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Executive Sponsors of HCA Healthcare’s Colleague Networks build powerful connections

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At HCA Healthcare, we are committed to ensuring equity from the inside out by strengthening our diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion. Across our organization, Colleague Networks provide our healthcare professionals with spaces to convene around shared commonalities or experiences. Helping our colleagues grow personally and professionally, the Colleague Networks also expand opportunities to connect with and learn from other professionals, encourage allyship and nurture meaningful discussion.

We recently introduced the Executive Sponsors for each Colleague Network, who will serve as the enterprise-wide voice for their designated Colleague Network, championing chapter accomplishments, elevating relevant issues and providing colleague feedback to senior leadership.

Under the direction of the Corporate and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team and Division DEI Councils, HCA Healthcare is launching Colleague Network chapters at the division/market level. Chapters will increase opportunities for engagement at the local level, allow colleagues to step into leadership roles, and develop programs and initiatives designed to positively impact the organization.

Below, each Executive Sponsor shares why they decided to take on this important role and how the Colleague Networks program can help us deliver on our mission to care for and improve human life.

Asian and Pacific Islander Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Lisa Doyle, Vice President, Engagement & Development, Human Resources Group (HRG)

Lisa Doyle, Vice President, Engagement & Development, Human Resources Group (HRG)

HCA Healthcare’s Asian and Pacific Islander Colleague Network commits to giving voice and visibility to the diverse perspectives of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures.

Lisa Doyle, vice president of Engagement and Development at HCA Healthcare’s corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, has served our organization for more than 10 years. Before joining our Nashville team in 2013, Lisa led human resources (HR) operations for HCA Healthcare’s Central West Texas Division.

As the Executive Sponsor of the Asian and Pacific Islander Colleague Network, Lisa hopes to connect people and open doors. “By getting to know the journey each of us took to get here, we will grow together, be inspired and renew our personal commitment to our mission and purpose,” said Lisa.

Lisa adds that she is honored to represent the Asian and Pacific Islander community. “Some of us are immigrants to the U.S. and others second- or third-generation. What is important is that we each have a unique story to share and a contribution to make.”

Black Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Ken Washington, Practice Operations President, HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group

Ken Washington, Practice Operations President, HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group

Our Black Colleague Network supports the growth and success of Black colleagues at HCA Healthcare through professional development, recruiting, networking, and open forums to drive meaningful change across the organization. With 38 years of healthcare experience, Ken Washington, president of practice operations for HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group, was quick to volunteer to lead the Black Colleague Network at HCA Healthcare.

“As one of the senior-ranking Black leaders at HCA Healthcare, I feel I have a responsibility to help foster a diverse and inclusive culture,” said Ken. “Throughout my career, I have taken an active interest in others’ professional development, particularly with African American colleagues. I see my executive sponsorship of the Black Colleague Network at HCA Healthcare as an extension of that work.”

You can also find Ken leading HCA Healthcare’s Black Senior Leadership Council and sitting on the Executive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Ken notes his involvement in these groups gives him “a unique perspective and a platform to affect positive change at all levels of the organization.”

Ken emphasizes that he encourages people of all ethnicities to join the network. He hopes this group is “a vehicle to not only spark discussion and address specific challenges but also to promote allyship.”

Hispanic/LatinX Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Ricardo Pavon, Chief Financial Officer, HCA Healthcare’s National Group

Ricardo Pavon, Chief Financial Officer, HCA Health

The Hispanic/Latinx Colleague Network strives to unite the Hispanic and Latinx colleagues at HCA Healthcare to increase cultural awareness and opportunities for recruitment, advancement and professional development. Ricardo Pavon is hoping to inspire his colleagues by stepping into the Executive Sponsor role of the Hispanic/LatinX Colleague Network. As the Chief Financial Officer for HCA Healthcare’s National Group, he underscores that “the sky is the limit with hard work and dedication on your side.”

Ricardo spent a portion of his childhood in Honduras and finished his education in New Orleans when his family moved back to the United States. He joined the HCA Healthcare family in 1995 and advanced his career by serving in various financial roles at affiliate facilities in Louisiana and Florida.  In January 2014, Pavon stepped into the role of North Florida Division Chief Financial Officer. During his time in the North Florida Division, he was instrumental in the successful launch of three Certified Level II Trauma Centers, Graduate Medical Education Residency Programs at three hospitals and growing the Division from 12 campuses to 15 campuses to include the addition of UCF Lake Nona Hospital that opened in 2021.

Honored to be taking a leadership role in the Colleague Network program, Ricardo feels it is important to share his story. “I have had many mentors and wonderful leaders that opened many doors for me and I hope to do the same for others,” said Ricardo. He hopes to be a resource and mentor for future leaders to help them achieve their career aspirations.

