Women in Business 2012: Jo Sandersfeld

Vice president of mission integration, St. Joseph Health--Sonoma County, 1165 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 707-525-5310, www.StJosephHealth.org

Age: 64

Residence:Santa Rosa

Education: Masters in Social Work with a Concentration in Community Organizing

Tell us about yourself and your company: I serve on the executive management team for St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County. My primary responsibility is assuring the community and organization that our mission, vision and values are part of what we do and how we do it. I am charged with ensuring, for example, that our core values of dignity, justice, excellence and service are not just words we display on a wall, but that we really live them, and all who encounter us know the difference.

I also have the privilege of working with our staff in our community benefit programs to be sure we are focused on creating healthy communities through building the capacity of the leaders in those communities. We are also very focused on improving the health of our community by creating access to care for those who may not have access and working in partnership and collaboration with other agencies, programs and individuals.

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?: The work that we have accomplished together with Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Sonoma County Department of Health Services regarding health care workforce development.

What is the achievement you are most proud of? For me, it was the work I did using my community organizing skills in the beginning development of our Neighborhood Care Staff. It was clearly the actualization of a quote from Margaret Mead: “ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” It is also the reason I love working at St. Joseph Health: we are about community and we are about relationships and how we build capacity.

 What is your biggest challenge today? I believe the biggest challenge is working in an ever-changing healthcare environment, keeping your sense of humor and keeping the needs of the patient at the center of our decisions.

Words that best describe you: Good sense of humor; irreverent; compassion; what you see is what you get; direct.

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