Run The World: 50 Women In Healthcare Leadership Spark Change
At 15, Lisa Mead knew what she wanted to do with her life. She started volunteering on Wednesdays after school and on Sundays at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York.
“I loved it,” says Mead, the founder of Arizona Women in Healthcare, a networking group that focuses on promoting, recognizing, inspiring and developing women in all sectors of the healthcare industry.
“It was eye-opening to realize I have the power to help people, make them feel human, loved and cared for,” says Mead, who has spent 34 years in the healthcare industry, including as an RN, and also at the corporate level in hospital administration.
“We don’t stack up in the ranks of leadership in healthcare. We see a lot of women as managers and supervisors, chief nurses, but we want to infiltrate the top,” says Mead who launches through Take The Lead the first-ever 50 Women Can Change The World in Healthcare Leadership June 14 in Phoenix.
Mead, who also was chief administrator for a medical practice with 100 doctors and 400 staff members in Scottsdale, is founder and president of Crown Healthcare Advisors. She launched Arizona Women in Healthcare in 2015.
“I was at a managed care event,” Mead says, “and realized there is not one network in healthcare for women. I would meet women in finance, law, insurance, medicine, and I had that network and missed it. So I needed to create something.”
After attending the Take The Lead launch in 2014 at Arizona State University, Mead says she became a Take The Lead Leadership Ambassador. Now she is taking her expertise and the Take The Lead curriculum to women in healthcare leadership.
“In this cohort, we are looking for high potential leaders in healthcare, including directors and higher. We are looking for chief executives, attorneys, physicians, clinicians, business people, mid-career to C-suite,” says Mead.
Only 22 percent of Fortune 500 healthcare companies have women as board members. Not one woman serves as a CEO of a Fortune 500 healthcare company.
“For the amount of entry level women there are in healthcare,” Mead says, “that is dismal.”
At the recent Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Dr. Julie Gerberding was honored as 2018 Woman of the Year. Gerberding, chief patient officer and EVP for strategic communications, global public policy, and population health at Merck, “recalled a meeting while she was director of the CDC where she was the only woman sitting at the table, while other women in the room were subordinates or support staff,” according to MM&M.
“I took my seat in the inner row of chairs and the women in the room started clapping. Women actively encouraging and supporting other women is an incredibly powerful accelerator,” Gerberding says.
These are rare exceptions.
Nancy Howell Agee was recently named CEO of the American Hospital Association Board, representing 5,000 hospitals and health care systems and 43,000 members throughout the U.S., according to the Roanoke Times.
“The health care field must change,” Agee said in her speech. “We must stretch ourselves. We need to transform, to improve and to redefine how care is delivered [and] find ways to deliver care that provides value and is affordable.”
Mead agrees and the inaugural 50 Women Can Change The World in Healthcare Leadership program is out to change what leadership in healthcare looks like for women.
The program consists of three full-day, in-person immersion sessions, June 12-14; three 60-minute webinars; four 60-minute private coaching sessions; access to a private Facebook group (moderated weekly and FB Live bi-monthly); and follow-up at one month, three month, six month and one year milestone marks.
Registration for an individual is $4,500, with discounts available, as well as corporate and individual sponsorships.
For women in the healthcare industry, Mead says, “One of the key issues is under representation at the top. We need to know how to become leaders and create supportive environments for other women. We need access to healthcare with safe, equitable and efficient systems. We need to be designing products and services that meet changing demographic needs.”
Actively recruiting participants for the program Mead says she is “hopeful this sparks interest across the country.” While the first three days are on site in Phoenix, the remainder of the program is virtual.
This new program will deliver “a new definition of power that will energize you, increasing your joy, satisfaction, and confidence in your everyday work,” Mead says.
Using the 9 Leadership Power Tools created and designed by Gloria Feldt, Take The Lead co-founder and president, this program will “ensure you set higher intentions for yourself, your organization, and your work to model a better way across the industry,” Mead says.
All of this is critical for the healthcare industry and specifically for women in leadership in healthcare, as women’s share of the total labor force in healthcare is 46.8 percent.
Mead is prepared to spark the change in the industry. “What I want is to build this vibrant, diverse culture of women in healthcare leadership with a support group to network and mentor other women.”