About Mercy

Current Administrative Fellows

Chelsea Van Vark

Chelsea Van Vark
Second-Year Fellow

Chelsea is currently a second-year fellow in our newly re-designed two-year fellowship program, and received her Master’s in Health Administration from the College of Public Health at The University of Iowa in 2016. She also has a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Management and International Business from Iowa State University. Prior to her time at Mercy, she completed her administrative internship at JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas where she worked on a variety of projects. She is currently our only fellow, however going forward we hope to always have a first-year and a second-year fellow.

In the time that Chelsea has been with us, she has become very involved in a wide-variety of projects and had the opportunity to work with individuals’ system-wide. Some of her project work includes: leading the implementation of Kronos Scheduler, working closely with physician groups to build special programs, developing an executive rounding program, and much more. She has been working closely with hospital senior leadership to ensure her goals and interests align with her project work. She has also had the opportunity to attend a variety of high level meetings, including all executive board meetings.  

"My time here at Mercy has been nothing short of outstanding. The leadership team has done an excellent job at including me from the very beginning and ensuring I am involved in projects that challenge me and help me grow as a leader. The projects they have included me on are exciting and align well with what I am interested in personally. They have made me feel like I have been a part of the Mercy team for years. A couple of things I really looked for in a fellowship was a prominent level of exposure to senior leadership and the ability to self-initiate some projects while also having guidance and mentorship from leadership. The experience I have had thus far has exceeded my hopes and I am glad I am here at Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines."

Chelsea Van Vark

Past Administrative Fellows


Rob Gavora

Robert Gavora
Director, Mercy Connect


Robert was the inaugural fellow at Mercy, and received his Master’s in Health Administration from the Sloan program at Cornell University in 2015. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor is Business Management from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Prior to his time at Mercy, he was a Management Consulting Intern for Sage Growth Partners in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rob has completed his Administrative Fellowship and is now serving as the Director of Mercy Connect. We are very thrilled to keep Rob onboard with the Mercy Family and are excited to continue to watch him grow as he proceeds with his career. 




My experience at Mercy as an administrative fellow was exceptional. Not only did I get the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, but I was also able to tailor my schedule and work towards my own personal interests which made my work that much more exciting and worthwhile. The biggest differentiator I noticed when I interviewed for the fellowship at Mercy was the down to earth nature of everyone I spoke to, and that hasn’t changed since I have started full time. Senior leadership is extremely accessible, and everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. I’m beyond blessed to be able to stay on board and am excited to build a long-term career here.

Robert Gavora



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