37 Pediatric service line director and director of operations Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation
“You can’t just sell a new idea, you have to work on buy-in and prepare your team to make it a successful venture.”
The impetus to get into healthcare for Chantel Johnson was a specific one; she knew who she wanted to help. As a Carol Emmott fellow, she participated in a 14-month self-guided program for female leaders in healthcare. When asked to craft a legacy statement, she focused entirely on improving the health and wellness of women and children. Johnson, who began here career as a registered nurse, oversees the Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation’s 21 pediatric clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is experienced in both ambulatory care and acute care, having served in several leadership positions in neonatal intensive-care units in the Seattle area prior to landing in her current role. Working as a nurse manager, she learned how important it is to empower the team behind you. “You can’t just sell a new idea, you have to work on buy-in and prepare your team to make it a successful venture. Everything must start with engaging your team, or else any effort will fall flat no matter how great the design,” she said. Under her leadership, quality has been benchmarked at the 90th percentile for pediatric pay-for-performance initiatives, and employee satisfaction is in the 95th percentile. “Every day, I want to try and improve the quality of care and access to care for women and children. I want to empower them in the communities that they live in and all the work I do toward that goal I see as tying into my legacy, and it’s great to know that I still have 30-plus years to keep doing that,” she said.