July 7, 2023: What does it look like to be a woman in leadership with our Executives in Residence Sue Schade (Principal at StarBridge Advisors) and Sarah Richardson (SVP, Chief Digital & Information Officer at Tivity Health). How have the demands on leaders changed during the pandemic? How have female leaders had to develop and exercise specific skills during this period? What unique challenges does a CIO in healthcare face compared to other industries? How does technology support the shift towards treating patients as consumers in the healthcare industry? How can organizations create policies and provide flexibility to support women in balancing their careers and personal lives? What steps can leaders take to address gender disparities and promote diversity and inclusion in male-dominated industries? How can women overcome imposter syndrome and gain confidence in their abilities as leaders?
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Today on This Week Health.
people tend to look for the most creative ways to bring technology forward because we wanna make our own lives and jobs easier, because to your point, nothing ever truly goes away for us
Thanks for joining us on this keynote episode, a this week health conference show. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week Health, A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. For five years, we've been making podcasts that amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward. Special thanks to our keynote show. CDW, Rubrik, Sectra and Trellix for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Now onto our show.
(Main) 📍 All right. Here we are for an exciting conference episode. We're joined by Sue Shade, principal at Starbridge Advisors and Sarah Richardson, CIO at Tivity health and so many other things that Sarah does that it's hard to really encapsulate it.
In fact, every time I turn around, I see you different posts, different things around leadership and those kind of things. So, I'm really looking forward to this conversation. We're gonna talk about giving back to the industry. Welcome to the show, both of you. Thank you.
Thanks, bill. Good to be
Well, today we're gonna talk about giving back to the industry, but here's where I thought we would start. I thought we'd start by really talking about your journeys into healthcare. Healthcare. It. And we're gonna talk a little bit about how that's evolved and how that's changing. And then we're gonna close with giving back and we're gonna talk specifically about the executive and residence program with this week Health that you guys are our inaugural members.
So thank you very much for that. Sarah I'm gonna start with you. Give us an idea of your journey into becoming a CIO in the healthcare industry.
My journey started Bill with hospitality. Business. I actually have my first degree from U N L V in hospitality administration and spent the nineties opening major casino resorts and.
Loved the technology that it took to run the largest places in the world. And I also loved the fact that it was a catered experience for each of the people that would come to stay in Vegas and have these amazing experiences. It was when Vegas was a family destination, which is always sort of a fascinating hypothesis since it's tend to morph since then.
People still bring their kids, but it's not really what it's known for. And I don't know that truly it ever was. And I did that in four different locations. I loved it. It was super, like my first real job was at the MGM grand, which was the largest hotel casino in the world at. That took me into airlines that then took me into healthcare.
And what I loved about the ability to bring hospitality to healthcare is the fact that when you are experiencing healthcare, at least in a hospital setting, and quite often on an outpatient business as well, it's your most vulnerable time in your life. And so how do you create an experience that allows you to get well and still feel like you're the most important person in the room?
Those experiences. And so bringing those together was really special. And it stuck because I've been in the healthcare arena for over 23 years now, and I only spent seven of my years of my career, yes. My 30 year career in hospitality. So to this day, I love bringing those forces of nature together.
And you were, when we met, you were at DaVita. You went to Optum as part of the DaVita. And then you're now Tivity are there others I'm missing in between there Well
probably think about like the journey of like, I actually went to Healthcare Partners that got bought by dta, that got bought by Optum's, so That's right.
Triple acquisition universe. But the thing I love is that background plus all that time and energy that I spent at HCA over almost a decade. Really put me in a space. But I went to Tivity specifically for certain aspects of my career and certain responsibilities to bring to that organization.
And we did go from being publicly traded to being owned by private equity. We've been with private equity for over a year now, and we continue to, create new opportunities. We recently. Bought Burn along or acquired Burn along as part of our portfolio. So I love to like build and craft and arrange things in a way that continues to bring both experiences and valuation to the industry and to the people that it serves.
And so, being at Tivity is really a very special place right now cuz it's everything I've ever done in my career. I get to do it here right now.
Fantastic. Sue your journey into healthcare. Healthcare, it.
Okay. The only way I can top that is it's more years, Sarah.
See, I've followed you since I became a cio, so you have always set the path for others.
