Neesya Biddle, former senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare, served as the keynote speaker for Samford University’s Health Care Leadership Legacy Workshop and Luncheon, Oct. 6.
Hosted by the School of Public Health’s Department of Healthcare Administration, Biddle shared with students the journey that led to her successful career in health care administration.
“When I look back now and retrospectively assess my career, I can say without hesitation that if I had to start all over again, I would choose health care,” Biddle said.
As a teenager, Biddle had dreams of becoming a teacher, but after taking a job as a clerk, filing X-ray reports after school, she began to fall in love with working in a hospital.
“A career in health care is very exciting… and probably the most enticing part is this: the health care environment is intellectually stimulating. There is such diversity of thought and practice,” she said.
Biddle’s career is a testament that many roads can lead to a career in health care administration, having worked for many years in the field of health informatics. “I never once planned to be a health care administration; my career just evolved,” she said.
In discussing legacy, Biddle challenged students to seek opportunities to serve others.
“In health care, you have countless opportunities daily to make a difference in someone’s life—opportunities to break a cycle,” she said. “You will make a difference in the lives you serve, and the lives of which you serve through.”
The event also featured a panel discussion on the topic, “Leading Health Care Organizations through Uncertainty.” Panelists included Cynthia Barginere, senior vice president and COO for Rush University Hospital, Carol J. Ratcliffe, associate professor for Ida Moffett School of Nursing and director of its Department of Administration, Health Systems Management and Leadership, and Tom McDougal, assistant professor in the School of Public Health and CEO of AlternaVisit.
For those interested in a career in health care administration, Samford University’s School of Public Health offers a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration as well as an online Master of Healthcare Administration program.