Motivated to make a difference

Medical News sat down with some Norton Healthcare’s female leaders to find out what drew them to their healthcare careers and what sustains them in it.

By Chelsea Nichols and Melanie Wolkoff Wachsman

As a large hospital and healthcare system, Norton Healthcare provides care at more than 140 locations throughout greater Louisville and southern Indiana. It employs more than 12,000 many of whom are women. Medical News spoke with some of these female leaders to discover how they lead, what empowers them and what they do when they’re not in the office.

Medical News: What was your first healthcare job?

Sandra Brooks
: My first professional position in healthcare was as an obstetrics and gynecology intern at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. I worked between 80 and 100 hours per week delivering babies, seeing patients and becoming proficient at performing gynecologic procedures.

It was then that I discovered a passion for caring for women with gynecologic cancers and

began to understand the non-clinical variables that could determine both positive and negative health outcomes. It was an exciting period of discovery and exploration.

Ginger Figg: I had the opportunity to assist with the start-up of a medical center when I first started college.

Charlotte Ipsan: My first profession related to healthcare was as a nursing assistant at Kosair Children’s Hospital while in nursing school. I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing at age 21 and started as a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care nursery at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Lynnie Meyer: I started my career as a staff nurse at Kosair Children’s Hospital where my primary areas were critical care float – NICU, PICU and burn unit.

MN: What motivates you to come to work?

SB: I am fortunate in that my position allows me the opportunity to utilize my knowledge and skills in medicine, research, business and public health to be able to formulate programs and solutions that address the drivers of some of our most persistently difficult problems relating to health. It has afforded me the platform to lead efforts in prevention—a major paradigm shift for our health system.

In the past seven years, I have been able to witness evidence of a growing awareness of the importance of prevention and implementation of programs and policies that address not only access but also the social determinants that drive health outcomes. The knowledge that one is making a difference serves as a powerful motivator.

GF: My work at Norton Healthcare gives me the opportunity to be in a fast-paced environment that allows me to work closely with an excellent team of leaders, physicians and providers to improve the health of our community. While I am not a direct caregiver, I am able to impact the care for our patients by supporting our medical group and by ensuring we partner with the highest quality and most compassionate providers.

CI: I am a people person who strives to create the most wins possible. My motivation to come to work every day is that there is always opportunity to make a difference and to share those opportunities with so many talented people on our team to create solutions and provide wins for our patients and families. To find a bright spot for anyone needing services within our healthcare system and hard wiring the process that got us there is definitely motivation to come to work.

LM: I am motivated by the unbelievable mission and services provided by Norton Healthcare and Kosair Children’s Hospital. I love community development. The ability to work with our community and advance a mission that improves quality of life for our region motivates me and personally gratifies me.

MN: What is your life like outside
of work?

SB: Outside of work I love to spend time with friends and family, exercise (I am learning to play tennis.), and I mentor teens through organizations that empower youth development. Helping young people to develop the skills they need to become successful is a high priority for both my husband and me.

GF: In the last year, I had my first opportunity to travel to Europe including a trip to Italy and Paris. Both trips provided opportunities to experience new cultures, history, some of the best museums in the world and amazing food. I will definitely be planning additional trips in the future.

: I started a dump truck business from the ground up (no pun intended) and successfully obtained the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) during my neonatal nurse practitioner career—and YES, most people thought I was crazy.

LM: I love life – and live it to the fullest. Most recently, my partner, children and I welcomed Pippa – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to our home.


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