Madeline Bell, President & CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“The one thing that I believe that’s really gonna move the dial is to hire a more diverse team, and having more diverse board…and having that cascade down through different levels of management in the organization.” Click To Tweet

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Madeline Bell is the President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the United States. A bold and visionary leader, Madeline champions change with empathy and integrity, inspiring the nearly 16,000 employees in the Hospital’s $2.8-billion-a-year health system and research institute to create breakthroughs that have worldwide impact.
Madeline began her career as a pediatric nurse at CHOP in 1983, later leaving the organization to move into hospital administration. She returned to CHOP in 1995, and has since held a number of leadership positions, advancing from Vice President to Senior Vice President to Executive Vice President to Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, she assumed the title of President and CEO. Madeline has made numerous contributions to CHOP, including the development of one of the largest pediatric ambulatory care networks in the country, the expansion of the Hospital’s 4-million-square-foot campus, and the development of many nationally recognized clinical care programs. She has also secured many philanthropic gifts to help further the institution’s mission.
Madeline serves on the Board of Directors for Comcast NBCU, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Solutions for Patient Safety. She is also an adviser to numerous international hospitals and frequently lectures on the topics of children’s health care and women in leadership. In 2017, Madeline received The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Industry Icon Award, and was named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” in 2017 and 2018.

From Podcast Action Journal
Madeline has an effort called the Good Catch Program that rewards employees who are in time to do prevent a patient from being harmed. Every month, Madeline meets with the Good Catch awardees and randomly selects a few to receive prizes. Recognition like this encourages employees to be perceptive and prepared to speak up and draw attention to things that go wrong.


What do you look for in the people you most rely on?
Who are the people in your organization that lead effectively with the authority they have, even without big titles?
Madeline believes having a diverse team provides a critical advantage, especially since children come from all over the world and to have them see people like them—the same ethnicity, culture, religion—running the hospital is powerful. Madeline considers herself the Chief Diversity Officer and is working hard to diversify her team and the hospital’s board. When it comes to pushing women to step up and lead, Madeline encourages them to get over their imposter syndrome and own their work.


Beneath the social politics, why does workplace diversity really matter?
What can you do to foster the development of promising leaders from diverse ethnicities, cultures, religions and genders?

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