Susan Fox | Photo courtesy of White Plains Hospital
As one of the county’s leading executives, Susan Fox continues to look for ways to transform healthcare in Westchester County.
As president and CEO, Susan Fox has engineered the expansion of White Plains Hospital, strategically forging healthcare partnerships and aggressively recruiting top-notch clinical staff. She has been at the forefront of leadership in Westchester community throughout the pandemic and has now energetically committed her focus to making White Plains Hospital the healthcare leader in the region. Last fall, she was elected to succeed Bill Harrington as the new chairperson of the Westchester County Association, where she had previously served as vice-chair. We recently sat down with Fox to discuss her outsized role in the community she loves.
How has your background shaped how you approach your position?
I started my career as a pediatric ICU nurse, and in my office today, I still display a photo of one of my first patients, Gladys — a baby girl who was diagnosed with AIDS in the early 1980s. It reminds me every day of why we are here and our mission to care for our community. Having the experience as a bedside nurse prior to becoming an administrator gave me insight on what great care looks like. What followed was a fulfilling 25-year journey in healthcare administration that ultimately led me to White Plains Hospital. Since assuming the role of CEO in 2015, it has been my privilege to push forward an aggressive agenda to expand the programs and services we are able to offer to our community. I am constantly in awe of our staff and the way they care for our patients every day.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The biggest challenge that all healthcare institutions face is preparing for the unknown. While we have plans and protocols in place for most situations, what COVID taught us was that you cannot plan for everything and that when something unpredictable occurs, everyone needs to remain flexible and trust their training and their team.
What do you regard as the most gratifying aspect of your job?
Living and working in Westchester, the work we do impacts our families, friends, and neighbors, and knowing that we are making a difference in their lives is so gratifying. I hold great pride in leading an organization that makes a difference, is here for people when they need it, and importantly, when they don’t expect to need us.
How has the pandemic changed how healthcare is done now and in the future?
COVID-19 forced us all to look at how we work and how we innovate to best serve our patients. Strong teamwork was vital during the pandemic. It helped ensure everyone was aligned and effectively problem-solving without ever compromising the quality of our care. This collaboration was not only important inside the hospital but outside the hospital, as well. The public, elected officials, and business leaders all came together to support each other and worked to keep our community safe. Those relationships and experiences will carry us into the future for many years to come.