New clinical administrators are ready to make an impact

Their focus is bringing greater consistency to patient care

Four new clinical administrators are already deeply immersed in managing their departments (l-r): Donna Espenberg, Jean Herzog, Brian Rebeschi and Margaret Gilshannon.

Clinical administrators play a powerful role in the success of the practice. Four new clinical administrators who joined Yale Medical Group in the last year are excited about helping to change the face of the practice as they take responsibility for such tasks as optimizing the new electronic medical record and bringing greater consistency to patient care.

Brian Rebeschi, Internal Medicine

A nice touch for Brian Rebeschi, MHA, the new vice chair of finance and administration for the Department of Internal Medicine, is that he inherits the office once used by a previous boss, Gary Mulligan, who held the position in the ’90s. “The position opened up and it was something that I just didn’t want to pass up,” Rebeschi said.

He joined the practice in March and now leads 343 faculty and almost 400 staff in 10 internal medicine sections. Steve Gentile continues to serve as vice chair for finance and administration in cardiovascular medicine.

Rebeschi has a long history with Yale, starting out as a cost analyst for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) in 1988, then becoming a research administrator in obstetrics and gynecology. He became section administrator for pulmonary medicine in 1991. Then, from 1997 to 2007, he assumed administrative leadership for the Yale Child Study Center, and the Departments of Neurology and Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, in various combinations.

Rebeschi moved to the central campus in 2007 to become one of the founding members of a new administrative organization called Business Operations Leadership Team (BOLT). As senior director of BOLT, he provided administrative leadership to the FAS and academic services units, in particular to the departments on Science Hill. He worked closely with the Yale Provost’s Office to ensure that units under his purview had strong financial plans, comprehensive internal controls and appropriate staffing.

Rebeschi completed his bachelor’s degree in finance at Central Connecticut State University and his master’s in health administration at Quinnipiac University. Originally from North Haven, he now lives in Northford and is married with three children.

Margaret Gilshannon, Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

Coming from Seattle, Margaret Gilshannon, MHA, had to adjust to a different coast when she moved to New Haven to become the first full-time director of finance and administration for the Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation. “Orthopaedics is growing substantially and rapidly,” said Gilshannon, who is looking forward to the challenge.

In her new position, she manages 50 employees, including staff in billing and coding, clinical trials and clinical support. She works with faculty and staff in locations throughout the state, and will be involved in the opening of a new clinical office in Milford this year, replacing a Yale orthopaedics office that closed there due to flooding.

A major task will be exploring the possibilities for integration of community practices. Orthopaedics currently has 20 faculty members, and Gilshannon expects that number could double as new practices come on board. “There will be challenges facing faculty as far as how to balance all of their conflicting priorities—how to support them to be as efficient as they can be in a teaching environment,” she said.

Gilshannon most recently worked in the Department of Surgery at University of Washington in Seattle, first as associate director, then as director of finance and administration. A graduate of Lawrence University, she has a master’s in health administration from the University of Washington. She lives in Woodbridge with her husband and three children, who are all looking forward to being closer to family on the East Coast.

Donna Espenberg, Therapeutic Radiology

One of the best days Donna Espenberg, MBA, recalls since becoming clinical administrator in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology last year was when she and her colleagues took advantage of a rare break and enjoyed a spontaneous lunch together. “The people I work with in this department are great. We work extremely hard and are always there to back each other up,” she said.

As director of finance and business administration, she has human resources responsibility for 100 faculty members and staff. She works especially closely with Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and with radiation oncology services at Smilow Cancer Hospital. Espenberg oversees financial and administrative aspects of clinical contracts for nine off-campus/satellite facilities including YNHH campuses at Saint Raphael’s and Hamden, the Yale-New Haven Shoreline Medical Center, and YNHH’s Bridgeport/Trumbull and Greenwich campuses, as well as sites at Backus, Griffin, Lawrence & Memorial and Norwalk hospitals.

Espenberg first joined therapeutic radiology as associate administrator in 2010, after two years as grants and contracts manager in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services. Previous to that, for nearly two decades she was the research administrator for the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Espenberg, who lives in Monroe, has an MBA from the University of New Haven, where she is also an adjunct professor. She has a master’s degree in applied social research from CUNY Queens College, and has completed two years toward her PhD in socio-medical sciences and public health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. An avid student, she enjoys taking courses in management and other topics at the Yale Learning Center and encourages her staff to do the same.

Jean Herzog, PhD, Neurosurgery and Neurology

After several months as a clinical administrator for the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Jean Herzog, PhD, felt she’d worn a path from one office to the other—and then there were the trips to the Neuroscience Center on the “garden level” of the Yale Physicians Building, and to Long Wharf, site of the new Yale Spine Center.

Herzog, originally from California, joined Yale Medical Group last summer as director of finance and administration for the two departments, which have a long standing clinical and research relationship. She works with about 50 core faculty and staff in neurosurgery, where recruitment is underway for two neurosurgeons. By July 1, there will be more than 100 core faculty and staff in neurology, where growth has been significant over the past three years and recruitment for key faculty positions continues. Both departments have about twice as many people through clinical and research affiliations.

“Personally, there is the natural challenge of being responsible for two very different departments that happen to have the brain and spinal cord in common,” Herzog said. “However, neurosurgery and neurology have always had a close relationship through patient care and research in epilepsy, and we are seeing increasing collaboration across other areas, such as neurovascular.” While it’s important to maintain respect for each department’s history and culture, “I would like to strengthen and maximize the natural synergies between the departments’ clinical, research and business aspects; to that end we have begun some combined administrative efforts.”

Herzog began her career as a speech-language pathologist specializing in acquired neurological disorders, first working as a clinician in California and central Texas before joining TIRR, The Institute for Rehabilitation & Research in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. She was director of speech-language pathology and the Brain Injury Program before becoming executive vice president and COO, and finally acting CEO of the organization. During her time at TIRR she also served on the voluntary clinical faculty of the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine.

Herzog later worked as director of research strategic operations for the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, and was an Amerigroup fellow in Disability Informatics & Health Policy at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Just prior to joining Yale, she was the director of operations for the Neurological Institute at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.

A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, she completed her master’s in communication disorders at California State University in Northridge, her PhD in communication disorders at University of Texas at Austin, and certification in Medical and Healthcare Management from the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. Her husband, Norbert K. Herzog, PhD, is a founding senior faculty member of the new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.