• Women Making a Difference in Healthcare


Before a packed house of over 150 people, the five influential healthcare leaders who spoke at an April 14, 2009, event titled “Women Making a Difference in Healthcare” focused not on gender but on a larger agenda: the historic opportunity to reform our nation’s healthcare industry.

From their discussion, a powerful consensus emerged. Most policy makers have never managed a healthcare organization; they have not been caregivers; they lack “the bedside perspective.” It’s crucial that the national debate be informed by the views of practicing healthcare professionals who understand first hand the day-to-day realities of how healthcare is delivered and who are most committed to the goal of patients first.

Co-hosted by Suffolk Healthcare Programs, the panel was moderated by Karen Nelson, MPA/Health '87, Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs for the Massachusetts Hospital Association and a registered nurse. Panelists included:

Jeanette Clough, RN, MS, MHA ’96, President and CEO, Mount Auburn Hospital

Sandra Fenwick, President & COO, Children’s Hospital

Paula Johnson, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Connors Center for Women’s Health & Gender Biology; Chief, Division of Women’s Health, Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Ellen Zane, President and CEO, Tufts Medical Center

Among other subjects the panelists explored were the many challenges their organizations are facing and how they’re addressing them. Their presentations and discussions were followed by questions from the audience, which included Suffolk students and prospective students, alumni, faculty, and other healthcare professionals.

An email sent to the Operating Director of Suffolk Healthcare Programs, Rick Gregg, the morning after the panel expressed the exhilaration that many attendees surely felt:

"I had the full awareness of being in the presence of very powerful, articulate and commanding women – both on the stage and in the audience . . . In a nutshell it boils down to this: What can I, as a leader in my department, do to plan, prepare and participate in the healthcare model of the future?"

Also co-hosted by the Suffolk Alumni AssociationThe Boston Club, Healthcare Management Association of Massachusetts, and Massachusetts Hospital Association, the panel was sponsored by Suffolk’s Institute for Executive Education.

We’ll welcome and would like to share other feedback from people who attended the event. Please direct your messages to:

Stephanie Giordano
Staff Assistant to the Healthcare Programs

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