Two defining life moments Jena Hausmann had while a college senior studying political science geared her in the direction toward healthcare administration. First, the 1992 presidential election was taking place, and the issue of healthcare intrigued her. Second, it was during that time when her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, and she saw the healthcare system he went through while he was staying in the hospital; she wondered how it could be so broken.
After receiving her bachelors degree in political science from Colorado College, Hausmann decided to take a year off before graduate school to join the Minnesota Senior Federation to learn about senior citizen health issues. Debating between careers in health policy or health administration, Hausmann chose the delivery side of health administration, and earned a masters degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota.
In 1996, Hausmann started as an administrative fellow and worked her way to becoming the vice president of professional services and operations for the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, within a span of two years. Although, her most recent post, serving as the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Childrens Hospital, a 250-bed facility in Denver, since March has proved to be no easy task. Anytime you move into a new role, you cant let ego and arrogance blind you, Hausmann says. Be aware and cognitive of what you dont know.
Among the many challenges she faces as COO, Hausmann, 37, is leading a construction project and developing a business plan to create a pediatric campus for the Childrens Hospital on 20 acres in northern Denver. The 50,000-square-foot facility will occupy the communitys first pediatric surgery center, along with pediatric subspecialty clinics, 24/7 urgent and observation care, a full-imaging center and sleep program.
Joan Bothner, who serves as chief medical officer for Childrens Hospital, says that Hausmann believes in the power of teams and reaches out to her colleagues for their expertise and knowledge, when it comes to overcoming challenges.
What has been most rewarding to Hausmannwho is also eight months pregnant with her third childin her career in health administration, is the impact she has had on patients and family. Being in a role that allows you to create a culture and the shaping of that culture is very rewarding, Hausmann says.
Jim Shmerling, president and chief executive officer of Childrens Hospital, says in his 29 years at the hospital, Hausmann is the strongest COO he has seen. She has the ability to execute strategy with great proficiency, Shmerling says. To do both and very well is a rare trait.