Jackie Hanson – COO – Metro North Hospital & Health Service

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Intro  0:13
Many aspire to reach the upper echelon of the healthcare industry, but few are able to successfully navigate the corporate ladder. As Asia becomes the world epicenter of the healthcare industry, C-Suite Partners sits down with international healthcare executives asking the tough questions and unpacking the personalities of the top industry leaders.

Welcome to the boardroom.

Michael Murray  0:37
Jackie, thank you for joining C-Suite Partners in the boardroom.

Jackie Hanson  0:40
My pleasure.

Michael Murray  0:41
What excites you about healthcare in the next 10 years?

Jackie Hanson  0:44
I think one of the most exciting opportunities that we’re looking at is around digital health and we actually discussing in Metro North at the moment, trialling something that is really simple but exciting. It’s basically a robot arm out in a remote community where we don’t have sonographers, okay, being managed by us and sonographers via telehealth so that a patient can have an ultrasound in their hometown, done by a sonographer in a Metro Center and have the images read by the Metro Center and then a decision made as to whether the patient has to move.

Michael Murray  1:24
And what about career crossroads personally for you, what was a moment where you thought, I’m going to go and become a chief executive?

Jackie Hanson  1:35
I never thought I’m going to go and become a chief executive, what I do have a moment when I moved into Health Leadership, as a director of surgery. A number of years ago now, and in my first month in the job, I have all these great plans and ideas and visions in my head and I just wanted the surgeons to do it. And no was quite directive and I can recall calling a surgeon one morning saying, Professor, you know, this is going on, I need you to do this. And he said, I don’t even know why you’re ringing me, I’m not speaking to you and hung up. Well, and I thought at that moment, this is going to be really hard. So I’m going to either sell myself, and do whatever it takes to get these people on board, which might be at times unpleasant. But if it’s for the greater good, can I do what I do, I walk away. And I I’ve thought about that for well over a week. And that the end of that, after reflecting my decision was, if it’s for the greater good, I can actually, you know, make them feel important and apologize for what I’m about to ask them to do and ask them to do it and then apologize, I’ve asked them to do it. And at that point, I guess my career trajectory took that path of leadership.

Michael Murray  3:12
Okay, and what about mentoring? Did you have someone in your career that you’ve always gone to? Or previously, you’ve just given them a call and asked for advice?

Jackie Hanson  3:23
No. I haven’t. I’ve used a few different vehicles. And the current chief executive that I’m working for, was a leader for me in my formative leadership years, but I used him as a coach, not as a mentor. So it was really skills, skills-based rather than thinking he allowed people to including myself, to my be dangerous decisions. And he allowed us to succeed or fail in a very safe environment. And so I appreciated that. And it’s something that I’ve taken with me throughout my career. I did have a dabble in mentoring very early on and actually didn’t like it. I didn’t like sitting in a room with somebody having a conversation about, you know, the last week and the things are done well and the things I hadn’t done well, it wasn’t something that was useful to me.

Michael Murray  4:27
If you think about those decisions. Is there one that you remember that you regret?

Jackie Hanson  4:33
I do. I made a decision to leave an organisation because the leadership team was very dysfunctional. And that was, that was led by quite a charismatic chief executive officer. But it was almost the Stockholm syndrome where people just behaved in a certain way to get It noticed and approval from the boss. And that environment actually hurt good people. And rather than Speak up, I chose to leave. And then you know, and when I chose to leave, I moved away from family for work. So it was personally difficult, but also professionally, on reflection, I left other good people in an environment where they weren’t safe necessarily.

Michael Murray  5:33
So from regrets, what do you think is your crowning achievement in your career thus far?

Jackie Hanson  5:38
Fairly recently, I uncovered or discovered quite a terrible systems failure. And I spoke up about that and spoke up very publicly and loudly. And whilst again, that was very professionally and personally challenging because it played out in a very outward-facing way. So very publicly, I had to give evidence in senate inquiries in Select Committee inquiries. There was a large in this anti-corruption investigation. Throughout all of that I held my ground and continued to speak out until we got to a point where we closed a facility in four weeks. And as a result of that, we changed the lives of the people who were the recipients of care and their carers for the better, forever.

Michael Murray  6:42
Okay. And if you had to describe your career in one word, what would it be?

Jackie Hanson  6:47

Michael Murray  6:49
Intense, just like this interview. Fantastic. Well, thank you for spending time with C-Suite Partners in the boardroom.

Jackie Hanson  6:55
My pleasure.

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