Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Victoria Bayless, 37
If there’s one thing Victoria “Tori” Bayless is known for, according to her colleagues, it’s her sense of humor.
“When you first get to know her, what comes through strongly is her keen sense of humanity coupled with a terrific sense of humor,” says colleague Lisa Hillman, senior vice president and chief development officer for Anne Arundel Health System, Annapolis, Md.
Bayless, 37, is chief operating officer of the system, which includes a 325-bed acute-care hospital, a 40-bed substance-abuse treatment center and an outpatient imaging network. She joined the hospital more than two years ago as vice president for clinical and support services, and has since established an obstetrics hospitalist program, a lung-screening program and recruited a renowned gynecological surgeon to expand the system’s women’s program.
She also helped to develop a “balance scorecard” to measure health system performance in relation to quality and patient safety, service and operations, staffing and financial results. Having a good sense of humor, according to Bayless, helps to break the tension in an otherwise serious atmosphere.
“There is never a dull moment in healthcare,” she says. “I always try to do things differently, and try to make sure the workplace is more enjoyable.”
Her attraction to healthcare was almost genetic, as most of her relatives have worked in the field. Bayless received her bachelor’s of science in biology with a minor in community health from Tufts University in Medford, Mass., and her master’s in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor. Before joining Anne Arundel, she served as vice president of clinical services at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center and parent system Medstar Health for 12 years, where she was also the assistant vice president for surgical services and women’s services, and previously as administrative director for women’s services.
Douglas Abel, chief information officer at Anne Arundel, says Bayless “has a very comprehensive way of looking at things” and has been able to “bring more focus to action” when it comes to her decisionmaking skills.
“She cares about what people think and how her decisions will impact them,” Abel says. “She gives credibility and respect to her position.”
Bayless says Anne Arundel Health System is involved in an expansion and she is planning programs to make it more of a regional medical center with more patient outreach for the growing population in the system’s market in Maryland.
“Another aspect of Tori, which surprises people because she is so young, is that she has a deep grasp of healthcare issues across the country,” Hillman says. “She has a broad grasp of where healthcare is today.”