Maggie Hudson is the President and CEO of Santiam Hospital, a 40-bed acute care hospital in Stayton, Oregon, serving over 30,000 people a year. She joins Jared Siegel to share what it was like to become CEO during the pandemic. She also discusses how diverse professional backgrounds impact professional range, as well as trust, desirable difficulties, and how to build a high-performing culture.

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Here are a few highlights from Jared's conversation with Maggie Hudson:

  • Maggie shares her professional journey, which took her from accounting to becoming CEO of Santiam Hospital. She explains how her diverse professional background helped her tackle new problems within a familiar context.
  • “One of the things that fascinates me about healthcare is [that] its roots date back to early traditions from thousands of years ago; in Babylon, China, Egypt, etc...” Jared remarks. “It’s a persistent industry, but it’s changing so quickly.” He asks Maggie to identify some important cultural traits and strategies that enable organizations to remain resilient but flexible in the midst of change.
  • Maggie comments on the professional culture of Santiam Hospital. “We have this independent streak that brings and breeds independent thinkers, which keeps us independent,” she says. “Our culture has been driven by our independence, so we can be a community-based hospital that delivers what the community needs.”
  • Maggie remarks, “We spend a lot of our time at work, but what is our purpose there? I think what it comes down to is relationships; to me, nothing matters more than the relationships we can forge together.”
  • Jared asks Maggie about the role culture played as she stepped into the CEO position in the midst of the pandemic and whether it was strengthened or stressed during that adversity. “We made the courageous decision not to lay off or furlough anybody, and it brought us closer together,” she replies. “As an organization, we thrive together, or we take a hit together.”
  • “The strength of the individual is the team and the strength of the team is the individual,” Jared quotes. He asks Maggie about the process of using the positive attributes of independence and individual creativity for the collective good. “A significant part of [the process] is listening to what part of the autonomy people are willing to give up to have a better whole,” she shares.