After college, Dan Landesberg started his professional career in sales and ran a small business in California for two years. As much as he enjoyed the benefits of entrepreneurship, he knew true career fulfillment would have to come from another sort of venture. His wife, Jana Kass, is a registered nurse and as the couple discussed his future, Landesberg realized he, too, wanted a career in healthcare.
“I had some business skills I could build on, but I wanted to use them to make a difference in the world. I did my research, shadowed a number of healthcare professionals, and when I started exploring healthcare administration, I knew I’d found my calling,” he said. His first foray into healthcare was in a frontline role, similar to Geisinger’s patient access representative position, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He worked at MSKCC while attending City University of New York-Baruch College in their Executive Healthcare MBA program. “I had a wonderful experience working at MSKCC. In my second year, I found out about administrative fellowships. I’d never heard of them before,” he said, noting that his program was more geared toward mid-careerists.
After learning more about how an administrative fellowship could advance his career, Landesberg began to do more research — this time into where he could get the best experience. He and his wife had decided they would be willing to relocate, given the right opportunity. He interviewed all over the country but, he says, “When I interviewed at Geisinger, it just felt different. The people were incredibly bright, yet relatable and community-oriented. The culture was singularly focused on innovation and challenging the status quo.”
Landesberg said he wouldn’t change a thing about his fellowship. “From the exposure to leadership decision-making to seeing our strategy being executed every day, my fellowship was a transformative experience. I developed a close relationship with my preceptor, Ron Beer, and enjoyed numerous informal mentoring relationships that continue today. As a fellow, I was offered the opportunity to work on post-merger integration, gained operations management experience and helped return inpatient services to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. I also found an instant social and professional network with current and former fellows.”
Today, Landesberg is associate vice president of clinical operations for Geisinger’s Northeast Region, with responsibility for Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. He also serves as first-year preceptor for the Geisinger Northeast Administrative Fellowship. “I knew I wanted to be a hospital administrator, so I used my fellowship to discover how every department worked. I shadowed almost every department in the hospital, from nursing to transport to IT. The fellowship allowed that flexibility. I’m so fortunate to have had this opportunity.”