Vice pres­i­dent of ad­vo­cacy and pub­licpol­icy Chris­tus Health

Modern Healthcare - - 2015 UP & COMERS - —Sabriya Rice

“She’s ex­actly what healthcare needs right now.” —Abby McNeil, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and public af­fairs

Gabriela Saenz con­cedes she was never the best dancer. Still, she can’t for­get the ad­vice given by the in­struc­tor of a folk­loric Mex­i­can dance troupe she per­formed with as a child. “Just smile and go af­ter it,” she re­calls him say­ing. “No mat­ter what, just keep danc­ing.”

Saenz said those en­cour­ag­ing words have re­mained mo­ti­va­tional ever since. Over 11 years with faith-based, not-for-profit Chris­tus Health, Saenz has helped save Chris­tus hos­pi­tals $25 mil­lion through work to de­feat a Texas bud­get pro­vi­sion that would have neg­a­tively im­pacted re­im­burse­ments, and di­verted $8 mil­lion in Med­i­caid cuts to a Chris­tus hos­pi­tal in Louisiana.

Trained as a lawyer, Saenz also vol­un­teers with var­i­ous char­i­ties. Her le­gal savvy and com­pas­sion made her a stand­out to Abby McNeil, the sys­tem’s di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and public af­fairs, who nom­i­nated Saenz. “She’s ex­actly what healthcare needs right now,” McNeil said. “Some­one who can look at what’s best, from both the busi­ness and peo­ple per­spec­tives.”

Saenz said she wel­comes greater chal­lenges, be­cause they only help her keep her foot­ing and get stronger. “Keep af­ter it un­til you fall,” she ad­vised. “You learn how far you have to lean, and what shoes to wear to make it hap­pen.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.