Laughter and love

Sarah Wice-Courtney incorporates both as she balances work and family responsibilities.
work and family responsibilities.

By Chelsea Nichols

If there’s only going to be one leader from northern Kentucky to make the list, Sarah Wice-Courtney would make a lovely choice. The corporate communication manager of St. Elizabeth Healthcare handles communication strategies, publication management, overseeing social media and more for the hospital network. Outside of work, Wice-Courtney joins a handful of other ladies on our list selected to participate Leadership Kentucky. The nonprofit educational organization focused on developing the Commonwealth’s next generation of leaders and will graduate its class of 2013 this month.

Though it may sound clichéd, Wice-Courtney considers being a mother one of her greatest roles. Like many of our leaders, Wice-Courtney finds balancingher professional and personal life is a challenge. From what we can tell, she’s doing a fine job at it. Medical News spoke with Wice-Courtney to find out exactly how she does it.

MN: What influenced you to enter a career in healthcare?

SWC: I have always been interested in healthcare. When I was 19, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and the care she received from St. Elizabeth was astounding. Her care was not only focused on the diagnosis itself, but also support groups, physician relationships, etc.

Also, I grew up down the street from St. Elizabeth Edgewood, so the healthcare system has always been very prevalent in my life due not only its proximity to where I lived, but also its involvement and engagement in community activities.

In healthcare, you have an opportunity to change lives, both physically and emotionally. There is much reward that comes with the healing involved in this field.

MN: How do you deal with conflict?
SWC: This is a good question that I am still trying to figure out. I wish I had a straight forward “go to” answer, but I don’t.

Sometimes I handle conflict well if the situation is something I am comfortable with, but other times, I just have to take a step back out of the situation and analyze all of the factors creating the conflict. Whether my approach is the best, I don’t know, but for me, taking thoughtful time and stepping away from the conflict can help me see the occurrences and potential outcomes.

MN: How do you balance work and life priorities?

SWC: It is hard sometimes, but I try to compartmentalize everything where I am at the moment so I can be as productive as possible in order to not have those priorities bleed over too much into each other. When, I am working, I try to work very hard and diligently to use my time as resourcefully as possible, so once I leave the office, I can focus all of my attention and time on my family, and vice versa.

MN: Who were your mentors?

SWC: As corny as it may be, my biggest mentors have been my parents, and they still continue to be. Each and every day, they work hard and love hard. Their commitment to their family and their work exemplifies a true balance of love, responsibility, respect, devotion and life lessons.

MN: What do you want to be your legacy?
SWC: My legacy will be my children and the people they will become. Having children is (and will be) my greatest accomplishment, challenge, responsibility and role. I want them to be good people who do well by others.

MN: What advice can you give up-and-coming female healthcare leaders?

SWC: Always continue to learn and grow. Change is constant, and it is imperative that you continue to challenge your goals and aspirations to meet the ever-changing landscape of your environment.

MN: When you are not at work, where would we find you?

SWC: Easy; playing with my children and giant dog. Laughter and love are so important to me, and I try my hardest to always have these present in our lives.

MN: Name one song that defines you.

SWC: Depends on the day! One song that has always resonated for me, not only during my childhood, but now as well is “Teach Your Children” by Crosby Stills Nash Young. To me, this song signifies past, present and future, and the values that you have and that you want.


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