Becker's Speaker Series: 4 questions with NewYork-Presbyterian COO Dr. Laura Forese

Laura Forese, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, currently serves as executive vice president and COO of NewYork-Presbyterian.

After joining NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in 2003 as vice president of medical affairs, Dr. Forese has held numerous other positions, including CMO; group senior vice president and COO for NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan; and president of the former NYP Healthcare System.Forese Laura Headshot

Dr. Forese will be a part of a keynote panel on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at the Becker's Hospital Review 8th Annual Meeting. She'll also lead a session on Wednesday, April 19. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders scheduled to speak at the conference, which will take place from April 17 through April 20 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Forese's sessions, click here.

Question: A session you're speaking on at our April conference is titled "Creating and Operating an Academic Integrated Regional Health System." What is one key tenet of doing so?

Laura Forese: In thinking about "systemness," we decided to brand our enterprise, everywhere, with the NewYork-Presbyterian name, meaning we have our credibility on the line with patients and with providers. Quality is foremost in our minds, so we're developing a governance model that strikes a balance between centralization and decentralization, between standardization and flexibility. We're using a road map to keep ourselves on the right track and to measure our progress.

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

LF: Because there are fewer women in leadership roles in many industries and organizations, there is a subtle bias in the way people evaluate whether women are suited for those roles. To erase this bias, we need to encourage women to seek leadership positions, particularly early in their career, and to support and mentor them when they obtain those roles.  Female role models send a strong message to other women that they too can thrive in leadership. 

Q: What do you consider your main talent outside of the C-suite?

LF: Two great passions of mine are food and travel. I'm a pretty good cook, so I often spend my weekend cooking for family and friends, and I'm constantly looking for new restaurants to try here in New York City.

My husband and I both had the experience of living abroad when we were kids. Our kids didn't live abroad, but we passed on a love of travel to our three kids when they were young. Now all five of us are constantly comparing notes about where we've been and where we're going next.

Q: What kinds of women inspire you and why?

LF: I'm inspired by women who stand up for what they believe in even when it's difficult or not popular. I marvel at the young Pakistani woman, Malala Yousafzai, who, even after being shot by the Taliban, would not be silenced about a girl's right to an education. She reminds me that a woman, whether a celebrity or an everyday woman, has power when she makes herself heard.

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