Well, thank you. That's very kind of you. I remember when I first met you at one of the CHIME events. It was great. So I started as a programmer and then I was a small systems analyst trying to figure out for the company, the non mainframe world. So that's how far back it goes. And I do have 40 years.
You're not supposed to say how many years, but 40 years in health IT management in healthcare organizations. And that includes working as the VP of software for an early stage company and then moving over to. A big consulting firm for a period, kind of a transition period. I worked at the c i o level starting in 2000.
I was at Brigham Women's Hospital as the c I O and then left there to go to Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I served as the c I O for University of Michigan hospitals and health centers. And in early 16 I decided to move back to New England. My family and grandkids. Three of the four grandkids were born while I was in Michigan.
So I had to figure out when I could get weekends and plane tickets and go visit. So, now it's a matter of a short drive to see them all. So I decided I wanna be my family and I wanted to have more flexibility in my career at that stage. So do interim management consulting and leadership coaching, and then, Later that year, I started with a couple colleagues, Starbridge advisors, and that's a health IT advisory firm, and that's what we do.
Interim management, consulting and coaching. We've got about 40 plus senior people who are on our team and work in healthcare organizations all over the country. My focus right now after doing four interims and a lot of coaching is to continue doing the coaching work and place the advisors on engagements.
Where we can. So that's like, yeah.
I, you guys both do coaching and I appreciate that about you. It's part of giving back. But as part of that I'm curious not only from your experience, but from the coaching experience, what are some of the unique challenges that a c I O in healthcare faces than, say, compared to other industries?
Sue, what are your thoughts on that?
Well, first off, it's 24 by seven by 365 in a way. Yeah, it cannot go down. Some other industries are not quite so dependent, it cannot go down. The other thing is you always have the risk of patient harm and that's a pretty heavy weight. When system goes down and you're scrambling, you're bringing it back up.
It's like, okay, well no one was hurt. Right? But there's always that potential when you have such a great reliance on the systems from a positive perspective and the opportunities being in healthcare, it's mission driven. I'm passionate about it. I can't imagine working in another industry and you really can make a difference in people's lives, patients and families every day.
And I mean, that's worth getting up for and working as hard as you can.
Sarah, how about you? Any thoughts on that? Yeah,
especially since I made the transition from hospitality to healthcare, and I used to think that was a 24 7 business too, and the level of acuity by which we would have to respond to scenarios that happened in hospitals or in hotels was incredibly important, especially based on the size and the scope of what was happening in those environments.
And yet when I made that transition into healthcare, it took a totally new dynamic and mostly to Sue's point, like all of a sudden we had. Sensitive patient data, complex regulations. We've got a technology that has to minimize disruptions to patient care and balancing all of those needs for innovation and new ways of doing things against very limited budgets.
I remember being in several conversations about, do you need IT equipment or do you get new beds? Do you get new operating equipment, or do you get, more people to do some of that work? And then I thought about in those roles in the hospitals, like then the technology we were using, it leveraged the improvement of true patient outcomes and streamlining operations and new patient experiences through the personalization of care, which has always been a really key driver.
And then you were spending more time collaborating. To figure out ways to have new outcomes and new experiences versus just using the data to drive more utilization. Like totally opposite, like you drive utilization in your hotels. You don't wanna drive utilization except for necessary outcomes in hospitals.
Like all these pieces always coming together. And to your point, we would say like, we have to be careful because people will die if we screw things up. And that's a whole different level of responsibility and ownership. And what I miss today most about being in a hospital is I would always love to go visit and round on patients that didn't have anybody to come visit them.
And I would go to the nurse manager and say, who's here right now that has no family or has no one to come see them? And that was where I learned early on, like I was always like drawn to the elderly or to our seniors who were by themselves for myriad reasons in morning individuals. Their story was something that maybe you were the only person that was gonna have a chance to hear and they just needed someone who cared that wasn't the one.
Also taking care of them
that moment. Yeah. I love the emphasis on the people side. We refer to 'em as patients all the time, but they're people with stories. They're people with family and we take the charge of caring for them very seriously on the technology side.
In fact, one of the things I liked about Providence, I wasn't with Providence Long. We just merged with them, but they referred to everybody as caregivers. And I've seen a lot of health systems since then refer to everybody including the technology staff as caregivers cuz that's really what everybody is,
Yeah, that's what I used to I always emphasize with my staff when I was working in hospitals that we're part of the extended care team.
