Gaines:  The opportunity to be involved with the HEN fellows was presented to me by our CFO, Rush Sherman from Spalding University, a HEN board member. I was excited and intrigued for the chance to network with folks from all areas of healthcare as well as promote healthcare education. 

Holly Symonds Clark:  The program was highly recommended to me by Dr. Mary Nan Mallory from UofL– a HEN board member who knew of my desire to learn more and network within the Louisville healthcare community.

MN: Describe the project you are involved with.

JG and HSC: Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) is leading efforts in showcasing the year of the nurse and highlighting their expertise. Team KNA is working on a campaign to attract nurses who wish to take part in a compilation virtual directory that’s goal is to brand a new professional platform for nursing. Our “mug book” will consist of nurses all over the commonwealth who have expertise within the nursing profession, from leadership roles to that of an educator. This project includes Team KNA creating communication plans, videos and other tactics to promote participation in the project and in the field of nursing in general.

MN: What attracted you to your project?

JG: My affinity towards the nursing profession and higher education. I have many family members, friends and students who I admire that work diligently to take care of others. The road to becoming a nurse is far from easy. It takes lots of sacrifice, dedication and compassion to cross the finish line. My goal is making higher education and the road to becoming a RN/BSN/MSN/DNP streamlined.

HSC: I was immediately attracted to KNA’s overall goal of changing the old-fashioned image of nursing to the more modern reality of the importance, diversity and expertise of the profession. Nurses are front-line people of all types, and I felt that this project would help to highlight the nursing profession and attract more people to it.

MN: What do you hope to achieve with the project?

JG and HSC: For KNA, our team hopes to get the nursing expertise directory on a path where it will continue to grow each year and make connections for KNA.  While building the directory, we hope to learn from our teammates and mentors and the folks in healthcare that we meet along the way.


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