Woman are increasingly making waves in fields once dominated by men, such as healthcare. In a world where healthcare is ever-changing, there are those that rise above and beyond to evolve and create new solutions for the industry. These women are upholding the backbone of healthcare. They are working tirelessly to revolutionize and transform the field to improve the lives of individuals everywhere.
Join Engineering FUTURES Diamond McNeill, Morgan Kuerschner and, Julia Drahozal along with Consulting FUTURE Hannah Valentine as they highlight a few women of influence in healthcare and impact they are making on the industry.
Kathleen Sebelius is CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC, which “provides strategic advice to private companies, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and financial investors.” Before starting her own company, she served in high-profile government positions. She was formerly the governor of Kansas, where she eliminated the debt she inherited when she came to office, without raising taxes. She was also the Secretary of Health and Human Services during half of President Obama’s term in office. She is one of the major backers that made the Affordable Care Act come into fruition.
Halle Tecco is the co-founder and CEO of Rock Health. Rock Health serves as a startup accelerator for businesses in the health and technology fields using workshops and speakers to get things off the ground. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and currently serves as a professor at Columbia Business School. Halle was included on the Goldman Sachs’ Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs list as well as the Forbes 30 under 30. When asked what keeps her up at night Halle responded, “We all know that modern technology has the power to lower costs and make healthcare better for everyone — yet this is one of the last industries to undergo a technology-driven transformation. It’s a messy, complex system and I spend a lot of time wrapping my mind around this opportunity.”
Deborah Proctor is the president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Health System, the largest Catholic health system in the country. Deborah is the first women to run the organization that is not a nun. When she first joined the company she was enlightened by how much faith was a part of the workplace. “I was amazed when I began to work at St. Joseph that people talked about faith, how we would operate as an organization. It affected everything. At that time, the sisters were still very active in healthcare. … It really shaped my whole career,” she said. Her main focus when coming into the company was to create a patient-centric atmosphere of care and to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. Deborah not only focused on patient care and healthcare education, but she also created a bio-ethics committee. One of the awards she received is the Bishop Tod D. Brown Award. This award recognizes dedication to be an ethical business in South Carolina. Not only has Deborah grown St. Joseph Health System into a $6 billion company, she focused growing a strong community in the workplace and having the patients be the main focus.
Charlene Underwood serves as the board chair of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the world of healthcare through innovative use of information technology. She formerly led the HIMSS EHR (Electronic Health Records) Association as its president. Charlene also works in the Medical Solutions HIT division at Siemens. Her expertise in the healthcare IT field caused her to become a vocal advocate for interoperability in EHRs through the creation of the HIMSS EHR Association Interoperability Roadmap, key in the creation of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology’s EHR certification qualifications. Charlene’s work puts interoperability, certification, high standards and patient safety at the forefront of healthcare. Charlene strives to “encourage the widespread adoption of EHR solutions for the significant value they provide to patients, providers, purchasers and payers.” Through her advocacy of HIT, Charlene has promoted and encouraged the use of EHRs to create a more efficient and more accessible healthcare field.