We may not be touching the patient and their family directly, but the people who do depend on everything that we do, everything we provide, everything we support. So to think of ourselves as part of the extended care team.
You know what, Sue this is probably a really good question for you because you're slightly older than Sarah.
Slightly, but it's probably a good question for me too, but how's the role of technology evolved in, in healthcare? When you think back, I mean, there was a time where it was just sort of like we were putting technology into places, just trying to automate things, get a little bit more efficiency.
Then it was, Hey, we're documenting the medical record and we're documenting this thing. But it really, I mean, I'd love for you to just think back over the time, how has it evolved in terms of the use of technology the prevalence of technology in the healthcare setting?
I love this question and yeah, I'm a little older so I can go back a little further.
I'm gonna tell you that one of the, not one of, but the first professional presentation that I did at a conference, I was on a panel. It was an IBM mid systems size mid system. Mid computer, mid-sized computer system conference. Okay. And someone I had known and worked a little bit with asked me to be on the panel was probably the only woman, probably, one or few women in the room of a couple hundred.
And what I presented was on very simple file transfer. That's it. They wanted to know how we were doing file transfer. This was back in the. Mid eighties. Okay. And I'm like this doesn't seem very, significant. And he goes, oh no. What you guys are doing you really need to tell people about it.
So, I mean, fast forward to where we are in terms of interoperability and the sophistication of systems. So, in, back in the day it was backroom data center operations. Now it's strategic partner and innovator. That's what you've gotta be to be successful, and early on it was the core clinical and business systems, and a lot of it was truly the patient accounting systems.
Now, I mean, look at the expansion of every system that it is supporting and touching. It is also changed in terms of I think being more distributed amongst non IT groups. Good or bad. When you think about, it's not just about a big capital investment, it's a sas. Subscription and just about any department can get something through and stand up a system, but ultimately they probably need it support.
And the other thing I would comment on is just the shift in terms of where care is given and the focus. So it was so inpatient focused at one point in terms of hospitals, we saw the whole shift to outpatient ambulatory, right. With the E M R as well as other systems, the focus on patients as consumers in terms of the digital health and the digital front door, and now hospital at home and home services.
And what does that mean and how is that challenging the technology that has to be delivered. So just some of the shifts that I've seen over time, many of which you've also seen Sarah.
It's amazing. Sarah I'm curious from a strategic standpoint, you're in a little different company in that of really focusing on seniors and focused in on that journey and that experience and creating those experiences.
A lot of those experiences are tied to technology in digital. So talk a little bit about how the CIO role is strategic in those conversations and the technology is strategic in those conversations. Sure. And what's
interesting about all the things that Sue had shared is that when you think about the fact that we used to really handle a lot of the backend capabilities of an organization, and even recently with my team, I said, have you even noticed over the last couple of years in our organization, based on the strategic way, we have rolled out what we're doing from a transformation perspective.
When I got to T, we took orders, and now we are consulting partners. Based on what the business needs to deliver next. And so we went from meetings where it was. Invited or thought of afterwards to a space where, hey, we have a three hour for all of the right reasons, meeting every other Thursday. That's intake and governance and review and portfolio management and different business capabilities and ideas that come through.
And we are truly partners to all members of our business. So I think of the triangle of there's a product owner, there's a business owner, and there's an IT owner. And no decision really gets made in a vacuum without those three agreeing and figuring out the next steps because. Everything we do has an impact from a technological perspective.
It's where I'm, to a degree, challenged the fact that now digital is this thing. Well, digital's always been that way because the world that I grew up in, in it was digital. We had the ones and the zeros and the aspects of what we did. And now it's part of just the conversation because so many things involve technology at every level.
You rarely see anything that's paper-based anymore. And if you do, it tends to be, a department that likes to have a secondary, ticker or tracker on things that we do. But it's not common anymore. Everything is part of what we do with technology and. The records show, like we look at the senior populations, 70% of all seniors of any age bracket, whether you're talking 50, 60, seventies, and beyond, they use technology one way or another.
Mostly is to stay in touch with their families. So when you add those workflows or those ideas in into their fitness or their wellness routines, it's not foreign to them. They know how to track information. They know how to take care of themselves in those spaces, and so we see an uptick. In both digital and on demand and live classes from their computers.
If they can't get to an in-person location as an example, I love the fact that it's always part of the conversation and it's not an assumption because when you think about the user experience now, and a consumers and perspective, you have to think of ways to make it easy to use it and a way that you can trust the brand.
