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Team member spotlight: Clare Greene

Pauley Heart Center's administrator and Division of Cardiology administrator celebrates 20 years on the job

Clare Greene

Clare Greene, M.B.A., has been VCU Health’s Pauley Heart Center administrator and Division of Cardiology administrator since 2001. She joined VCU Health System in 1998 as director of business development after serving in leadership roles at Columbia (HCA) Chippenham Medical Center/Johnston-Willis Hospitals and Columbia (HCA) Retreat Hospital. With accountability across the health system (hospital, practice and School of Medicine — clinical, research and education), her current role includes overseeing operations, strategic planning, business development, budgeting, financial analysis, marketing, outreach, billing and coding, faculty recruitment and academic physician practice management.

What appeals to you about health care administration?

I like the patient care purpose of this work. At the end of the day, I see any administrative role as a collaborator with our clinical partners — I value being part of the team that is moving towards clinical excellence. The supportive nature of all my colleagues and respect shown to everyone’s contribution is what has always been great about VCU Health in particular. Because my educational background is in finance and accounting, health care administration is satisfying in that it allows me to utilize all those skills as a foundation to everything else I do.


Tell us about a favorite project at VCU Health System.

I have a few things I consider favorites. In the very distant past, I was part of the analytical work that led to the expanded helicopter service. It makes me smile to hear the helicopters flying knowing I had a little part in all that. More recently, though, I am celebrating my 20-year anniversary with the heart center and am most proud to have been a part of our exponential growth and prominence. Since that time, the heart center was named through the generosity of the Pauley Family Foundation; we’ve made the U.S. News & World Report top 50 ranking multiple times; and all of our clinical programs have grown tremendously, including heart transplant, electrophysiology, structural heart, cardio-oncology, cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgical programs. We are in multiple locations now throughout the region and commonwealth. And, there is more to come.


How did you come to work for Pauley Heart Center?

VCU Health was moving toward service line models in 2001 for key clinical areas. My mentor at the time suggested that I apply for the heart role. The job involved not only hospital service line work but also would be responsible for the Division of Cardiology as well. This made me a little uneasy as I had always worked on the hospital side of health care. I knew nothing about running an academic physician practice. As the story goes, I interviewed with George Vetrovec, M.D., and he and others took a chance on me.  ... I really do feel like I’m a better hospital leader because I’m embedded in the practice. It is a true partnership between the practice and the hospital. I can help the physician leaders understand what the hospital leaders are thinking and the hospital leaders understand where the physicians are coming from. We are just all one team, and I love being associated with that. I love the Pauley Heart Center.


What’s a typical day for you?

On a daily basis, I move as many initiatives forward that I possibly can. On a typical day, I might have 20 going at one time, so I have to figure out: How do I prioritize? How do I use my influence? How do I collaborate? I am involved in things like physician recruitment, setting up outreach sites, numbers crunching, budgeting and billing. It is hard to describe an average day because each day is different.   


Many times, my job is to bring together the right people who can make something happen. My position partners with the director of nursing of the heart center, so, whereas she is running the clinical operation, I am responsible for anything related to finance, capital planning and resource requests. We collaborate on any kind of expansion of programs.


What accomplishment of yours at Pauley are you most proud of?

I am most proud of taking the Pauley brand and expanding it throughout the commonwealth. We have expanded our presence at Stony Point, and we have clinics in Colonial Heights and select subspecialties in Williamsburg. Most recently, we opened clinics in Tappahannock and Fredericksburg. That is because of great leaders like George Vetrovec, M.D., Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., Vigneshwar Kasirajan, M.D., and Greg Hundley, M.D.

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