Kara Bennorth’s 24-year career in hospital administration began simply as a desire to “work with people and drive collaboration.” As executive vice president and chief administrative officer for WMCHealth’s 10-hospital network, which includes Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, she has certainly achieved that goal. Bennorth helps to manage the organization’s 12,000 employees, who provide support and care for some 300,000 patients each year.
“I am proud to lead an amazing workforce of that size and caliber,” Bennorth says. “It is my responsibility to make sure they have the tools needed to do their very best.” Thanks to her own trajectory within WMCHealth, Bennorth has unique insight into just what those tools should be. “I started my career here as an administrative assistant and rose up through the ranks,” she explains. “I understand the importance of our workforce and the critical work they do.”
In addition to workforce-engagement initiatives, which include executive-development programs and a Women’s Leadership Council, Bennorth has also helped establish myriad support systems for patients, their families, and even surrounding communities. A new Caregiver Center at Westchester Medical Center, for example, provides computer access, showers, yoga classes, and counseling services to patients and their family members. Bennorth also helped launch the Sexual Assault and Abuse Victims Empowerment Program, and Food for Life, through which WMCHealth partners with community leaders to promote good nutrition and food security.
Humble despite her lofty position, Bennorth says her many accomplishments are just “part of our strategy to thrive in the Hudson Valley.”