And those are the types of things that when I started out in it, we weren't gonna be talking about. And now we talk them every single day.
But has anything gone off our plate? Are We're still doing the back office, right? Like and now we're just expected. Yeah. It's just expected to be great. An enterprise application.
It's come off, but I believe we get to use our brains in a way that is new and maybe not as, Formulaic as it was in the past. It's like we get to be creative and think of new ways to do things first, but it, people tend to look for the most creative ways to bring technology forward because we wanna make our own lives and jobs easier, because to your point, nothing ever truly goes away for us.
It's, yeah, hopefully it transforms over time.
We'll get back to our show in just a minute as we celebrate our fifth anniversary At this week, health, we've partnered with Alex's Lemonade Stand of Foundation, combating Childhood Cancer. And I've just been floored by the generosity of our community. We set a goal to raise $50,000 this year, I wasn't sure how we were gonna hit it.
And we are already up over $34,000 for the year, and we want to thank you for being a part of that. This June, as you know, we've been doing drives all year, and we're gonna do something a little different in June. We have 2 29 groups where we bring together healthcare leaders, about 10 to 15 of 'em in a round table format.
And we discuss the biggest challenges facing healthcare and how technology can be applied to those challenges. We have an event in June and together with our chairs of that event, our participants and our sponsor partners, we're gonna be donating $5,000, to the cause. We really want to thank our chairs.
For that event, Jeff Sterman and Chad Brisendine. Jeff Sterman with Memorial Healthcare. Chad Brisendine with St. Luke's University Health Network, for being a part of that. We want to thank our sponsor partners order, Gordian Dynamics Clear Sense rubric. Sure test VMware and Nuance for also being a part of raising that $5,000.
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I'm curious, we've all lived through the pandemic. And I'm wondering how either the demands on leaders have changed or the expectations of leaders have changed. I'm curious what your perspective is on that, having worked over the last couple of years.
Is the leadership role changing? I'm sure the demands are changing, but as the role itself as a leader changed Sue, what are your thoughts on that?
Has the role as a leader changed? No, it's probably just using different muscles when you think about it. Certainly, the crisis the quick reaction, the decisiveness less meetings, less process.
Let's just, make the decision and move, especially early days of the pandemic. I think that leaders were exercising those muscles in different ways. I do think there's a greater focus on people. People as truly the most important asset of an organization. And clearly with the concerns about burnout.
Certainly clinic clinicians burn up. But really everybody it's been a very difficult couple years. So I think there's more focus from leaders on the people aspect. There's clearly more focus on retaining the staff, the workforce being flexible providing where possible, all the remote and hybrid options and, that's a whole.
We could have a whole thing on that. And I know you talk about that periodically, bill, but as the pendulum swings back and forth on that one. The other thing I would say is there's female traits we're, I'm gonna say with the air quotes some of the softer skills that people talk about in terms of leaders.
I think people have had to really develop those skills and exercise those skills. Again, on the people aspect during this period. I
love that concept of new muscle. It's like leadership hasn't changed. We're still leaders, but new muscle. Sarah what kind of things did you have to exercise or potentially change in your leadership as you as you progress through the pandemic?
I would start by saying we have ended up more dynamic, adaptable, and innovative in response to Covid 19, but it wasn't just the pandemic that drove that in terms of like the need to be. More agile and quickly adapt to changing circumstances. I believe that we as leaders have always been accustomed to that working in the industry that we work in.
It was making difficult decisions with limited resources, being comfortable with not having to overanalyze everything. It wasn't always a committee conversation. It was a what's the next best action based on the information we know today and making decisions quickly. I remember. Everyone said, we got so much done during Covid.
I'm like, yeah. Cause we had like two or three things we were focused on. It was getting, our patients, safe and well. Keeping our staff that way as well. Getting telemedicine in place, getting remote monitoring, more stabilized even that was simple as something like putting VDI or remote work in place.
And then of course then continuation and the ability to decide what kinda environment do you wanna work in going forward and. All of that was that just absolute focus on a few and finite things that were happening. It's one of the traits that I have continued to push into our E P M O in our governance discussions.
