Sandy Thurmond is Vice President of Primary Care Services at Children’s of Alabama where she has worked for thirty years. Sandy is responsible for operations and development of the primary care arm of Children’s as well as for maintaining and improving relationships with pediatricians around the state. Children’s owns thirteen primary care offices which provided over 342,000 medical visits in 2016.
Sandy serves on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team, the United Way’s Women United Advisory Group, the Birmingham Southern College Alumni Board and the UAB Health Administration Women’s Leadership Initiative. She is a past president of both the Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum and UAB’s Graduate Programs in Health Administration Alumni Association from which she received its 2009 Outstanding Alumnus Award. She is an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and her hobbies include fitness, reading and travel. Sandy is a member of Momentum’s Class 10 and of the Momentum Alumnae Program.
What did you gain from your MOMENTUM experience?
In addition to the excellent training provided at the monthly sessions, I gained a network of inspiring, supportive, accomplished and fabulous professional women who I now call friends.
What is one piece of leadership advice you have been given that has helped you in your career?
The path forward is not a linear one – be determined and confident in your ability to master the obstacles you encounter… and in each success, you move along.
What challenges do you think the next generation of women leaders face?
We have the opportunity to lead teams of unparalleled diversity in terms of skills and backgrounds. However, with the differences in the styles of the generations and genders, we will be challenged to truly listen and be flexible in how we charter, communicate with and problem solve so that we can truly leverage the talents of our teams.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18 year old self?
Be aware that you do not know what you do not know… your success will come through your ability to apply what you do know to the challenges you face.
What three words do you think should characterize every leader?
Integrity, Adaptability, Passion.
How do you find balance in your career, home, and community life?
It is optimistic to say that I find balance, but I believe that by recognizing that I do have finite time and resources and by devoting my limited time and resources to what matters most to me at each time and stage of my life, I do have satisfaction and some balance with my career, home and community lives. And, I’ve learned to relax without feeling guilty… I enjoy what I am doing or I choose to do something else.
Is there a book that has been helpful to you in your career?
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey… it gave me permission to say no to otherwise worthwhile endeavors allowing me to focus on those special activities and projects aligned to my passions and goals.
Is there anything else you would like to share? Advice you would like to give women in leadership?
We can’t control what the future brings, but we can control how we respond to it. Embrace challenge, empower and support your team and enjoy and be passionate about your work.