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Taking a data-driven approach to healthcare in Chicago

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | December 11, 2020
Vanessa Stacks
From the November 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HealthCare Business News recently spoke with Vanessa Roshell-Stacks, former vice president of care coordination, clinical documentation and hospital operations at Rush University Medical Center. She told us about her background and the importance of bringing value to the community across the continuum of care.

HCB News: Who or what inspired you to follow a career in healthcare?
Vanessa Roshell-Stacks: I started off wanting to be a physician. As I got older, in college, I recognized I could still be in the healthcare space but not necessarily be a provider. I had skills that would still allow me to be in healthcare and be there for people. I’m a huge people person, but not providing direct care.

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Rush University Medical Center

I was first introduced to healthcare as a child because I was a sickly kid and spent a lot of time in the hospital. I was intrigued by the healthcare environment — the nurses and physicians, and everything that surrounded that.

I have an undergraduate degree in experimental psychology and business and actually started out doing behavior modification for autistic children. Then I got my masters and got more into healthcare administration and finance, then into healthcare operations. I absolutely love it.

Department of Emergency Medicine
HCB News: Can you describe the leadership environment at Rush?
VR-S: The leadership environment is very collaborative. It’s a bottom-up culture in the sense that, we have a saying here, “flipping the pyramid.” It means that the voices of our front line heroes are heard. It’s not a culture where things are being dictated to the front line. The voice of our front line staff is valued and appreciated and helps inform how we approach our work each day. That is something that is a testament to the leadership team.

Another important piece is that we have really smart leaders and we have strong clinicians. It’s a very clinically-driven organization in the sense that we have strong clinicians at the top that see and value the importance of the bedside clinician and the impact it has on patient care. The leadership team at Rush values our position in the community, being engaged in the community as well. We place extreme importance in the community benefit we bring to the west side of Chicago.

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