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Q&A with Anne Baum, president of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | June 13, 2022
From the June 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Are there any special projects or initiatives you're undertaking or planning to undertake?
AB: We have just opened our new 24 bay children’s emergency department and are now focused on the next phase of our strategic plan. It’s an exciting time of growth and development for our program as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of our accreditation as a children’s hospital!

HCB News: What kind of advantages come with being a member of the Lehigh Valley Health Network?
AB: Being a member of a large network brings a number of advantages including access to resources and knowledge from across our region. Our adult healthcare colleagues are very collaborative and supportive of our service line, and leadership recognizes the importance of our hospital and provider network.

HCB News: You took on your new role in January, has anything surprised you in the first few months?
AB: It’s not really a surprise, but I am so impressed by the dedicated professionals that serve our patients and our community. They work tirelessly to deliver on our brand promise, and though I knew they were great, I didn’t realize how amazing they truly are!!

HCB News: Do you see the pandemic altering care delivery in any fundamental, long-term ways?
AB: We learned a lot from the pandemic, from resilience to new ways to work and deliver care. We realized the incredible need for behavioral health services and are building upon our current foundation to increase access to these important services. We learned more about the care of our colleagues and how even the toughest practitioners were impacted by the pandemic; and we need to work with everyone to create a workplace in which they can find joy in their work. And we learned to deliver care effectively through technology, increasing access. There is always a silver lining, and these are some examples that we took to heart and will use to make our organization even better in the future.

HCB News: What is one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?
AB: I’ve learned that integrity is the most important character of a leader. When I operate with integrity and positive intent, that builds trust with the team. It’s important to do what you say you’ll do, keep your promises, apologize, learn when you’ve made a mistake, and recognize that you must walk the talk in order for others to believe that they can succeed.

Baum’s experience prior to Capital Blue Cross includes director of managed care services for Premier Inc., executive director of Eastern Pennsylvania Health Network, and vice president of managed care at St. Luke’s University Health Network. She is the founder and president of Vision Accomplished, which provides leadership and professional training programs that help businesses enhance customer satisfaction.

Baum is also a member of numerous community boards and the recipient of several awards including PA Best Women in Business and the ATHENA Award. She is the author of the books Small Mistakes, Big Consequences – Develop Your Soft Skills to Help You Succeed, which helps people identify common behavior mistakes that can make or break relationships, and Small Mistakes, Big Consequences for Interviews. Baum earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in health systems management from Rush University.

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