Meet Heather L. Maurer, CEO of NPWH. She’s a highly motivated and passionate accomplished nonprofit/association/accreditation executive leader with 25 years of experience. Heather has advanced equity and programmatic education in health leadership through a range of actions at the individual, institutional, and societal levels.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Heather L. Maurer: I have had a unique journey professionally. Out of college with a BA in Communications, my first job was as a flight attendant. I wanted to travel and experience the world but had no major work experience to land such a job. Being a flight attendant was by far one of the best jobs I have had, with many lifelong takeaways, great memories and tremendous friends.
The top golden nuggets of my job as a flight attendant gave me are as follows:
1. Customer Service is EVERYTHING!
2. Be resourceful and think in the “3rd way“– 30,000 feet in the air in a silver tube over the Atlantic ocean lends itself to creativity with any problem-solving.
3. Enjoy the adventure – I had the honor to travel to many countries in Africa, all over the Middle East living in Saudi Arabia, and all across the US.
I learned one common thread among all people–we all want to belong, be seen, and be acknowledged. I take these golden nuggets from this first job into everything I do today. I have always had a deep passion for supporting women. Traveling across the world, I recognized the inequities women face in all countries.
Today, I am honored to be working as the CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH). NPWH is the professional community for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses who provide women’s and gender-related healthcare. We set a standard of excellence
by generating, translating, and promoting the latest research and evidence-based clinical guidance, providing high-quality continuing education, and advocating for patients, providers, and the WHNP profession. Our mission includes protecting and promoting a woman and all individuals’ rights to make their own choices regarding their health and well-being within the context of their lived experience and their personal, religious, cultural, and family beliefs.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Heather L. Maurer: NPWH is the professional community for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses who provide women’s and gender-related healthcare. NPWH is the only professional organization dedicated to support the women’s health nurse practitioner profession (WHNP).
Our organization is best know for providing evidence based clinical education. The WHNP is know for their patient centered care that is holistic in approach and supports a woman throughout her lifespan. The providers NPWH serves are known experts in the primary, complex and specialty care of their patients, and are leaders and advocates in the advancement of healthcare towards a more just, healthy, and equitable world.
What advice do you wish you received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Heather L. Maurer: Take chances. Set your intention. Don’t worry about the path, just be on the path. It will all come together.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Heather L. Maurer: The book that has influenced my life the most is Love, Miracles, and Medicine by Bernie Siegel, MD.
I was 18 yrs old on a plane flying to spring break and this book was left in the back seat pocket of the airplane. In this book, Dr. Siegel illustrates the importance of connecting to people. As the back cover of the book states, Love Heals. He took care of terminal patients and taught them to take control of their illness and shift from looking at the situation as grim and negative to one that was hopeful and appreciative.
He also emphasized positive visualization. What he observed from his patients is those who saw their chemo or radiation as positive medicine had a better end-of-life experience than those who saw it as a negative. I have taken these simple take suggestions into my personal and professional life. When I find myself negative, I visualize positive energy coming to me and I choose live in my outcome. These simple exercises help shift and bring me into the flow.
Ironically, four years ago, my brother Christiaan A. Maurer, MD was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma. I shared with him what I learned from Love, Miracles and Medicine and suggested when he was getting radiation on his tumors that he visualize it as positive energy medicine, pure purple love going into his brain to kill the cancer. This helped him get through the procedures which require the patient to be extremely still.
Statistically, it was unlikely that any treatment would cure my brother. However, he did live 13 months and most of those months were of good quality of life. My brother’s take away from the terminal cancer experience is “every day is worth so much.” How does this tie into my work–I am present, I care and love our team, our members and the organization’s mission. Love has to be at the center of everything we do or it becomes meaningless.
The book I have gifted the most is Unthinkable by Jamie Raskin. In full disclosure, he is my brother-in-law. Moreover, like Love, Miracles and Medicine this book has left me in awe of his pure transparency and deep love for his country and his son, my nephew, Tommy. Again-it circles back to LOVE. Love of country, love of family, love of service.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Heather L. Maurer: I think the real challenge is remaining relative to your audience. It requires constant flexibility, innovation and an ongoing understanding of your audiences needs.
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Heather L. Maurer: Businesses can thrive by being nimble and flexible. Disruption is going to happen and it may be severe. One of the major lessons I learned from the Pandemic challenge was to bring it in and focus on two primary areas to meet the priority needs of your clients.
It is important to do those two areas really well rather than try to maintain the suite of offerings during the time of disruption. In addition, take advantage of the disruption. Disruption=innovation. We took the pandemic challenges as an opportunity to try new programs and see what works. Another key lesson is complete transparency with the team.
I shared with them that I didn’t know any more than they did and that this was going to be
data-driven but also with lots of unknowns because of outside influences. I clearly stated our current financial situation and what we needed to maintain. It is so important to recognize everyone needs to be committed even through the hard crappy times. Getting buy in is so important and the only way to do that is with total honesty.
What does success in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Heather L. Maurer: Success in the year to come is continuing to strengthen communications and relations with the NPWH BOD, staff, stakeholders, and members. This is one of the most important aspects of my position. My vision is for NPWH to reach more WHNP-BCs in 2023 and grow our community.
I also define success as strengthening and growing our business development and collaborative partnerships. This helps our association provide the services our members need to be
successful in their professional roles.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Heather L. Maurer for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Heather L. Maurer or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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