Our First Virtual Event Featuring Sandra Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital

We kicked of the weekend in style on Friday, July 24! Sandi Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital guided us through perspectives she’s gleaned through the current “state of the state” and provided tips for current healthcare leaders, as well as those pursuing healthcare leadership.

Sandi discussed how her career informed her actions during this pandemic and how we can adapt to this new way of providing care and service to our communities. It was interesting, with everything going on in the country right now, many questions from our audience centered on diversity and inclusion.  Healthcare disparities have really come to the forefront during this time of virus identification and spread, and the need for healthcare leaders to acknowledge and understand how we overcome this is key. Sandi said with diversity, she’s tried to be intentional. “We must role model as leaders. Women are skilled at being adaptive, how do we bring this into being managers?”  She mentioned she’s recently been more open about her journey as a woman in what was often a room full of men, and how that shaped her understanding of privilege. The Children’s Hospital diversity committee, which was long in existence, has now become the health equity committee.

A few key takeaway nuggets included:

  • Always thank people, and acknowledge them publicly (for a presentation, good work, etc)
  • Share information, it’s important to be transparent
  • What do we bring to the table? Our competence and our character
  • Listen first and speak last

Sandi made such a humble point about teamwork, acknowledging her role as a generalist and surrounding herself with people who are skilled in different areas, and her role supporting and making a path for them to do what they do best. They have a 3 x a week command center meeting where section leaders highlight the top 5 things they need to share with her (planning for x and want give you a heads up, need a decision on x).

As a pioneer for female leaders in healthcare leadership, her views were awe-inspiring. As a leader of over 20,000 employees at Boston Children’s Hospital, it was refreshing and truly a learning experience to hear how she has, and continues to, work through this new world we are a part of.

Check out a recent interview she did with the Globe about children and COVID-19

-WHCM Technology Chair Rachel Renaux and Chairwoman Jen Pendleton