Modern Healthcare issued a call for nominations for its 23rd annual Up & Comers recognition program on May 4 and ran a series of advertisements soliciting nominations through the July 3 submission deadline. This year, we received 139 nominations, up from last year's 134 nominations. An editorial review board composed of the magazine's senior editors reviewed the nominations and selected the 12 recipients.
Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Barbara Walczyk Joers, 39
Chief operating officer, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital
For many, one's career is decided during college. Barbara Walczyk Joers has known what she wanted to do since her childhood. After having ear surgery for impaired hearing when she was just 5 years old, a career in healthcare became her lifetime goal. She participated in health organizations and activities while in high school and college, determined to make her dreams a reality.
Walczyk Joers, 39, who received her bachelor's degree in business administration/hospital administration from Marymount University and her master's in health services administration/management and policy from George Washington University, has since proved to her peers and mentors alike that she has what it takes to shine as a leader in healthcare. “She holds herself, as well as others, accountable,” says Wright Pinson, a physician and deputy vice chancellor for health affairs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “She is serious about her work and very focused.” As chief operating officer of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, she has made the wellness of individuals in her community and performance management and improvement of the hospital among her top priorities.
“Barbara's championing of the PM&I (Performance Management and Improvement Program) effort at this Children's Hospital has been lauded nationally as being a leader in improving quality and patient outcomes,” says John W. Brock III, surgeon-in-chief for the children's hospital. “Barbara has assembled an outstanding team that helps her with this, and she has been able to organize their efforts, orient them in the proper position and allow them to move forward in their job. The hallmark for a leader is hiring excellent personnel and then allowing them to do their jobs.” Walczyk Joers' efforts have been recognized not only by her colleagues, but in her community as well, being named as one of Nashville Business Journal's “Top 40 Under 40,” an honor that she says led her to make great connections, and has helped her form different perspectives. Her community involvement is also of great importance to her, whether it's coordinating fundraisers for the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee or assisting local leaders in bringing Best Buddies to Nashville. “A mentor of mine really challenged me back in 2000,” Walczyk Joers says. “There is something to be said about being at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. It's a great place to try new things.”