Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Laura Swaney, Division Vice President of Women and Children's Services for Medical City Healthcare

Laura Swaney serves as Division Vice President of Women and Children's Services for Medical City Healthcare.

On April 2nd, Laura will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Laura's session, click here.

Question: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

Laura Swaney: I’m a diehard A personality, multitasker. As a result I have a three way tie for where the majority of my time will be spent in 2019:

1) Patient experience: I am constantly evaluating our Women’s experience. I look through the lens of a woman, a mother, a daughter and a friend. I visit our hospitals, I take our tours, I speak with our patients and front line care teams. I look for opportunities to continue to grow us and not just meet, but exceed the patient’s and family’s expectation. I strive to ensure that any woman that chooses Medical City Healthcare for her services or that of her children, will have the most exceptional experience. I’m blessed that I work with teams of people that believe in the very same thing.

2) Physician recruitment: I know an exceptional CNO by the name of Sally Hurt-Deitch who describes it as “the right horse for the course.” I’ve come to embrace this. Just as no two hospital administrators are the same, no two Surgeons are the same. In 2019, we are taking an already exceptional team of physicians and continuing to add to it. We are looking for key traits to help round out our bench strength. Physician recruitment is an exciting area - just like planning for a long, healthy marriage, the first step is finding the perfect mate.

3) Program growth: This is an area of priority every year, but Medical City Healthcare was the first health system in North Texas to launch the Fetal Care Center at Medical City Children’s Hospital in the spring of 2018. As a result, 2019 will be focused on growing this service through key business development strategies. 2019 will be an exciting year of growth for several marquee service lines and I’m confident that we have the strategies and tactics to deliver.

Q: Tell us about the last meaningful interaction you had with a patient.

LS: I had the honor of being in the OR with a woman that was undergoing Fetal Surgery on her unborn fetus. Prior to the surgery, the Surgeon invited me to the patient’s room to meet her. As the Surgeon methodically reviewed the steps of surgery with her and her husband, she kept her eyes locked on mine. Her eyes were filled with concern, fear, hope and tears. My own eyes matched hers. Instinctively, I reached out and squeezed her hand and told her of the faith that I had in this Surgeon, in his abilities and in God’s grace to watch over that operating room and all that was about to occur. As we said our goodbyes for that moment and then scrubbed for surgery, I remember thinking what an amazing honor it is to be with women and their babies at such a critical time. The profession of Healthcare is not just a profession, it’s a calling and one that drives us to be better, to do more, to fight harder and to pour our hearts into the patients and families that we have the privilege to serve.

Q: Can you share some praise with us about people you work with? What does greatness look like to you when it comes to your team?

LS: I post a lot on this subject on LinkedIn. In some cases, we spend more hours with our teams at work than we do with our families at home. Creating a work culture of family is key for a company’s success. People don’t leave companies, they leave people. Over my years, I have had the privilege of working with/for some amazing people. There have been plenty of not so amazing, as well. But having a full collection of these experiences is key to being able to recognize what exceptional leadership looks like. As a leader, you hope you model that. But it has to be at your core. Great leaders exude that passion for the work at hand and breathe enthusiasm and confidence into their teams. As a leader, you get far on a simple thank you. Sadly, I think general society could get further on expressing more gratitude toward each other. But I always reflect back to a message that was painted on a yoga school wall, where I taught so many years ago...Be the change you wish to see in the world (Gandhi). Leaders need to lead with heart and demonstrate the behavior that will make their company “world” a better place.

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