Everyone knows that hospitals are full of doctors and nurses and white-coated technicians who operate complex diagnostic equipment, but few see into the executive suite. Just as in any industry, there are dozens of high-ranking executives in every hospital. They oversee everything from public relations to purchasing to the operation of discrete hospital operations — perhaps a cancer center or a chain of day-care centers.
Unlike many industries, however, healthcare centers often provide avenues through which employees can move laterally to gain more experience and then vertically into positions of increasing responsibility. Many smart, ambitious women have used this structure to climb into executive jobs.
Deborah Baehser, on the left in the photos on this page, is one such woman. She started her career by earning a nursing degree from Bucks County Community College, and is now making approximately $200,000 a year, including benefit contributions and deferred compensation, as vice president for clinical services at RWJ Hamilton.
She joined the hospital in 1999 and was appointed vice president for patient care and chief nursing officer in 2003. She is credited with leading development of a new emergency, critical care, and telemetry nursing departments as well as a neonatal intensive care unit level II nursery and maternity department. In December, 2005, Baehser, who also has a master’s in health care administration, was appointed senior vice president for clinical services.
Here are four other executive women, from the left, at RWJ Hamilton.
Diane Grillo, met CEO Christy Stephenson when they worked together at Curative Services. Stephenson brought her to RWJ Hamilton as division director for health promotion at 1998. In December, 2005, Grillo, who holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational development from Eastern University in Radnor, PA, was promoted to vice president for health promotion. She has 20 years experience in managing community education and outreach programs.
Jennifer Hunara accepted the position of executive director of surgical services at RWJ Hamilton in January. She came to the hospital from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she had served as the perioperative services business manager and as an administrative resident and consultant working in surgical and cardiac services and administration.
She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in health administration and an MBA, all from the University of Scranton.
Lisa Breza, has worked for RWJ Hamilton for 20 years. She began her career as a medical-surgical nurse, and worked her way up through the ranks. She was named executive director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Hamilton in November, 2005.
She has held a number of positions at the hospital, and was director of the emergency department during the anthrax attacks in 2001. Breza received her bachelor’s in nursing from the College of New Jersey.
Shashi Madhok, was named vice president for quality at RWJ Hamilton in December, 2005. She is responsible for quality initiatives related to staff credentialing, patient safety, discharge management, medical research, and compliance standards. She is in charge of programs related to organization performance, Six Sigma quality methodology, and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Madhok earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of New Delhi, India, and a master’s in public administration, with a focus on hospital administration, from Rutgers. She is a board member of Quality New Jersey.