Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Diane Scardino, Vice President of Operations for Texas Children’s Hospital, here in Houston, Texas in the Medical Center. Diane, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Diane: Thank you, I’m glad to be here with you, Leisa.
Leisa: I’m betting that as a little kid in the backyard, you didn’t dream of being the Vice President of Operations in a hospital in the Medical Center in Houston. How did you get to this extraordinary position?
Diane: You know, it’s never a straight path, right? It’s a good question. I actually did really well in high school. I grew up in Southeast Texas and thought that I wanted to come to Houston, the big city, to go to college. I looked at both Rice and the University of Houston, came to the University of Houston Honor’s program, and really set out more on a business background. And it just so happened that my father introduced me to his college roommate who was a hospital administrator. I thought, wow, I haven’t heard of this, and really kind of learned a little bit more about it. When I was in high school I did a lot of servant type work, did a lot of volunteerism, and I just thought it was just a good connection. So, I actually stayed with the University of Houston system and got my Master’s in Business and my Master’s in Healthcare Administration. So, I kind of went that route, and went to UTMB in Galveston; The University of Texas Medical Branch. When I came out I did my administrative fellowship there. The main reason I went there is I thought, ok, where can I go that I can see everything? Because I really did not have a lot of work experience and wanted to see both the medical school side as well as the business side. I went there, literally saw everything including an autopsy,
Leisa: I can’t imagine.
Diane: I thought, let’s understand what this clinical is since I’m not going to be a clinician. But I always knew that I had a heart for children. Over time, less than five years, I really had the opportunity through another one of my graduate friends who was already working here and she said, ‘hey, I think we’ve got a position that I really think you would be interested in.’ And it was really coming to Texas Children’s to do all the logistical planning for the 1999 expansion, which was where we moved our patients out of this building that we’re in, our original building, Abercrombie building, and moved them over to the new vertical expansion of West Tower. And we also created the Clinical Care Tower, which was a parking lot. Many, many buildings have started that way in the Texas Medical Center, and we actually created a 17 floor, outpatient building, which is really where the majority of our subspecialty care is housed today.
Leisa: And right now you’re expanding two more buildings, right? You bought the building that Baylor Clinic is in, and you’re building a tower next to the Women’s Pavilion?
Diane: That is correct.
Leisa: Wow, and are you involved with all of that?
Diane: I am involved with that, and we just kicked off some more master planning, because when you look at the unbelievable growth of Houston, and really the unbelievable demographics, Texas Children’s Hospital really has so much opportunity to be a leader. We already are a leader in children’s healthcare, and as we continue to have new advances in science, and what that means in terms of any type of new clinical programs, testing, interventions; we have to have the space to be able to do that.
Leisa: Amazing. Thank you again for being here. There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading web and mobile technology company. You can find me at contentactive.com or follow me on Twitter @lhnelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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