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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022

Executive Profile: Mary Henrikson


Name: Mary Henrikson.

Company: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

Titles: Senior vice president and CEO.

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No. of employees: 900.

Year founded: 1992.

Education: Master of Nursing degree, University of Washington, 1980. Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner program, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1981.

Birthplace: Butte, Mont.

Age: 57.

Current residence: Clairemont.

Family: Husband, Paul.

Mary Henrikson, a registered nurse, is senior vice president and chief executive officer of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns — San Diego’s only hospital dedicated exclusively to caring for women and newborns. Sharp Mary Birch offers a full range of obstetrical, medical and surgical services for all stages of life.


Essential business philosophy: It’s all about the people.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Listen to the voice of the customer and give them what they want.

Guiding principles: Fairness, honesty and striving for excellence. John F. Kennedy said, “The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

Yardsticks of success: It’s all about the data. Here at Sharp Mary Birch we regularly survey our patients, physicians and employees and gauge our success based on their level of satisfaction. I’m proud to say we have the lowest employee turnover rate in all of Sharp HealthCare. Our physician satisfaction data is also exemplary, and we consistently hear directly from our patients through our patient satisfaction surveys that we’re making a difference in their lives.

Goals yet to be achieved: It’s well-known that at Sharp Mary Birch we deliver more babies than any other hospital in California. Now, I would like to reach even more women by spreading the word about our other excellent health care services for women such as minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.


Best business decision: Joining Sharp HealthCare and continuing to stay here has been my best business decision. I thrive on how ethical Sharp HealthCare is. We do the right thing by our employees, physicians and patients every time, even if it sometimes hurts.

Worst business decision: I always tell my team that there are no bad decisions — you simply learn to do something differently. I’ve learned so much every step of the way, good and bad, and it’s got me where I am today.

Toughest business decision: My toughest decisions are those that affect people on a personal level, such as making personnel changes. Those tough decisions hurt my heart the most.

Biggest missed opportunity: It’s so true that when a door closes, a window opens. We are all on the path that we were meant to follow.

Mentor: Dan Gross, executive vice president of Hospital Operations, Sharp HealthCare. He is the first boss that I could really point to with pride and say I want to be like him. People love and respect him.

Word that describes you: Caring.


What you like best about your job: The opportunity to make a difference for so many people in so many different ways.

What you like least about your job: The little stuff that gets in the way of achieving goals on a daily basis. I’m an achiever and like to have something completed each day.

Pet peeves: When others don’t do their jobs and don’t follow through.

Most important lesson learned: My dad taught me that your job is like gold and should be treated as though it is that valuable to you.

Three greatest passions: My grandchildren, golf and creating the best experiences for new families.


Favorite quote: “What if your life was judged by the way you make others feel?” — Anonymous.

Most influential book: “Leadership Challenge,” by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

Favorite status symbol: My title as senior vice president and CEO of Sharp Mary Birch because it reflects how hard I’ve worked to get where I am.

Favorite restaurant: Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant because I can take my grandchildren there and not worry about how loud we are.

Favorite place for business meetings: My office because I don’t have to spend time in transit.

Favorite vacation spot: I take “grand-cations” to Tucson, Ariz., to see my grandchildren.

Favorite way to spend time: To start my day with an early round of golf and spend the rest of my day playing with my grandchildren.


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