Page 4 - Healthcare News SepOct 2021
P. 4

‘A Wonderful, Wonderful Fit’
Dr. Lynnette Watkins Takes the Helm at
y George O’Brien
r. Lynnette Watkins says she is most definitely her father’s daughter.
ooley Dickinson
By that, she meant she is a second-generation ophthalmolo- gist, following the lead set by her father, L.C. Watkins,
who is one of the first African-Americans practicing in that specialty in St. Louis.
“When I say that I stand on the shoulders of giants, I don’t take that lightly, and first and foremost is my dad,” she noted. “He’s been my biggest supporter, mentor, and point of light.”
But there were other influences as well, including her mother, an educator, and, more specifically, an early-childhood-development administrator, who was one of many who taught her the importance of giving back.
“It was always expected that, with the privileges and opportunities that were afforded to me, there was an expectation to serve and to give back,” she said. “Which is why, with each position and opportunity that I’ve pursued, I’ve always had that mindset first and foremost in my mind; it’s why I wanted to have a career in healthcare.”
This is the philosophy Watkins brings to her latest assignment, as president and CEO of Cooley Dickin- son Hospital in Northampton.
She takes the helm at CDH after a lengthy stint as chief medical officer for the Baptist Health System/ Tenet Healthcare – Texas Group, and arrives at an obviously stressful, tenuous, and uncertain time for all healthcare providers, one still dominated in every way by the COVID-19 pandemic and its latest surge.
Watkins, who arrived at the hospital on Sept.
27, brings to this challenge, and CDH, a wealth of experience. Like a growing number of those leading hospitals and healthcare systems, she has made the transition from direct patient care to managing those who provide that care. For her, it was a seismic but, in many ways, natural change.

   2   3   4   5   6