In a recent board election, Kristen Fox was voted Chair for a 2-year term. Kristen has served as a board member since 2018, and we are excited for her to bring her business intelligence and acumen, in addition to her compassion, to this leadership role.
We recently profiled Kristen’s professional journey in healthcare and her pathway to workforce development. Read on to learn more:
Kristen Fox serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Swedish Health Services, where she works to plan and implement longterm workforce strategy in the midst of a constantly evolving industry. Swedish is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in King County.
When she graduated from the University of Washington in 1995, Kristen planned to take a year off, go into law school, and pursue a career in public policy. But during that year, she started an entry-level HR position and then ended up at a Critical Access Hospital in Wisconsin, where she discovered a passion for the patient-centered mission. In her words: "How do you find people who can be there for others at the most vulnerable moments of their lives?"
Before joining the WDC board last year, Kristen already saw her mission as being bigger than a single company. Her work brought her into contact with local healthcare training programs, including apprenticeship design with SEIU MultiEmployer Training and Education Fund, and Seattle Jobs Initiative’s GrowHire, which increases access to healthcare opportunities by offering local training for entrylevel care positions. "We live in a world where all ships rise," says Kristen. "How do we scale the work of Swedish to make it possible for small healthcare companies to make the same improvements in hiring?"
Her husband serves as something of a case study—he started his career as a mechanical engineer, went back to medical school as a resident physician, and now works as a family physician serving vulnerable populations.
That makes for a busy family, and they love to spend free time with their two teenage sons and half-shepherd Tonka (@tonkatraildog). With two parents in healthcare, perhaps it’s not surprising the phrase "living wage jobs" has already worked its way into conversation at the dinner table.