Mary is a proven leader with more than 35 years of professional experience in healthcare, nonprofit organizations and higher education. Most recently she served as Vice President of Strategic Operations and Performance Excellence for a well-respected healthcare system. She facilitated system-wide strategy development and implementation for this $2.6B system. Mary has collaborated with executive sponsors on large-scale projects designed to reduce expenses and optimize operations. Her experience also includes working directly with dyad leaders of clinical service lines.

Mary has extensive experience in leadership development. Her health care experience specifically includes physician leadership. She previously served as the Vice President of Leadership and Organizational Development. While in this role, Mary led the transition from a decentralized model to a centralized model for leadership development and staff development impacting 1,100 leaders, 650 physicians and 16,000 frontline staff.

Mary has created and led service excellence initiatives at the system-level. She partnered with leaders to improve the patient experience in 32 hospitals and 200 clinics.

Mary’s experience in higher education includes serving as the founding Chair of the Physical Therapy Department at the University of South Dakota. She designed and developed the first and only graduate level physical therapy program in the state of South Dakota. During this time, she also taught graduate courses on management and communication.

During her career Mary has served in a variety of leadership roles with the common denominator being ‘start ups’. With the exception of her first professional job after college, every position she’s held has been to create a program and/or service that didn’t previously exist. That’s where she excels!


Doctor of Philosophy in Interpersonal Communication in Health Care

The Union Institute – Cincinnati, Ohio

Research: An Educational Approach to Facilitate Health Care Practitioners’ Learning and Application of Knowledge of “Encoding Nonverbal Communication Cues (Eye Behavior, Facial Expression, Gestures, Touch, Posture and Proxemics) by Health Care Practitioners During Interactions with Patients and the Impact of Those Cues on the Affective Component of Health Care Practitioner and Patient Interaction”

Master of Public Administration (Emphasis in Health Services)

University of Missouri-Kansas City – Kansas City, Missouri

Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy

University of Nebraska Medical Center – Omaha, Nebraska

General Studies

University of South Dakota – Vermillion, South Dakota