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7 Questions on Leadership with Bridgette Vail

Name: Bridgette Vail

Title: Executive Director

Organisation: Recovery Centers of America

I am a seasoned Executive Health Care Professional. With a diverse background and degrees in both the Healthcare and Business Industries I have the innate ability to develop and lead large teams, manage a variety of scenarios and navigate complex challenges. I hold myself personally accountable for making a difference in client’s lives by ensuring proactive and balanced care to improve clinical outcomes and lower costs. I am responsible for using the care management process to ensure optimal care, services, and provide care coordination. I effectively utilize clinical criteria guidelines and accreditation standards as well as department processes and procedures to achieve admission and utilization targets.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Bridgette's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

As a leader, change management can be difficult. It’s important to be sure to do it right in order to do so, it is absolutely necessary to include all of the necessary stakeholders. Doing so creates buy in and support for whatever the change is. If change management is not done correctly, it will almost surely fail.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

As a young professional, I was very lucky to have wonderful mentors who supported my career development. They permitted me to be involved in executive decision making long before I had a seat at the table. They created opportunities for me, that I happily accepted ultimately leading to my comfort level with risktaking. It was my willingness to take risks that created leadership opportunities. Along the way, I was supported through continued education and professional decisions by both family and professional mentors.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I always start my day with family. The early morning hours are dedicated to getting my four children up and off to school. Because my work is very demanding. It’s important that I create time for my family in the morning before I start my day. Once I’m in the office, I hit the ground running. Inpatient care is a 24 hour a day seven day a week job that requires all of my time and attention during the workday and often times into the evenings. I don’t always stop for lunch but I’m working on being more mindful of self-care. Patient care always takes priority with administrative tasks following close behind. Once the “workday” ends, my evenings include sports, homework, dinner, bedtime and oftentimes more work before bed.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

The importance of culture. It’s easy to take culture for granted when it’s flourishing. When culture is ignored it becomes clear, very quickly, that it is necessary for the survival of any company.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I was recently gifted a book titled The Challenge Culture. A staff member of mine gave it to me to thank me for always allowing him to question and push back. The book discusses the importance of being able to cope with change and thrive by creating a culture that supports positive pushback.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Take risks! In order to advance your career, you have to be willing to take risks and fail. Failing is a part of the process and shouldn’t be feared.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Early on in my career, I was invited to be a part of a meeting with my executive leadership team. After the meeting, I approached a supervisor and questioned whether or not I should have been included. He immediately reminded me of the importance of the work that I was doing and the reasons why I was included in that meeting and many others. Sometimes we need to see ourselves through the eyes of others in order to see the role that we’re playing in the importance that it brings.

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