CEO Linda Marzano Promotes Diversity at PacMed

PacMed CEO Linda Marzano Interviewed by Biz Journal

To read the entire article in the Seattle Business Journal, follow this link.

As CEO of Pacific Medical Centers, Linda Marzano oversees PacMed’s network of 10 clinics and 150 doctors. She’s also chairwoman of the board of directors for the US Family Health Plan Alliance. Through it all, she’s advocate for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Previously, she has a 30-year history working in health care. She started as a registered nurse and since 2003, she’s held various management roles at PacMed, becoming CEO in 2015.

Interview with Linda Marzano, CEO of Pacific Medical Centers

Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced as an LGBTQ executive and how you overcame it: Perhaps it is a sign of our times or of my industry, but I can honestly say that, as an executive, I have not personally been faced with a challenge because of who I am.

What impact do you think personalization and the technological advances in health care can have on the health and well-being of people in the LGBTQ community? One of the biggest advances in medical technology is the electronic health record. It pulls nearly all patient medical data — including messaging between patient and provider — into one place…Providing evidence-based care should bolster the well-being and health of the LGBTQ community, as it will help all communities.

What can health care providers do to better meet the health needs of the LGBTQ community? What efforts have you seen and what still needs to be done? Health care providers and industry leaders are in a unique position to help remove the stigma of sexuality…PacMed has provided free seminars to the LGBTQ community. Topics have included cultural competency, the importance of preventive screenings, relationship violence, nutrition and facial plastic surgery. I found this initiative an exciting and successful form of outreach and connection. And the response from the community has been very positive. On a broad note, I think health care providers could be better trained to understand that the LGBTQ community has unique needs and that these may change as a patient progresses from adolescence to adulthood and into geriatric care. I believe one of the most powerful ways to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community is by modeling the behavior we wish to see.

How has your company created a more supportive space for LGBTQ employees? It is important to PacMed that we hear the voices of our employees, including our LGBTQ employees. Internally, we offer many avenues for contributing ideas and offering feedback on projects and our internal culture. I hold “brown bag” lunch sessions at each clinic a couple times each year to share organization-wide initiatives, give updates on progress and solicit input. Encouraging all employees to feel safe sharing their thoughts and perspectives is part of this exchange. PacMed also highlights and celebrates the excellence and success of our employees…We also back our employees’ personal interests by providing financial grants to the organizations that they actively support.

Do you think there’s a “glass ceiling” for LGBTQ executives? The world is changing, and things that were not acceptable 20 years ago are now more acceptable. My colleagues and I do everything in our power to ensure that people at PacMed are promoted for their merit.

What advice would you have for younger LGBTQ people who aspire to executive-level positions? Stay focused on what is important. Enjoy what (you) do and never compromise (your) values.