Associate Medical Group Administrator, Kaiser Permanente, 3900 Lakeville Highway, Petaluma 94954, 415-722-1211, kp.org
Residence: San Francisco
Education: BS Nursing, University of California, San Francisco; master of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Tell us about yourself and your company: Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, serving more than 9.1 million members, with headquarters in Oakland. We are unique in that we share an exclusive relationship between our health plan, hospital, and physicians group. The resultant integration has allowed us to provide the highest quality care to our members.
I serve as the associate medical group administrator at San Rafael-Petaluma-Novato. My primary responsibilities include capital planning and projects, as well as providing administrative oversight for our Petaluma, Novato, and downtown San Rafael medical offices. My primary objective is to create support to enhance the relationship between the doctor and the patient.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share? One of my major accomplishments in this past year has been our work on building a new emergency department for the San Rafael Medical Center. I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with myriad talented people in planning, designing, and currently constructing, a department that allows our physicians and staff to work in an environment that is functionally and operationally efficient. This has been a 20-year odyssey and is expected to open summer, 2014.
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What is the achievement you are most proud of?The achievement I am most proud of is the planning, design, and construction of our Petaluma Medical Offices, which opened to the public in January, 1989. This was my very first capital project and I approached it with intrigue and not a little apprehension, but once I got into it, we discovered that I have an affinity for this type of work. Our methodology was to follow the old credo “form follows function," insisting that the users be a part of the design and the clinical workflow be the driver. I’m proud to say that the Petaluma Medical Office Building was a state of the art design for Kaiser Permanente, and as we approach our 25th year of service to Sonoma County, it has withstood the test of time and changes in services and operations.
What is your biggest challenge today? My biggest challenge is always wanting to do more, and learn more.
Words that best describe you: Perfectionist, determined, logical, creative, visual, self-deprecating, and occasionally funny.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them? The field of design and construction is still heavily male-dominated, but I don’t think I approached working with men much differently than working with women. I learned a long time ago to treat people the way I wanted to be treated and handled people with openness and willingness to learn what I didn’t know. My job was to represent the clinical needs and help interpret that into a cogent design. Along the way, the guys have taught me a lot.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years? I think health care reform has the potential to bring about significant and much needed change. The scary and exciting part of this change is that it’s hard to predict what it’s really going to look like. I think we’re going to be challenged like never before.