Spotlight on Flex – Lori Mihalich-Levin and Dr. Cindy Kelley

The Spotlight on Flex showcases professionals from member organizations who exemplify personal and professional success while working a flexible schedule. Their stories illustrate the long-term benefits that flexible schedules offer to both individuals and organizations.

This month’s Spotlight on Flex features our 2018 Flex Success® Award Honorees, Lori Mihalich-Levin and her client, Dr. Cindy Kelley. The Flex Success® Award recognizes partners at Alliance member organizations who have achieved a high level of success while working a reduced hours schedule as well as a client who has been integral to making workplace flexibility so successful. We wanted our members to have the chance to get to know this year’s Honorees a little earlier, and we are looking forward to formally presenting their awards at our rescheduled Annual Conference on September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Lori focuses her practice on Medicare reimbursement counseling, with a special focus on Medicare graduate medical education (GME) payments to teaching hospitals. She represents academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, community hospitals, and health systems, as well as a broad array of other health care organizations.

Lori has worked a 60% reduced hours schedule while representing hospitals, academic medical centers, medical schools and health systems as a Partner in Dentons Healthcare Practice since August 2015 in Washington, DC. In just two years, she was able to bring in 20 new clients to the firm and build a premier practice around legal issues related to graduate medical education. Her reduced hours schedule has allowed her to care for her two small children, while also building Mindful Return, LLC, a personal business that assists new parents in their transition back to work from parental leave, and writing a book Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave. She is also the Chair of the firm’s Flexibility and Parental Leave Task Force, part of its Women LEAD initiative, where she champions the success of diverse attorneys and has been instrumental in updating the firm’s parental leave policies.

“Ultimately the key to a successful flexible work arrangement is to be flexible and transparent,” explained Ms. Mihalich-Levin. “I am so thankful for the trust, support and encouragement that Cindy has offered me as well as her willingness to accommodate my schedule,” she added referring to her client, Dr. Cindy Kelley, Vice President of Medical Education, Summa Health.

Since 1998, when she completed a Primary Care Teaching Associateship during medical school, Dr. Cindy Kelley knew that education would be part of her career. She did not know, however, that she would be fortunate enough to realize this vision at the hospital where she spent years following her father on rounds in her hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Cindy, the youngest of three girls, was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then travelled across the state for her medical school training at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Intrigued by the opportunity to work with one of her mentors, Dr. Jack Brose, in his family medicine practice, and also developing curricula and teaching students, she completed a teaching associateship and was bitten by the education bug. She was accepted into the Family Medicine residency program at Summa Health and, upon graduation, took a faculty position. Her particular interests included curriculum design, chronic pain management, osteopathic principles, and women’s health. She also developed an interest in health policy, which led to her completion of the American Osteopathic Association’s Health Policy fellowship, ultimately authoring the lead article in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, “Impact of the single accreditation agreement on GME governance and the physician workforce.”

In November 2015, Dr. Kelley stepped into the role of Vice President of Medical Education/Designated Institutional Official at Summa Health where she oversees 17 residency and fellowship programs. She is proud to lead medical education in the system that trained her and that meets its mission to bring high-quality, innovative, and compassionate care to the greater Akron community.

“Lori and her Dentons team were critical to our success in overcoming significant challenges at our organization last year. I am so thankful for people like Lori who have a passion for finding that balance in life that allows them to pursue their careers while raising a family,” stated Dr. Kelley. “Summa Health certainly benefited from this passion, as do all organizations that support workplace diversity and flexibility.”

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If you are a professional working a flexible schedule and would like to share your story in an upcoming Spotlight on Flex, contact Eliza Musallam.