Whenever MHA’s membership elects a new chair to the Executive Committee, we try as soon as we can to make schedules meet so that MHA’s staff can have some time with that new leader. So, we were all very pleased to welcome Mary Pat Seurkamp to MHA’s offices for a lunch with the staff earlier this week.
Mary Pat began her three-year tenure as chair July 1 and brings a wealth of executive experience and a calm, steady hand during challenging yet very interesting times. So there of course was a lot to talk about, from the all payer model to the coming transition to a new MHA President & CEO. But mostly what we talked about was Mary Pat as a person and as a leader, and about the work that MHA’s staff is doing and the collegiality with which they do it.
Mary Pat’s current position as President Emerita of Notre Dame of Maryland University is just the latest in a long line of education leadership positions throughout her career, and it was very interesting to hear her draw so many parallels between health care leadership and education leadership. The fields deal with so many similar challenges, from regulation and politics to executive compensation. And we learned a lot about her family life, rich with children and grandchildren.
Mary Pat also briefed the staff on the search committee’s nascent work to choose a search firm that will guide the effort to make sure MHA’s next President & CEO is the right leader for the association’s members and staff. She was clear that the search committee expects that the new person will not only have the health policy chops to help Maryland’s hospitals thrive, but also an appreciation for MHA’s workplace culture, which has been meeting the needs of our members for many years.
MHA has been fortunate to have had a long line of solid leaders chair the Executive Committee. Mary Pat made clear to MHA’s staff that that tradition continues in good, caring, capable hands.