Everyone's like, why were we so, so successful? We did like two or three things at a time with absolute laser focus, and guess what? We reaped all the benefits of that and people were like, how did I teeth respond so quickly? Well, half those things we had on our plates for years. Like I think about the patient scheduling and telemedicine, like we could not get that over the line for five years in a previous organization, and yet we did it overnight.
Because all of a sudden we have to. And so I love still creating that sense of urgency with enough information to make a good decision, knowing that you can go back and still learn from the things that are happening. But let's not overanalyze and overthink certain things. Let's make sure we have great information to make great decisions.
And by the way, you have all the right people around the table to make that happen. And we are not. We are a fully remote company. T went completely remote during Covid and it's working for us. I now have an executive team that we live in Fort. Four different states, and I've got team members in like 30 different states as well.
There's no way I could recruit the talent that I have today if I didn't have that capability. And yet it's a different kind of always on, like I'm on the phone from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and sometimes later because now I'm dealing with four time zones and people are working sometimes when it's most convenient or getting caught up on things at night.
You have to be available to. To be that partner, to think things through. So the time element has stretched quite a bit and yet the expectation of delivery is now set that we will do things. Better, faster, cheaper with the right of information to do the right
thing. It's interesting the pandemic was in Cotter's model the ultimate burning platform, right?
Yeah. It's like we, we had to make decisions. We had to make them very rapid. I have the two of you here, so I'm gonna ask this question and Sue, you and I have talked about this many times over the years. A as, as female CIOs in a field that shall we say is traditionally has been male dominated and probably traditionally in, still is male dominated.
Based on conversations that we've even had recently share some of the experiences and how you've navigated this landscape over the years. I. And Sue I'll go to you. Since I would imagine 40 years ago you were probably one of the only women in the room I would think.
In fact I was, yeah. So in that way back machine, there was a period of five years when I was the only woman on the IT leadership team and I had two small children. I had a long commute opposite direction. Daycare drop off opposite direction to my office. And I think it's fair to say it was a old boys club and they really didn't get.
They didn't get it. And they, I think most of my male peers then had wives who were not working outside the home. And it was a tough period. It was also a period where There were a couple of my peers who really gave me a bad time kind of out to get me. I won't go into the details of it, but one of my one of my pieces of advice when I talk about this with women is don't take any bull.
Fill in the blank. Don't take it. I spent a fair amount of time taking it as in. Internalizing and then talking to my husband about it at night and using energy and cycles on this stuff when I could have been using it in more productive ways. And I did reach a point where I decided that was it, the stuff that was going on.
I couldn't resolve myself. And I just went to our boss and I said, this is what's going on. These are the examples, these are the situations and you need to be aware, you're gonna need to deal with it. And, any, anything else happens, I'll let you know. I'm gonna tell you about it. And he spoke to one of the one of my peers after that.
And then that peer came into my office and held my door shut and, With his hand on the doorknob and threatened me if I said anything else and reported anything. So, hopefully people aren't dealing with that kind of stuff. No women aren't dealing with that kind of stuff now, but who knows? And things have progressed a lot.
But yeah, I was kind of the school of hard knocks. What I tell women, make sure you have a strong support system that's friends and family. My husband. During those years of, raising kids in management he was just awesome as a support. Have a mentor or mentors Hard as it may be at time.
You have to develop that confidence. There's a great article, the Confidence Gap that I've recommended to people that just really have a lot of data talking about girls and boys growing up and the differences. And I will tell you, I have three granddaughters and one grandson and I see it.
My grandson's name is Colin, and sometimes I tell people just. Challenge your inner calling. I mean, he thinks he could do anything and he's seven, right? And as I said earlier, just don't take the bull crap. Find a way if you need to. If you can't resolve it yourself and you need to report to the right places, then you have to do that.
Hey, Sarah, I'm gonna give you this question in a minute, but Sue I'm sort of curious, what would make the biggest difference culturally or in women being able to achieve? Is it some aspect of taking into account the life challenges that women face in terms of potentially having kids and potentially the.
Balancing career. Is there something that organization can manage or do differently?
Certainly policies flexibility. I mean, and that goes for, men and women, moms and dads, right? And you see a lot of progress in that area in terms of organizations. It, it also goes for opportunity promotions.
People say it's not a pie, it's not like you give here and it takes away from someone else. You raise up women, you're gonna lift all boats. Right. You look at d e I efforts, diversity, equity, inclusion it's broad.
