Featured TRUST Member
Chief Administrative Officer, North Memorial Health
Samantha Hanson serves as Chief Administrative Officer for North Memorial Health. She is responsible for shared services across all North Memorial Health business divisions, including Blaze Health, a joint venture with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. The shared services departments include Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing & Communications, Outreach, Strategy, Customer Experience, Provider Services, Quality & Intellectual Property, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
When and why did you join the TRUST?
I joined the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST more than 10 years ago. I was introduced to Dee Thibodeau and Patty Dennis, and the rest, as they say, is history. Dee was amazing in sharing her wisdom and network of women health care leaders who have been my “go-to” support system ever since.
Do you have a favorite TRUST memory so far?
There are MANY favorite moments as a TRUST member. The one for which I’m most grateful is being a Robin Carpenter Mentor of the Year award winner in 2017. It was such an honor to receive this award and very unexpected. I’m committed to mentoring as a way to give back and lift other women leaders, just as Dee Thibodeau, Jeannine Rivet and others have done for me throughout my career.
How have mentors helped you?
Mentors have made a significant difference in my career and my life. I benefit from formal and informal mentors and strategically request mentorship that matches the next step in my role or career journey. They provide keen insight and advice I’ve found invaluable.
I also have a “kitchen cabinet” of informal mentors. This support system gives me a gut check. We chew through tough topics, advise on current issues and cover everything from healthily handling stress to managing LinkedIn.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Be the leader you want to work for.
What support do you need now to evolve your development as a leader?
Our past experiences fall short of preparing us for the challenges we face today. Being a leader who can simultaneously create stability in crisis and encourage innovation to deliver in a very different environment takes skill and a little grace. I lean on my colleagues and mentors for support and emotional fuel.
How do you support other women in their leadership journeys?
My goal is to have 1-3 formal mentoring relationships at any given time and also support informal mentees across my organization and the industry. I keep in contact with many former employees and colleagues and continue to support their career growth. We are a village, and when women succeed, we all succeed.
What is something not many people know about you?
I’m an avid hiker and explorer. I enjoy pushing the limits and finding new ways to explore remote and beautiful places.
Who inspires you?
My children inspire me in ways I never imagined. As teens and young adults, I’m inspired by their intellectual curiosity, energy and resiliency to face such a complex world.
Words of wisdom to live by?
Since I first heard it in college, I’ve been inspired by this Margaret Mead quote and, in fact, still carry it with me in my wallet:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”