Editor's note: In our April 18 cover story we unveiled the first annual list of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare ("Women even the odds," p. 6.) In an accompanying editorial, "It's women's turn" (p. 22), Editor David Burda described how the list was compiled and why women executives are so important to the industry. We received quite a few letters on both, and here is a sampling:
I am thoroughly disappointed that your inaugural list had only one woman from the religious community. Women founded Catholic healthcare institutions, which are among the largest health systems in the U.S., providing billions of dollars in uncompensated care annually.
What a disservice Modern Healthcare has done to the congregations of these religious women by omitting them from your list.
Senior vice president
St. John Medical Center
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It was great to see my company's data included in your April 18 report on the Top 25 Women in Healthcare (See chart, p. 7). The name of our company was incorrect, however. It is Billian's HealthDATA Group.
Director, sales and marketing
Billian's HealthDATA Group
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David Burda asked whether female healthcare executives should be treated differently than men ("It's women's turn," April 18, p. 22). He concludes that they should because they are challenging tradition and working hard to improve the healthcare industry and its ability to care for patients.
I agree. I represent a new organization -- Executive Women in Healthcare -- that intends to address the issues of female leaders of the nation's hospitals and systems.
My organization has co-produced two studies in the past year along with an in-depth focus group, all directed at today's female hospital executives. We learned that more than 60% of the women serving as chief executive officers have clinical degrees rather than the traditional master's degree in hospital administration.
We have identified 896 women holding president-CEO positions. There are approximately 1,200 other women in the C-suite (chief administrative officers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers and chief information officers). A handful of women serve as chief medical officers and a substantial number serve as chief nursing officers. Women will continue to have a growing presence in hospital leadership. And they will despite the challenges they face.
Thank you for recognizing the 25 influential women in healthcare and calling attention to all the female leaders who are making a difference.
Executive Women in Healthcare
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Thank you for your recognition of Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, as one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. One correction to your report: The CNA is now a 60,000-member organization, and has tripled in size under the stewardship of DeMoro and an all direct-care RN board of directors.
California Nurses Association
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There are few people who have the courage, tenacity, wisdom and charisma to lead people as does California Nurses Association Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.
As a working registered nurse and member of the elected statewide CNA board of directors, I have helped lead the fight alongside DeMoro for safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and other protections for patients against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's policies.
Having been a staff registered nurse in California for 23 years, I know the difference in having a professional nurses' association such as the CNA representing me.
Kaiser Permanente Fresno (Calif.) Medical Center
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My sincere thanks to Modern Healthcare for giving me the singular honor of being named one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. I'm not sure I deserve to be in such august company, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Independent lecturer and health policy and ethics analyst
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I wish to thank the editorial board that named me one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare.
I am honored to be selected to the inaugural list and very much appreciate being included with such an exceptional and accomplished group of women from around the country.
President and chief executive officer
Baton Rouge, La.