Policy, culture leaders, behavior all those things come into play and things are better and different. Let me just say one other thing. I started openly talking about women's issues at work. Nine years ago, I think it was in 14. And I had the opportunity to do a keynote at one of these conferences that our highly vendor sponsored.
There were probably 200 people there. The vendors pay for you to be there, and then they, you do that. Fast speed dating and talk to them during, those sessions. But I was asked to do the keynote. I was told I could talk about anything. 20 minute talk at dinner, the opening night.
And I talked about the changing workforce and I talked about women's issues and there were a couple women in the audience who looked at each other when I started talking and thought, oh gosh, where's this going? And I had so many men come up to me afterwards and say, I'm so glad you said what you did.
And then they told me about their daughters. Right. I have a daughter who's gonna, who wants to be an engineer, and I'm trying to be supportive of her. So, my point about starting to talk more openly about it and then write about it in terms of my blog. I see there's been a lot of progress.
I look at something like Hit Like a Girl that, and everything that Joy Rios has done it's like, let's not hide the fact that there are still issues. Let's raise them up and let's find ways to support women.
Yeah, it's I am so grateful for the two of you and the role model you've been for my daughters and Sarah, I know you're working with one of my daughters and it's funny cuz she works with Sarah.
And Sarah says, no, you could do this, you could do this, you could do this. And sometimes this is one of, and Sue, I think you and I, and I know Jamie Nelson and I talked about this as well on the show where women see a checklist of like 10 things that's required to do the next job. And they only have like two or three of them and they go, oh, I can't do that job.
Men look at it and go, I've got two or three, I can do that job. Exactly. They apply. Yep. And sometimes it's just somebody saying, no, you can do it. And Sarah did that with my daughter and so she works for me and she called me up and she said hey, we need to have a conversation. I believe my role. Is worth more money than what you're paying me, I believe.
And she had this PowerPoint presentation, and I just want to thank you publicly, Sarah, for getting my daughter such a significant pay increase, of course from my organization. So anyway Sarah, talk about your I mean, you clearly you've benefited from some of the work that Sue's done over the years.
Talk a little bit about your journey as a female leader in this landscape.
Sure. What I find most interesting is that we always need a sponsor who tells us that we can, and then that sponsor is a safe place. That also shows us how we can, we don't always know how to get there. I think about colleagues who don't go for the promotion or don't exult themselves in their own performance reviews because we're taught to be humble or quiet or not take up space. I remember being in the offices and I would tell the women take up space, like it's hilarious. When I'd go to an in-person meeting, I practically unpack like, like I've lived there for a week.
And not just to like claim territory as much as sit at the table, sit up front, spread out. Don't be demure and hiding out in your chair. Have a voice. I mean, I'm pretty tall and I still wear like four inch platform heels because you're six feet tall in a room. You command a presence and it's okay to own that space.
And that started with one of my very first bosses. She was five 11 and she still wore heels. And I was like, you're so awesome. She was also an incredibly successful leader. Kind, thoughtful, driven, strategic, and she taught all of us a lot of those basic elements. So I was lucky in that I had strong women in my life, both personally and professionally.
But then there are those moments where you're like, that whole space of imposter syndrome sets in because, oh, yeah. We aren't taught how to fail gracefully. We're taught like how to show up and behave and perform and do all these things. So when you have an oops, it's not like the locker room job. Like, oh, so that was a good one.
You see how bad you screwed that up. You're like, that doesn't happen until you create those environments for yourself and others to make that a true thing. So there's been some major, trips and falls in my career and it took me a while to figure out how to recover from those. And I had a pretty significant one in my thirties.
And it took me a couple years to refind my identity until I realized that my identity wasn't actually my job anymore. My identity was what I brought to the table from a collective perspective. So I had several women on my team. Sometimes I get questioned about it and I go back to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote about When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?
And she said, nine, and that would be all of them. She's like, well, there's been nine men before. No one ever said anything. And so you always hire for the best skill set and talent, but I'm always drawn to the women who are. Looking to very specifically up their career while they decide. And I love my 20 something mentees.
They're just getting married or my 30 somethings. Just deciding to now have babies and like, how do I do all of these things at the same time? And I'm like, well, you gotta plan for, you gotta plan for it and create those environments. But as a leader, it's my responsibility that you take your entire leave and you better not work.
