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Week of March 21, 2011

Staff Spotlight

Globetrotting project manager loves 
life on the road

To celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary, international travel-lover Linnea Chervenak and husband, Andrew, entered a patisserie in Paris and bought a baguette, found cheese and olives at an open air market, purchased a bottle of wine, and had a picnic right outside the Eiffel Tower.

But that memory — and others of travel to Africa, New Zealand and Australia, London and other locales — can’t top the hot, sticky afternoon she awoke from a nap in a Venetian hotel room. “I remembered hearing someone singing opera. It was a gondolier singing to his customers on the Grand Canal,” she recalls.

Photo by Scott Soderberg, U-M Photo Services.

Born in Illinois, Chervenak spent her youth in North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, and taking family trips to Sudan, Kenya, Egypt and the Seychelles with her parents, both medical librarians. “I always thought it was normal to travel to foreign countries.” Chervenak recalls. “I loved the experience of going to open air markets and seeing all the variety of fruits and vegetables you won’t find here.”

Chervenak received a bachelor’s degree in public health from Indiana University-Bloomington and a Master of Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University before moving to Ann Arbor in 2005.

“I knew I wanted to be in the health care field at an early age, but not a clinician, I was more interested in the administrative policy side of health care. I wanted to provide an efficient environment for clinicians and an exceptional experience for patients.”

She now works as a senior project manager for Ambulatory Care, a part of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers that delivers medical care on an outpatient basis. “All of my fingers and toes are involved with different projects,” she says. “I work in a rapid (paced) environment.”

Recently, with several clinics moving from the Taubman Center to the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Chervenak has been working on a plan to make the best use of the vacated space. “I’ve been working with the architect to review projected costs to renovate and put in new clinics, and then also working with a financial team to review the financial analysis,” she says. Chervenak also provides administrative support for the executive director of Ambulatory Care.

“The variety of projects I am involved in is the aspect of my job that is most challenging,” she says. “But it is the same (aspect) I like the most.”

When not globetrotting or working at U-M, Chervenak spends her time making ceramics, training for her first half marathon or spending some downtime with her husband and their 5-year-old miniature schnauzer, Gabby.

Chervenak says she values the travel experience. “(It) opens your mind on how there are many different ways (people) can choose to live their lives.”

“I love walking around the travel section of a bookstore to get an idea of the next place to visit,” she says. “There are so many wonderful places in the world we can discover and experience. Since our first trip together, my husband and I have made it a mission to visit as much of the world as we can,” she says.

Her next stop? “I think next maybe Thailand. The beaches look wonderful, the architecture there, it looks like something I’ve never experienced before, the vivid colors, everything,” Chervenak says.

The weekly Spotlight features staff members at the university. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at



Linnea Chervenak, senior project manager, Ambulatory Care, U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, on her lifelong attraction to travel: “I always thought it was normal to travel to foreign countries.”


Author Pauline Kaldas poetry reading at 5:10 p.m. March 28, Angell Hall, with author T.J. Anderson.

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