LGBTQ+ Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Christopher J. Ott, Chief Medical Officer, HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group

Dr. Christopher J. Ott, Chief Medical Officer, HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group

The LGBTQ+ Colleague Network advances inclusion and embraces the unique value of each individual at HCA Healthcare. Dr. Christopher Ott, chief medical officer for HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group (PSG), is looking forward to seeing our enterprise continue to grow with the Colleague Networks. “They offer a repository of lived experiences from which the organization can learn so that we make more informed, culturally competent decisions in all aspects of care,” said Dr. Ott.

The importance of representation at all levels of an organization is one reason why Dr. Christopher Ott volunteered to be the Executive Sponsor of HCA Healthcare’s LGBTQ+ Colleague Network.

“Just the presence of our LGBTQ+ colleagues and overt examples of allyship in employment settings reinforce the message that the organization is inclusive and welcoming,” said Dr. Ott. “We also serve as examples to others that they can show up to work authentically as themselves. We educate, share and communicate our lived experiences with colleagues to improve their cultural competency when interacting with our LGBTQ+ colleagues, patients and vendors as well.”

As an active member of his community, Dr. Ott serves as board chairman for Nashville CARES, the largest HIV and AIDS service organization in Middle Tennessee. He also holds board membership with the Medical Foundation of Nashville, which operates Project Access, connecting the uninsured and underinsured with specialty medical services.

Veterans Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Eric Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer, Parallon

Eric Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer, Parallon

The Veterans Colleague Network is committed to connecting and supporting veterans, currently serving military members, their families, and their champions at HCA Healthcare. As the network’s Executive Sponsor, Eric Ward, chief executive officer and president of Parallon, hopes to bring a greater degree of understanding about what veterans may experience when transitioning into the civilian workspace. “As a former member of the military, I’ve always enjoyed meeting veterans here at HCA Healthcare, and the connection of our shared experiences,” said Eric, who has enjoyed a rich, 30-year career with HCA Healthcare.

He hopes to increase opportunities for our veteran colleagues to connect, be heard and excel through the colleague network. “My goal is to highlight the value that veterans offer HCA Healthcare,” Eric adds.

Eric highlights that military personnel possess a unique set of transferable skills, which are valuable assets in the business world. “The ability to put together a plan and execute on it is a foundational skill taught in the military — and those are the same planning and organization skills that allowed me to be effective when I first started with HCA Healthcare, and continue to be essential today.”

Women’s Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Dee Anna Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare

Dee Anna Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare

The Women’s Colleague Network advocates for a culture of respect for women at HCA Healthcare. As the Chief Executive Officer of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, Dee Anna Smith plans on using her Executive Sponsor role in the Women’s Colleague Network as a platform to “empower other female colleagues to work with relentless passion, create results and serve as champions for one another.”

Dee Anna is responsible for leading Sarah Cannon’s mission and vision to make a global impact on cancer care and research and also is the first woman to be appointed chair of the Pepperdine University Chair of Regents.

She notes the creation of the Women’s Colleague Network is critical given today’s environment. “We are seeing one in four women consider exiting the workforce or downshifting their careers as a result of the pandemic compared to one in five men. Through purposeful engagement and conversation, we can address issues that women uniquely face in our workplace and learn from one another on how to tackle these challenges in a productive manner.”

“As professionals in the healthcare community, we need to activate and serve as allies to empower women for the future,” Dee Anna adds. “By introducing the concept of allyship, we create a supportive environment of individuals no matter if they are “she for she”, “he for she”, or “they for them”.

Young Professionals Colleague Network

Executive Sponsor: Phil Billington, Senior Vice President, Internal Audit Services HCA Healthcare

Executive Sponsor: Phil Billington, Senior Vice President, Internal Audit Services HCA Healthcare

The Young Professionals Colleague Network is designed to connect, engage, and empower young professionals at HCA Healthcare. Phil Billington, senior vice president of internal audit services at HCA Healthcare, has learned from great mentors throughout his 16-year career at HCA Healthcare. “My current role here at HCA Healthcare provides me with the opportunity to interact with many extremely talented young professionals and I want to make sure they have those same types of strong mentors to help guide them throughout their careers,” said Phil. “I want to help them be as successful as possible.”

Phil emphasizes that strong networks are critical to the long-term success of our organization. “Dr. Frist Sr. used to say ‘Good people beget good people’.  We develop good people at HCA Healthcare because we have good people and we give them the time and resources to invest in our young professionals.  I’m constantly impressed by the work ethic and drive of our young professionals – they are the ‘good people’ Dr. Frist was talking about. They are the next round of leadership to drive HCA Healthcare into the future.”

HCA Healthcare’s rich, 53-year history is something that Phil hopes to pass along to the next generation. “Our culture is unique to HCA Healthcare and it is foundational to everything we do. We show up.  We deliver. We care. We do the right thing.  We treat everyone with dignity and respect,” said Phil. “These are all concepts that have to be passed on to the next generation of our young professionals through many ways, including mentoring, training, on-the-job experience and Colleague Networks.  I look forward to playing a small role in the further development of our already strong Colleague Networks.”

Thank you to our new Executive Sponsors for amplifying the voices of our colleagues!

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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