I don't wanna be gone that long. Okay, well I get that, but that baby's only gonna be a baby once. I promise five, six years from now when they're, going into kindergarten and first grade and doing those things, you're not gonna wish you checked your email when they were two months old. And so create spaces where it's safe to live life as much as it is safe to learn how to fail and recover and go for that next thing, because those failures make us stronger every single day.
But you have to have a place where you're willing to talk about the show exactly as you were trained or taught to show up and. I mean, heck, I make faux calls all the time. I pretty much joke about like, how many things can I screw up today? And we still get exactly where we were supposed to go because we were willing to do that.
And I've introduced that methodology into my organization. I'm like, it's okay not to be perfect. Like literally find ways to screw things up that aren't going to be detrimental so that you can grow and learn how to do it better differently next time.
Wow. By the way both Sarah and Sue both do coaching services, and if you are.
Looking for someone to coach you. I highly recommend them, whether you're a woman or a man. They're phenomenal coaches, great experience, and a lot to share. I, you guys have both given back in the industry and I appreciate that. I'm going to, looking at the clock, we got about 10 minutes.
I wanna talk a little bit about The executive and residence program that we started at this week, health. And part of it was to bring people like you closer so that you could help us be better for the industry. And the executive and residence program really has three things. It's provide insights to this week health and to our executive team.
You help to develop content and both of you have helped to develop content over the years. Sue, you're now hosting a town hall, you've. You referenced interviewing John Glasser. That was a phenomenal interview, and then finally the last part of the Executive residence program is participates in the development and delivery of our 2 29 round table event.
And Sarah, you've been a part of one of those. And Sue, you and I are gonna actually host one this fall. So I'm looking forward to that. Talk about your philosophy and talk about ways that you've given back. To to the industry. Sarah I'll start with you on this one.
What are some ways what, how do you think about giving back and what are some ways that you have really that you strive to give back to this industry?
Sure. The Key driver, and I believe this is why we're in healthcare, is that altruistic perspective of how you make things a better place.
You always want things to be better than when you found them, and when you put yourself in a scenario, you're like, I'm not a physician. And what I have realized and being healthcare all these years is that you will always, to a degree, be the next level in the orchestration of how things happen in an environment because you are not the one providing the patient care.
You are absolutely responsible for knowing how that care gets delivered and creating a space for the physicians to be able to do their best work. And no one went to school to become a doctor who just stands in and sits in front of a computer. And so having those open and honest dialogues and not taking their conversations with their ideas about technology personally, except you personally decide what you're going to do about it.
And so, That honest feedback and creating a rapport with physicians that'd always figure out who hated it the most and figure out a way to have them understand that everyone's there for the same reason. How do we figure out a way to do it together? And those were always my favorite stories was getting the anesthesiologist to agree on a new system or putting packs in place, 25 years ago.
And having the radiologist be okay with the fact that now these reads were gonna be done potentially even in another country. Those. Relationships, the reputation that you build and the opportunities you create by not only listening and allowing people to be heard, but also forcing yourself to think about things in a new, a different way.
To me, that's that constant feedback loop that has lent itself to coaching and trying new institute, trying new environments. As far as. Whether that's hospitals or primary care, specialty care and nativity, you always make yourself think a little bit harder than you ever thought you would have to in a given scenario.
And sue, you've given back in so many different ways. I'd love for you to share just some of those ways that you've given back.
Sure. Let me preface it by saying and this is something I think I blogged about at one point. The idea of giving back. If you are young with a family and maybe working on your masters like I did when I had a young family.
And I was in management. You got all you can to just get through the day, right? As you get older and you maybe have less of those family demands is a. Great opportunity to start giving back, though I would encourage every young person in their early in their career to find ways to get involved.
So, I was on CHIME committees, HIMSS committees. I served on the chime board. I served on the board of Amy which is the biomed clinical engineering group. I'm committed to developing next generation leaders and I know Bill, that's something that I certainly share with you.
And this week, health. I started writing the blog weekly nine years ago. I keep thinking, how much longer do I go? How much more do I have to say what's new? Right? But that's really a way of giving back and helping, educate and share. I. Don't typically say no to speaking requests. I love doing panels.
Probably more than presentations is a little less prep and you get to play off other people. One of the things that I never say no to, and this was true when I was in CIO positions, is students, if you're the CIO in a healthcare system and someone is. In a graduate program of some sort and they have an it, leadership course or whatever and they reach out to you and they say, can you talk to me and answer some questions as part of some coursework I need to do, and can I learn from you?
