Q&A: Vickie Diamond named Woman of Influence in health care
By Kristy Bleizeffer Aug 16, 2013
On Aug. 8, Wyoming Medical Center President and CEO Vickie Diamond was named the first Woman of Influence in health care at a ceremony in Cheyenne.
The 2013 Wyoming Women of Influence award luncheon was the first in Wyoming and 61 women were nominated in 10 categories. Diamond was one of 10 women honored as leaders in their fields, from hospitality and energy to business and government.
Diamond started her career as a nurse, working her way up the ranks of hospital administration. She has more than 25 years of experience in executive management in health care. She has a master’s of science degree in nursing from the University of Colorado in Denver.
The Pulse recently caught up with Diamond to talk women in leadership and breaking health care’s glass ceiling.
Q: Was this a surprise, or did you know this award was coming?
A: I had no idea until a few days before when I was told that I was one of the three finalists. I still did not know I got it until the luncheon. It was a great surprise.
Q: This was the first Women of Influence celebration. What does it mean to you to be the first woman chosen from the healthcare field?
A: I am very honored to receive this award as there are many deserving women in health care. To be the first is just a wonderful feeling and is very humbling. I am proud of the 10 women chosen to be the first Women of Influence honorees and grateful we are recognizing women's impact on business in our state.
Q: Throughout your career, what changes in opportunities have you seen for women in health care?
A: I have seen a great change in the healthcare field regarding women. Early in my career, there was a glass ceiling for women in the high-level management positions, even in nursing. We have finally elevated the nurse executive to the chief level, but it took years to get there.
Now at the top levels, women have a big impact not only in health care, but in finance, planning and so forth.
I believe a person’s skills and knowledge are what makes the difference. You must be confident, competent and collaborative and possess good communication skills to reach this level and gender should not matter.
Q: What do you think women bring to the health care industry? Are you encouraged that more young women seem to be taking an interest in the field?
A: I think women bring the perspective of being family caregivers throughout our history. We bring the knowledge required to lead in the field. Women need to earn this leadership through education, experience and by having, and being, great mentors.
I would strongly encourage young women to enter the field as it is very rewarding, both professionally and personally. I see more women in leadership roles in healthcare organizations throughout the state and the country. This is exciting to me.
Q: What are your visions for Wyoming Medical Center over the next several years?
A: My vision for Wyoming Medical Center is to truly make our community healthier and to use the outstanding skills and knowledge of our staff to make this happen.
We are in the midst of a major transformation in health care and we will be right there on the cutting edge. Wyoming Medical Center is here to care for our community. We have provided that care for the last 102 years, and we will continue to do that.