12 female CEOs making their mark in healthcare

As CEOs, these 12 women have positively impacted their hospitals and health systems, and the greater healthcare industry.

Nancy Howell Agee, RN, has served as the president and CEO of Roanoke, Va.-based Carilion Clinic since July 2011. Ms. Agee jumped into healthcare in the 1970s as a nurse and eventually became executive vice president and COO at Carilion from 2001 to 2011. She has helped transform Carilion into a patient-centered, physician-led clinic. Ms. Agee adds to her impressive leadership resume, with board positions for The American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Virginia Center for Health Innovation and Tech Carilion School of Medicine, among others.

Marna Borgstrom serves as the president and CEO of Yale-New Haven Health System in Connecticut, a role she stepped into in 2005. She joined Yale-New Haven Hospital more than 30 years ago, starting out as a post-graduate fellow. Ms. Borgstrom contributes nationally as a board member for VHA, the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Healthcare Executives Study Society. She has received the YMCA's Women In Leadership Award, New Haven Business Times' 20 Noteworthy Women and the Connecticut Women in Leadership Award. In addition to her leadership roles, Ms. Borgstrom also lectures at Yale's School of Pubic Health.

Melinda Estes, MD, MBA, is the president and CEO of Saint Luke's Health System in Kansas City, Mo. A board-certified neurologist and neuropathologist, Dr. Estes possesses a broad understanding of healthcare. She previously served as president and CEO of Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., as well as CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston and Naples. Dr. Estes also taught at University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus.

Teri Fontenot, MBA, serves as the president and CEO of Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. She currently serves as a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and in 2012 she chaired the American Hospital Association board of trustees.
Ms. Fontenot served on the board of directors for the Sixth District Federal Reserve Bank as well as chaired its audit committee. Ms. Fontenot is also a Certified Public Accountant. In 2013, Baton Rouge Business Report named her the "Businessperson of the Year."

Catherine A. Jacobson has served as the president and CEO of Milwaukee-based Froedtert Health since 2011. Prior to this role, she served Froedtert Health as executive vice president of finance and strategy, CFO and chief strategy officer. Ms. Jacobson was the voluntary national chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association for the 2009 to 2010 term. Milwaukee Business Journal named her among the "Women of Influence" in 2013.

Vivian S. Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, serves as the CEO of University of Utah Healthcare in Salt Lake City. In her role, she oversees four hospitals, 10 health centers, the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Moran Eye Center and five colleges. Under Dr. Lee's leadership the health system has ranked among the nation's top 10 in quality and safety academic hospitals. Dr. Lee oversaw the opening of the School of Dentistry and the launch of the Utah Genome Project. She is on the Council of Councils of the National Institutes of Health, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Scientific Advisory Board of Massachusetts General Hospital, among other organizations.

Ann Madden Rice is the CEO of UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. She oversees a 619-bed acute care teaching hospital, more than 8,000 employees, medical clinics, telemedicine network, cancer care network and a more than $1.7 billion annual budget. Ms. Rice is also the chair elect of the California Hospital Association, chairperson of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California and vice chairperson of the University HealthSystem Consortium. In addition to her hospital leadership, Ms. Rice is on the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and is the California Senate appointee on California Health Facilities Financing Authority.

Margaret Sabin has filled the position of president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 2008. In addition to heading the 522-bed hospital system, Ms. Sabin also serves as president of Centura Health South State Operating Group, overseeing all Centura hospitals in southern Colorado. Ms. Sabin is also the chair of Centura Health's Trauma Council. In 2009, Colorado Springs Business Journal named her a "Women of Influence," and in 2014, the publication named her "Healthiest CEO." San Francisco Business Times also honored Ms. Sabin as one of the "Bay Area's Influential Women in Business" in 2003 and 2004.

Nancy Schlichting is the CEO of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, a role she has held since 2003. Ms. Schlichting is appreciated for financially turning around the health system and driving patient safety, customer service and diversity initiatives. She collaborates with community, legislative and business leaders to enhance healthcare. Additional leadership roles include the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Michigan Women's Forum. Crain's Detroit honored her among the 16 "Women to Watch" and among the "Top 100 Most Influential Women in Detroit."

Pamela Sutton-Wallace serves as the CEO of the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Since July 2014, Ms. Sutton-Wallace has overseen the medical center's inpatient and ambulatory services. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the vice president of hospital operations at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. Adding to her hospital industry expertise, Ms. Sutton-Wallace also has a strong grasp of the pharmaceutical, insurance and research industries.

Karen Teitelbaum serves as the president and CEO of Sinai Health System in Chicago. Under her leadership as COO and then CEO, the health system has cut costs by millions of dollars because of enhanced efficiency and population health management. On the board of Illinois Hospital Association, Ms. Teitelbaum also serves on serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, Family Health Network and Women in Health-Life Sciences. Ms. Teitelbaum has taught courses on managed care and nonprofit marketing and strategy.

Kate Walsh is the president and CEO of Boston Medical Center. She has overseen the 496-bed academic medical center since March 1, 2010. She previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital. A member of the YMCA of Greater Boston, Ms. Walsh is also affiliated with the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Council of Teaching Hospitals and the Yale University School of Medicine.


Becker's Hospital Review is looking to continuously update this list. Please contact Megan Wood at mwood@beckershealthcare.com for questions, comments and additions to this list.


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