Women in Business
Meet 30 professionals who embody the modern concept of leadership. Each has vision and passion, and each is innovative and collaborative. Learn how these women are transforming old business models and making their workplaces better.
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Much has changed since The Sisters of St. Francis founded St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington in 1929. Named president and CEO in July, Julie Hester is remaking St. Francis’ business model during a volatile time in healthcare. “My goal is to continuously transform with the community we serve,” she says. “But any good organization is ready to change, and healthcare changes every year.” Times are challenging at St. Francis. Its service to the homeless has more than doubled over the past 30 years. The St. Clare Medical Outreach Van, a doctor’s office on wheels, struggles to keep up with demand. And the Tiny Steps Program, which addresses the state’s high infant mortality rates by fostering healthy pregnancies, needs to take big steps to become financially viable. Hester will build partnerships with community, government and corporate leaders, and is identifying grants from the Obama administration. She’s counting on generous donors. “The community is responding in a positive way,” she says.
THE CHALLENGE Hester has to analyze the source of payments for care at short-stay hospitals, which is difficult for hospitals that serve the disadvantaged.
PATIENTS FIRST Hester mandated daily morning huddles, requiring a team of dietitians, physicians, social workers and others to discuss the care of individual patients.
Page 3: Cindy Small