Division Administrator, Department of Surgery
Duke University Medical Center
Wendy is a Weekend Executive MBA alumna and a member of Fuqua's Health Care Alumni Advisory Board.
What do you do professionally?
My career has spanned multiple roles in the health care industry from clinician to administrator. I currently serve as a Division Administrator with Duke Surgery supporting clinical operations across Surgery and direct responsibility for four of our 15 divisions: Advanced Oncologic and GI Surgery, Urologic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, and Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery. The job is an intersection of operations, finance, research, education and innovation.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I enjoy assisting the surgeons and their advanced practice providers diagnose operational problems and develop solutions together. I constantly share that 2+2=5 when it comes to teamwork, which I believe one of our professors taught us early on at Fuqua.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
We are currently preparing for ICD-10, The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition implementation on October 1. ICD-10 is the official system of assigning codes to medical conditions associated with hospital, outpatient, clinical and physician utilization in the U.S. The key is to ensure the surgeons have the tools needed to efficiently apply the ICD-10 diagnosis code. This requires an integrated approach across the continuum of care and billing, as well as a strong communication feedback loop. We are growing our team in the broadest sense of the word.
What is the best professional advice you've received?
The advice was received while at Fuqua on a team conference call with an alumnus. He indicated that a key to success in the workplace is understanding your role and place in the organization. I've found this to be applicable in each organization. What is your value, how are you contributing, and who is your audience?
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
Rather than a dream job, I look for a dream team and believe my current situation is such. There is autonomy, innovation and it is always fast paced. It is exciting to be a part of such a dynamic team.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My husband, Bill Young MBA '93, and I have two Golden Retrievers, Angus and Malcolm Young (think AC/DC). When I'm not at Duke, we're walking the dogs around our neighborhood. I've started running again but it isn't quite at the same pace as the marathons I ran pre-Fuqua.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
Relationships are key. The time spent with your teammates discussing cases and problems is as important as the discussions you have about work and life in general. I miss the rigorous academics and the challenging discussions with classmates.
Who was your favorite professor?
Chris Moorman was one of our marketing professors, and her mind is like a steel vault. She inspired and challenged us to find new and creative solutions. She helped us look at all angles of the problem.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
Driving from one hospital site to another during the work week and receiving a page from my teammate, Dr. Felix Chew. Dr. Chew always knew the best way to find me for a quick discussion was by pager, and he constantly was paging me! I'm sure this frequent collaboration and discussion contributed to our success with our CapStone simulation project in Chris Moorman's class.
Why do you support the Fuqua Annual Fund?
The opportunity for the school to have unrestricted funds to support innovative programs is essential. The annual fund allows the school to immediately impact new, innovative ideas or areas of need such as student scholarships.
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
The relationships developed with your classmates extend beyond the years attending Fuqua. We recently celebrated our ten-year reunion and it was like we had never left... Well except that we had a few more lbs and gray hairs -- or even less hair!