Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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We Mean Business > 30 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 7 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m in any room of health-care ex- ecutives. "It became my personal goal, through the magazine, that I want- ed to help women, both senior ex- ecutives and up-and-coming female leaders, to improve by providing a plat- form, a venue, a spotlight, and recogniz- ing the work and efforts of women and minorities," she says. "It's not just the demographic base of our health-care in- dustry—the patient base has changed. It's more diverse. And not just the patient population but also the employment pool. And women are the decision mak- ers for health care. So we need women in positions where the important, critical decisions are being made." So 13 years ago, Modern Healthcare launched a biennial Top 25 Women in Healthcare list. e goal, says Lopez, was to "put the spotlight on and recognize the great work that women in leadership were doing." at was followed a few years later by the launch of Modern Healthcare's Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference. With themes like "Shaping the Future of Healthcare" and "On the Front Lines of Transformation," the two-day conference is a networking and leadership training opportunity for women (and a few "brave men," Lopez says) designed to foster mentorship and women's leadership pipeline. Acknowledging women's power Part of the appeal of the conference, Lo- pez says, is recognizing the central role women play in the health-care decisions of their families. "People tell us that they learned so much from the conference that can help them better understand the issues, and how women deal with issues," she says. "We make decisions differently; we process in- formation differently. So our conference is not a conference where people complain about their spot in life, but is a venue where people can share, collaborate, and learn from one an- other about the issues they face, op- erationally and managerially and in terms of leadership issues, too." is speaks directly to the power of women in health-care leadership, say Lopez and others. Because of how women are socialized to value relationships and collaboration above all, they are uniquely suited to tackle the other major shift in the health-care industry in the last decade: the Affordable Care Act and a shift in how health-care organizations are compensated for their care. e shift, says ACHE's Bowen, is from fee for service—that is, a hospital is paid a specific amount for a specific proce- dure—to value- and population-based reimbursement per episode. In this new system, health-care organizations are in- creasingly asked to center on the patient experience and shape services around pa- tients so they don't become readmitted to the hospital. "When you're paid on cost and quality, you're forced to reorganize the way health care is delivered," says Bowen. "at means personnel like advance-practice nurses are going to be playing an increas- ingly influential role in understanding how to redesign those systems to help patients. ose closest to the patient are the most knowledgeable, and this is an enormous opportunity for women." at opportunity seems to be showing up in the statistics. In 1990, very few of ACHE's members were women. By 2000, they made up one in four. A decade later, about one in three ACHE members were women. Today? New members are about half women and half men, Bowen says. "If we were to project 10 to 20 years in the future," she says, "it's likely that males would be the new minority. It's interesting to think about." is year, Modern Healthcare's Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference sold out. Leveraging women's strengths e increasing importance of women's decision-making power in the health-care lives of their families has certainly impacted Pam Kehaly's rise. Kehaly, president of Anthem's west region, needs to understand health-care consumers in order to make sure the company's insurance products will hit the mark. Being a woman, she says, can give her a leg up. "When I sit down and look at market research, or talk about how to position a product from a marketing or sales perspective, I can see it from the vantage point of most of our buyers," she says. "And look—your input is either right or wrong. But I think because I've got that vantage point, I'm probably more right than wrong." ere's another advantage to women's leadership style, at least in the general sense, says Kehaly and Candio: an emphasis on value. Now that she's reached her current level, Kehaly says, she's not as focused on reaching the next level. e focus has shifted to how she can provide the most value to the company and to the customer. e question now, she says, is "Where can I make a contribution?" Candio sums up this mind-set simply: "One of my purposes in life is to serve others." "I'm a true believer in servant leadership," she says. "Health care today is in an exciting and challenging time. But I always say to folks we need to stop looking at this as [regulations] being imposed upon us. is is like anything in life, especially being a woman. We know the incline for us could be a little steeper. We need not look at it as steep, though, and instead see it as a rewarding challenge." DW Heather Boerner, a health-care and science writer based, is the author of Postively Negative: Love, Pregnancy, and Science's Surprising Victory Over HIV. We need women in positions where the important, critical decisions are being made.

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