Ayer Neuroscience Institute Administrative Fellows

Each Administrative Fellow has had the unique opportunity to execute high-visibility, system-wide initiatives that have helped shape their professional career both within HHC and beyond.


Meet our current and past Administrative Fellows:

Benjamin Armstrong

Benjamin Armstrong

2023-2024 Ayer NSI Fellow

Sara Abbassi, Practice Manager

MedStar Health

2022-2023 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on:

Created system-wide analysis of sleep program and developed operational reccomendations to standardize services for senior-level leadership.

Chandni Patel, Operations Consultant

Privia Health

2021-2022 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on:

The implementation of an institute-wide dashboard that allows Ayer NSI Administrative Leadership monitor referral leakage and develop interventions and strategies that allows providers high quality, coordinated care.

Sana Merchant, System Integration Manager

Ayer NSI, Hartford HealthCare

2020-2021 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Developed and managed an operational dashboard with the Ayer NSI Fairfield Region leadership team to track performance against budget for the new Spine Wellness Center patient care model, which included creating mitigation plans to improve performance.

Colin McMillan, Director - East Region

Ayer NSI, Hartford HealthCare

2018-2019 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Managing the implementation of single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT) imaging capability for the Epilepsy Program.

Heather Muirhead, Clinical Institute Education and Training Manager

Cleveland Clinic, London

2016-2017 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Creating an operational analysis and business plan for integrating the Emergency Medical Services department into the Center for Education, Simulation, and Innovation.

Rose Newcomb, Senior Consultant 

Premier Inc.

2015-2016 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

The development of the Movement Disorders Center, which consisted of preparing a business plan, collaborating with key stakeholders and implementing programs that benefited patients such as Dancing with Parkinson’s.  

Dustin Bump, Director - Hartford Region

Ayer NSI, Hartford HealthCare

2014-2015 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

The planning and development of the Ebola System-Wide Preparedness Initiative, which consisted of opening an incident commend center, standardizing screening and isolation plans, implementing training programs, and leading drills across the health system.

Maria Shimer, Director - Neuroscience Specialty Programs

Ayer NSI, Hartford HealthCare

2013-2014 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Coordinating and facilitating the opening of PREPARE Clinics (orthopedic pre-operative centers) – completed the business plan, hired staff, promoted the program and ensured its success after go-live.

Gerardo Ramos, Chief Operating Officer

Laredo Medical Center

2012-2013 Ayer NSI Fellow

Luanne Black, Strategic Pricing Analyst

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

2012-2013 Ayer NSI Fellow

Andrew Pete, Chief Operating Officer

Dignity Health

2011-2012 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Leading the strategic management team in the design, due diligence, vendor selection, and implementation of a telemedicine network targeting fifteen community hospitals.

Erika Schouten, Senior Director - Neurosciences Service Line

Oregon Health and Science University

2011-2012 Ayer NSI Fellow

Top Project I worked on: 

Implementing the Hartford HealthCare Thrive initiative aimed at making the system more efficient and a low cost provider of services.


Ayer Neuroscience Institute Fellowship Program Information

  • If you have questions, or would like to learn more about the fellowship program, please contact us here.