The answer is yes. You fit that in. You have to. Someone's done that for you along the way. The last thing I'll mention is that I probably do two to three calls a week. Now helping people who are in between jobs who are thinking of changing, giving them some career advice, telling them what I know is open, who I can introduce them to, if they don't have a good network or don't know the search firms.
So, you find ways to help other people cuz you know, people have helped you along the way. Yep.
Absolutely. Just in the interesting interest of time I think this is gonna be the closing question. So, it's gonna sound a little self-serving, but you guys are two extremely busy people.
You have used the, this week health platform pretty well. Over the years. We have had great discussions. We've gotten. Message out. I remember we've had, oh my gosh, we've had so many great conversations. It's hard to narrow 'em all down, especially with the timeframe here. But Sue why would you choose to come on the show as often as you did?
And I really appreciate you coming on both of you in that first year. Cuz when I started the show, I thought, I only know 10 people in the industry. I don't know how I'm gonna do. Weeks of shows and you guys came on early on and it really helped me. And that's another way that you've given back.
Why this week? Health, why have you given up your time and why now? The Executive and Residence program. Sue I'll start with you.
Well, I like you, bill, and I think what you're doing is amazing for the industry, and I've always been a fan and supporter from the beginning, and I think the fact that you change and evolve and you listen to audience, right, and you.
Come up with new programs, you sunset other programs. So it's just, it's staying fresh and relevant and I love that, for me, being able to share and to learn from others. Every time I schedule one of the town hall interviews, it's like, okay, who do I know well? And what is it that we could dig in, specifically on for 20 minutes and try to add some value to the people who are gonna listen?
So yeah. It's more than that. I like you, bill. I think what you have built is a great platform and contribution to the industry, and I'm happy to be part of it.
Well, and I appreciate you telling me I told you before I asked the question that it was a little self-serving. I need some accolades every now and then, so I appreciate it.
Sarah, we'll give you the last word on the show.
The likability factor is always important. You do business with people that you like as much as that responsibility that Sue mentioned. Yes, we take the calls, yes, we help people out who ask all those different connections that need to be made because you never know where that spark will create.
Something special for an individual. It goes back to that continuous learning, continuous desire to make a difference in the industry. I remember one of the topics you sent me like two or three years ago, I'm like, I have no idea because I'm not doing that where I am probably darned I'm gonna say no because now I need to go figure it out.
And then I'm calling my network and saying, Hey, I'm gonna be on Bill show and here's, these different topics. Like, what are your perspectives? How do I create the best answers for an audience? And they're like, oh, bill, bill, what? What's Bill doing? Like, oh this week, health yesterday. I had a conversation with A C E O who was, who has created a new company in healthcare that's about two years old.
And I'm like, are you familiar with this week Health? Do you know Bill? And he's like, no. I'm like, go check it out. So it's a way to educate myself. It educates other executives, educates people about an approachability for something maybe they aren't that familiar with, but they can go listen to your show and be a part of that.
And then I think about 2 29, we've got a big group coming in next month here to California and I'm like, I want that to be a destination space for people to share ideas in a safe and collaborative manner. Where else do you get to go and not be with 3000 people or 10,000 or even a thousand and just sit around a table and go, oh, guess what?
This is happening in my universe too. And it's not, co commiserating. It's like, oh, here's how I'm solving for that. And every time you bring people together, you create bonds and you create new synergies and new opportunities. That's what this week health is all about. It's the education, it's the experience, it's the camaraderie that goes with that.
And when you do that in a way that's very approachable. Then of course people wanna be a part of something bigger than themselves. That's how we all get better together. And so I'm grateful for the platform you've created because we all needed it. You were the one who went and did it.
Well, I appreciate those kind of words.
I, I will close with this. Leadership can be lonely. There's a lot of times you have information you can't share. There's things you have to process yourself. And Sue, you mentioned earlier, having that network of people around you and those kind of things. I hope we're creating that kind of community.
And I appreciate the two of you because there are times where this job is lonely. It's in my house by myself and those kind of things. And I really enjoy knowing that you guys are a phone call away and appreciate you being a part of helping to build this community and making all the things that that we hope it will be.
So, hey, thank you again for being an executive in residence and thank you again for coming on the show. Thank you. Have a
day. Bye. Bye.
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