March is Women's History Month. Each week, we'll feature one of our Swedish caregivers who will share with us what women's history means to them. We are especially proud of our Swedish caregivers who continue to make change and pave the way for future generations. This week, we spoke with Tia Strappazon, MHA, senior manager, program development, Physician Enterprise Puget Sound, about her career in health care, her role models and what excites her about the future of women in health care.
What inspired you to or why did you choose healthcare?
From early childhood, teaching always kindled my enthusiasm— so much that I would construct summer school programs each year for my younger brother and sister, complete with lesson plans, learning objectives and lots of fun activities. While an education career wasn’t in the cards, healthcare piqued my interest.
As a leader in the space, I am infinitely curious, continuously learning and able to share that knowledge with others—whether rolling out new initiatives and workflows or coaching and guiding team members. Healthcare is a purpose-driven career that feeds my soul, giving me frequent learning and teaching opportunities—and ultimately allowing me to give back to my community.
Tia Strappazon, MHA, senior manager, program development, Physician Enterprise Puget Sound
Is there a specific woman, mentor or group of women that influenced you to work in healthcare?
My mom influenced me to consider healthcare. She knew how important it was for me to work in a field where I could make a difference, curate change, and have a meaningful impact. She made the connection between my analytical thinking and organizational leadership skills, and the rapidly expanding healthcare industry.
How do you think the previous work of women in healthcare has paved the way for you?
From Dr. Mary Edwards Walker to Clara Barton, to Surgeon General Antonia Novella—their work and the work from so many other inspiring women broke down barriers and created a seat at the table for me. While there is still work to be done, women now have voices and influence both clinically and operationally—and in developing areas yet to be imagined.
How do you think women are paving the way now?
According to the World Economic Forum, women make up 70% of the global healthcare sector but only 25% of senior leadership roles. Representation matters, and seeing women like Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, President of Clinical Operations for Providence paves the way to solve for underrepresentation in senior leadership positions. Additionally, women are working diligently to close the significant gaps in women’s care throughout all stages of their lives. An extraordinary example of this is here locally within Swedish Medical Group where the Women’s Wellness program has been launched, offering women the holistic, personalized, and all-inclusive care that hasn’t been available before.
What are you excited about in terms of women's roles for the future?
Although healthcare organizations are starting to scratch the surface of comprehensive and holistic care for women, I am excited about how women’s perspectives are now being included in the design of new health programs and policies and the enhancement of existing services. By centering women’s voices, we are strengthening our health systems and providing better care and health outcomes for women of all backgrounds.
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