Tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare.
I have worked in healthcare for the past 22 years and would not have it any other way. I began as an occupational therapist and loved it! It gave me the joy of helping patients to restore their function and quality of life to what it was prior to illness and disease. That is why I chose healthcare; I thrive on being able to play a small part in impacting lives for the better. I later transitioned to work on leadership teams in various rehabilitation departments and found that by doing so, my reach and influence rapidly expanded to be able to impact MANY patients at the same time. I have found that healthcare leadership is my purpose. With my recent transition to the Chief Medical Executive’s office, I hope to serve MD Anderson and oncology patients in general, by assisting in the facilitation of access to care and improvements in patient navigation throughout our system.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my spare time, I absolutely love traveling and spending time with family. We LOVE riding roller coasters and spend a significant amount of time researching and ‘conquering’ the tallest, fastest, and wildest that we can find. I also spend time supporting Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance, an organization that provides emotional, educational, and practical support to families of children with cancer. Some of the best memories of my life have been spent with these ‘warriors’. They are steadfast in showing cancer who’s BOSS!
What is your favorite ACHE memory or activity?
While tough to choose, my favorite ACHE memory is (of course) passing the Board of Governors Exam, but I must say that the recent event, “What’s Up Boss?”, was a very close second place. The opportunity to share my experiences with mentees and up-and-coming executives brings joy and hope for the future of healthcare.
How do you envision healthcare in the next 10 years?
In short, I envision healthcare to be new and improved in the next 10 years in many meaningful ways. I expect to see rapid scientific breakthroughs in research and care, accelerating the path to recovery and healing. Additionally, continued improvements in data gathering, data sharing, and interoperability will improve efficiency in operations and execution of tasks. Lastly, I expect to see increased compassion for the underserved, as evidenced by policy additions and revisions to minimize disparities and improve overall access to care.
Interview by Caliann Ferguson