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2015 40 Under 40 Honoree: Jennifer McClean

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In career terms, Jennifer McClean lives and breathes Mercy.

Employed by the St. Louis-based health system since 1997, she's held nine positions in the Springfield operations, where she currently serves as vice president of strategic initiatives.

McClean began working as a medical records clerk before graduating from Drury University. Even early on, leadership qualities began to emerge.

"My early health care career started as a teenager on the very front lines: a medical assistant in a rural primary care office, nurse aid in a nursing homeís Alzheimer's unit and as a sleep study technician," McClean says. "If I was to change the factors that created barriers and frustrations for patients, providers and care teams, I would have to step outside of a direct care role and pursue leadership."

A couple years in, she climbed the ladder to medical assistant, office coordinator and clinic manager, before her masterís in health administration degree in 2005 propelled her into a management position for strategic initiatives. Four years later, she was appointed strategic initiatives director and department vice president in mid-2011.

Patient satisfaction rates are a big factor in McCleanís work, and under her administrative guidance she says surveys found Mercy physicians scored in the top 10 percent in the nation.

"While the recognition was affirming for the hard work of our teams, in my personal life as a working mother and daughter of a baby boomer caring for aging parents, I developed a constructive dissatisfaction with the status quo," she says. ìI was given the opportunity to lead a multidisciplinary team to develop an interactive Web and mobile patient portal that allowed patients and their caregiver/advocates to access their health information and care team electronically."

The net result: over 500,000 people managing their care remotely in all 50 states and at least 15 countries. The tools amount to over 450 monthly electronic visits, 2,500 self-scheduled appointments and nearly 10,000 e-messages between patients and providers.

Mercyís tapped into McCleanís expertise to develop new leadership structures, operational programs and clinical outreach programs in the St. Louis, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas markets.

"Mercy's nearly 2,000 physicians now collaborate across all communities to innovate care delivery, advance access to services and promote improved quality, service and cost for the patients and families we serve," she says.

She’s also shared her knowledge through consulting and speaking engagements via presentations to the American Medical Group Association, the Tennessee Health Association and, most recently, presented the “$30 Million Reality Check” at the November 2014 Service Experience Conference.

Her consulting work includes addressing community advocacy, for Abilities First and Ozarks Counseling Center, and integration, for Christus Health and Iowa Clinic.[[In-content Ad]]

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