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2021 Women in Healthcare Leadership Spotlight Roundup

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   December 29, 2021

Each month, HealthLeaders interviewed and highlighted women executives who work in the healthcare sector.

Over the past year, HealthLeaders has spoken to numerous inspiring healthcare leaders. Among them include executives from provider organizations, payer organizations, and consultants.

Every month, Healthleaders has featured women executives, who spoke about areas of their expertise, as well as shared their leadership background and advice for other women who are aspiring leaders.

Here are 12 feature articles that highlight some of the amazing women who lead in healthcare.

Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA

Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA, currently serves as president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System, and the associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in Los Angeles, California.

During her more than 35 years working in the healthcare sector, Spisso began her journey as a registered staff nurse and worked through multiple management responsibilities, eventually becoming a CNO, then a COO, and finally a CEO.

In this interview, Spisso shares her journey from nurse to health system CEO, and how she strives to be an "inclusive, collaborative leader."

Robin Hoeg, RN, MSHA

Robin Hoeg, RN, MSHA, has spent her over three decades-long healthcare career at Winona Health, the only hospital in Winona County, Minnesota, where she currently serves as the COO of hospital and primary care services.

Since 1988, Hoeg has worked for Winona in several capacities, including as a registered staff nurse on the surgical floor, a registered nurse in home care, the director of home care and hospice, and the director of inpatient services.

In this interview, Hoeg shares her career journey and the best advice she has received: be bold and be humble.

Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, MD, MPH, MBA

Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, MD, MPH, MBA, wanted to work in healthcare since she was a child and has worked for more than two decades in the healthcare sector.

She currently serves as the chief health officer of Accenture, which she joined in July 2021. When she last spoke with HealthLeaders, she was serving in her previous role as the senior vice president and chief community impact officer at Ascension in St. Louis, Missouri.

In this interview, Duperval-Brownlee shares how her curiosity, questions, and servant leadership style influenced her executive experience.

Mimi Liu

In April 2021, Mimi Liu spoke with HealthLeaders in the pilot episode of the HealthLeaders Women in Healthcare Leadership Podcast.

During the interview, she was serving as the chief technology officer at FireFly Health. Now, she serves as the chief operating officer in addition to the CTO role for the virtual-first primary care, behavioral health, and specialty care service, based in Watertown, Massachusetts.

In this podcast interview, Liu shares her experience starting a new role during the pandemic, what she's accomplished during her career, and advice for future women healthcare leaders.

Carladenise Edwards, PhD

Carladenise Edwards, PhD, currently serves as executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.

Her career has been defined by roles in various aspect of the healthcare sector for three decades, including starting her journey as a policy analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services.

In this podcast interview, Edwards shares the organization’s initiatives around healthcare equity, her accomplishments as a healthcare executive, and advice for future leaders.

Seema Verma

Seema Verma has a long career steeped in healthcare policy work. Among her past roles includes serving as the former administrator of the Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services under former President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2021.

Among her current roles, she serves as a health policy expert, consultant, and board member for Lumeris and Monogram Health. Her newer roles also include serving as a board member for LifeStance Health and WellSky.

In this podcast interview, Verma shares what drives her to work in healthcare policy, her goals while serving on the board of directors for both Lumeris and Monogram Health, her thoughts on the Biden administration, and advice for future leaders.

Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN

Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN, has served as CEO of WellSpan Health, a non-profit integrated healthcare system headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, since January 2019.

She has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare leadership, having worked in group practices, academic health systems, and integrated healthcare systems. Prior to serving as WellSpan's president and CEO, she served as president and senior vice president at HealthPartners System in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In this podcast interview, Gapstur highlights two launched initiatives to expand access to quality women's health, mental health, and substance use disorder care; describes how the health system has addressed vaccine hesitancy; and offers leadership advice.

Annette Walker

Annette Walker, who serves as president of City of Hope Orange County, has more than 40 years of experience working in the healthcare sector and has held senior leadership positions at some of the nation's largest healthcare systems.

She currently leads the expansion of City of Hope into Orange County by working with physicians, community leaders, and healthcare experts to bring innovative cancer care and research closer to the patient populations served by the system.

In this podcast interview, Walker shares City of Hope's expansion plans and innovations as well as advice for future healthcare leaders.

Halee Fischer-Wright, MD

Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, is a well-known business consultant, physician leader, and president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). She also co-authored Tribal Leadership, a New York Times bestseller, and authored Back to Balance: The Art, Science, and Business of Medicine.

Before joining MGMA in 2015, Fischer-Wright served as chief medical officer for Centura Health's St. Anthony's North Medical Center in Colorado. Prior to that, she served as lead physician and then president of Rose Medical Group in Denver. She started her career as a practicing physician.

In this podcast interview, Fischer-Wright shares her career journey and her experience leading as a woman physician and CEO, as well as advice for aspiring future leaders.

Amy Compton-Phillips, MD

Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, has only ever wanted to serve in healthcare, and she has worked in the healthcare sector for over 30 years.

In 2015, Compton-Phillips joined Providence as the president of clinical care. Among leading healthcare and value outcomes at the Seattle, Washington-based health system, she also led the treatment for the first confirmed COVID-19 patient in the country.

In this podcast interview, Compton-Phillips shares the health system's COVID-19 learnings, how to improve patient safety and quality, and offers leadership advice.

Indu Lew, PharmD

Indu Lew, PharmD, serves as executive vice president and chief pharmacy officer at RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey.

A pharmacist by background, she also has experience working in both the pharmaceutical industry and direct patient care. She currently manages the health system's pharmaceutical supply chain and provides strategic leadership over the health system's 25 pharmacy divisions, spanning acute care and integrated services.

In this podcast interview, Lew offers insights on what this year's flu season may look like, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the pharmaceutical landscape, and leadership advice.

Amy B. Mansue

Amy B. Mansue currently serves as president and CEO of Inspira Health Network, a nonprofit healthcare organization serving patients across southern New Jersey.

Mansue's professional background includes working in public service, social work, and healthcare. During her transition to the anchor institute, she embraced Inspira's mission and vision as well as the people focusing on the health of the community.

In this podcast interview, Mansue shares what it's been like leading Inspira through the COVID-19 pandemic, describes what her main focus points have been as a leader over the past year, and gives us a glimpse into her leadership style.

Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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