SBJ photo by McKenzie Robinson

2020 Most Influential Women: Amanda Hedgpeth

CoxHealth

Posted online

Amanda Hedgpeth has worked diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to lead CoxHealth’s response to the crisis.

The health care systems vice president of hospital operations, Hedgpeth took on an additional leadership role as the pandemic reared its head.

CoxHealth in early March enacted its system incident command, and she’s been a top leader in the process along with President and CEO Steve Edwards.

“Very early in our response, we saw the need to ensure CoxHealth’s 12,500 employees were kept informed of our action plans so they could advocate in our community and for their own personal safety,” Hedgpeth says.

“I have led weekly virtual forums for staff and separately co-hosted virtual meetings for guidance to leaders on changes to policies and procedures as the science catches up to this novel virus.”

For the system incident command initiative, Hedgpeth has helped lead a team of 60 executives, directors, physicians and front-line staffers to craft COVID-19 policies and procedures in addition to their regular duties. She’s also worked alongside Edwards to be transparent with the public.

Edwards applauds her work.

“I give much credit for our response and our ability to be nimble in a crisis to Amanda and the team that she has constructed,” he says.

The pandemic response role is far from the first time Hedgpeth has shown leadership for the health care system. According to Edwards, Hedgpeth “has risen in the ranks at exponential speed” at CoxHealth.

A 15-year employee of CoxHealth, Hedgpeth’s resume shows myriad promotions, starting as a budget analyst and early this year taking on her current role.

Hedgpeth credits successes in her CoxHealth career to “teamwork, building trust and sacrificing for the greater good.”

“My favorite part of any of my roles has been driving change within the organization,” she says.

For example, Hedgpeth eight years ago was among the top leaders who helped integrate Cox Medical Center Branson into the health care system.

Around six years ago, Hedgpeth was given a challenge of improving innovation at CoxHealth following an internal employee survey saying the health system lacked in that area. She was perception change agent, helping to develop CoxHealth’s annual Innovation Accelerator, through which hospital employees pitch ideas to improve the system.

“Now in its sixth year, this program has led to dozens of changes and improvements to how we deliver care for our community while also recognizing, empowering and giving voice to our workforce,” Hedgpeth says. “In turn, innovation is now strongly embraced as a core competency at CoxHealth, and it’s become a hallmark for our belief that we must continue to embrace and lead change to stay on top of our game.”

Beyond CoxHealth, Hedgpeth is active in the community via civic endeavors.

She recently completed her sixth year of board service for Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and she’s scheduled to start in October as a board member for Springfield Innovation Inc., an adviser to the Efactory, Jordan Valley Innovation Center and IDEA Commons.