Meet the speakers for the HFMA MA-RI Chapter and the New England Healthcare Internal Auditors (NEHIA) 2.5 day in-person educational conference from November 29 to December 1, 2023. Click here to register!
Danielle Fagan, MSW, LICSW
Director-Adult Psychiatry & Behavioral Health
Tell us about your career journey
Like many people, my career journey is full of winding roads. If you asked me years ago if I wished to become the VP of Adult Psychiatry, I am not sure I would have said yes. From an early age, even as far back as a teen, I approached work as an opportunist. I took every opportunity to learn something new, meet someone new, build relationships, and shadow others in their work. Each person and learning experience opened my eyes to a new perspective and added tools to my toolbox. That resulted in job opportunities. Too often, people view growth as moving up the ladder, but I made many lateral moves to learn and grow my skills. It ultimately got me to where I am today.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
I had two pieces of advice that have stuck with me.
- “Get a mentor”- I have had several in my lifetime, and often they are not from the same industry. Their sole focus as your mentor is to see you succeed. They give you honest feedback and ask you the challenging questions.
- “Stop doing work for free”- I had been volunteering to share my knowledge because I didn’t think it was of any value. When a mentor told me this, I was initially horrified, because I was thinking about this in terms of money. However, I later realized what they didn’t mean charge people, they meant I needed to see my knowledge as valuable and if I am sharing it, I better believe in it. It also meant what was I trading or gaining for sharing my knowledge. Was I gaining a new network, relationship, reward of helping others.
What is the biggest challenge to achieving career success? And in your opinion, how do you define success?
Endurance! It is called work for a reason. You have to have the endurance to fail, and I often say, fail hard and fail fast! This is the only way to truly learn. Success is not the outcome, at least not for me. The outcome is nice, yes, but success is how you handled the journey to the outcome. Think about something you accomplished and feel really proud of. Why are you proud of it? Is it truly the outcome, which is what most people see? Or is the pride rooted in your effort and growth that it took to get to the outcome? What you endured and overcame makes the accomplishment feel more successful. I have certainly been successful at things or received accolades for things others view as successful. These were not successes in my mind, at least not as meaningful as those I have worked tirelessly for.
If somebody googled you, what would they not find out about you?
What we see on the google are people’s accomplishments, (or major failures of high-profile people). Like many people, my personal life is full of just as many accomplishments and failures. These shape who I am. Fun fact, I was supposed to be in Law Enforcement (long story). I am a partner, mother, volunteer, hockey mom, soccer mom, sideline supporter, safe place for other people’s kids, mentor, daughter, sister, friend, cook.