The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce’s Winning Opportunities for Women
When the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce decided to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Winning Opportunities for Women Conference with the inaugural Pinnacle Awards this April, it wasn’t hard to find worthy recipients.
The event committee chose to honor Karen Andreas, regional publisher at North of Boston Media Group; Dianne Anderson, president and CEO of Lawrence General Hospital; Ipswich District Court Judge Patricia Dowling; Janice Morse, president and CEO of Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank; and Jacqueline Moloney, chancellor of UMass Lowell. Read on to find out what makes some of these W.O.W. women tick.
Dianne Anderson – President and CEO, Lawrence General Hospital
The boardroom windows at Lawrence General Hospital provide a panoramic view of the historic Lawrence landscape.
Fresh off a six-hour flight from London, Dianne Anderson steps into the room, wondering if her black and white suit jacket will photograph well. After some discussion, she switches jackets with her chief of staff, Jessica Durney, and is photographed in Durney’s soft-pink blazer before changing back into her own jacket and taking a few more pictures.
It’s a small detail, but it shows how Anderson operates. She wants all of her bases covered. As president and CEO of Lawrence General Hospital, Anderson is responsible for overseeing one of the area’s most rapidly expanding medical facilities, where 1,800 people work and where an average of 12,000 inpatients, 200,000 outpatients and 70,000 emergence room visits are served annually, and where no stone can be left unturned.
Named to head Lawrence General in 2009, Anderson says becoming a CEO was a career goal at a time when “being both a woman and a nurse wasn’t exactly a glide path to CEO.”
But Richard Santagati, the then-chairman of the Lawrence General board of trustees responsible for hiring Anderson, told The Eagle-Tribune in an interview that, “Dianne has unique experience in community hospitals, at teaching hospitals, and intimate clinical experience. … We thought, based on changes in the health care industry, she would be the best fit at this moment in time.”
Anderson began her career as a pediatric nurse at Tufts’ Floating Hospital for Children in Boston before moving to Boston Children’s Hospital. “I had great mentorship there,” she says. “I think I credit those experiences with my career.”
She would later be named director of the neuroscience program there after she was tapped to be part of a management team that opened a hospital in Scotland.
After three years in Scotland, Anderson took a position as vice president of operations at Glen Falls Hospital in New York, a facility very similar to Lawrence General, she says.
“That’s when I started to really appreciate the value a community medical center has to a region,” says Anderson, who has testified before a congressional committee on the shortage of nurses, and also has served as president of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
In 2001, Anderson was recruited back to Boston by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she served as vice president of patient care services and vice president of clinical operations for eight years before being named head of Lawrence General.
By the end of 2016, Lawrence General, which has a clinical affiliation with Beth Israel, will be home to a new, state-of-the-art surgical center with 35,000 square feet of high-tech space, a modern facility that will provide patients with even more advanced care. Hospital leadership is also working on renovating inpatient units, adding new tomosynthesis technology, developing additional specialty care services, updating infrastructure and expanding the hospital’s offering of primary care doctors.
Anderson says her goal during this challenging and transformative time for health care is to provide patients with exceptional and compassionate care that’s close to home.
“People want to receive care in their local area,” she says. “We want to make sure that that’s sustainable for decades to come.”
Anderson says that while being a working mom can be a challenge (she and her husband, Scott, an executive at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, have a 12-year-old son), she enjoys being in a job where she is in a position of leadership.
“What we need now are people who can focus on what’s next,” she says. “I think a lot of it is being able to bring people together.”
Anderson says she was amazed and honored to receive a Pinnacle Award at the W.O.W. conference. “It made me feel very proud,” she says.
Watch for part 3 of this series, profiling Janice Morse – President and CEO, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, early next week on mvmag.net