Today we kick off Women’s History Month with a woman who is helping lead the largest healthcare system in Tampa Bay during a period in our lives that will go down in history for sure…the wonderful Keri Eisenbeis. Let’s get to know Keri.
1. Tell us in a few sentences what you do. And why you do it.
I lead the government and community engagement for BayCare, the largest health system in Tampa Bay with 30,000 team members. There is a lot wrapped into that, including BayCare’s local, state, and federal advocacy as well as strategic investments that improve the community’s health. I also oversee communication efforts that illuminate BayCare’s impact on the community and our clinical research work that allows us to deliver the most cutting-edge interventions to patients.
Why do I do it? I believe deeply in our mission and take seriously the responsibility the community entrusts us with to improve their health. I have had the privilege to work closely with some of our most effective patient advocates, traveling with them to Tallahassee and Washington. On tough days, their pictures in my office remind me to persevere, because they, despite enormous medical obstacles have not only persevered but accepted a role to advocate for others to also get quality health care. I want to do right by our patients, because they trust us with their lives every minute of the day.
2. What is your contact info (that you want shared) please include any active social handles, websites etc.
Twitter: @KeriEisenbeis, @BayCare
3. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is…
Check email and send out the COVID report to my team so they know the reality inside of our clinical facilities first thing. Then I go exercise before the day takes over.
4. My best business advice is….
I used to be a small business owner, many years ago. It was the most humbling experience of my life. Two pieces of advice that I’ve kept close: 1. Be inclusive; you need everyone to succeed. 2. The best form of marketing is word of mouth. Go out of your way to deliver the highest quality product and create a customer experience that is worth talking about. The community will notice. And I also think it should be a prerequisite for every business to invest back into your community.
5. My professional goal for 2021 is…
Find a little more balance after an insanely busy 2020.
6. Supporting women in business is now more critical than ever. How can our community best support you?
I think what helps all women the most is awareness that gender stereotypes and perceptions still exist. No matter how successful a woman is, she will face some challenges a man may not. The best antidote is to be generous with your female colleagues and leaders. Look for ways to support them and seek support from them when you need it. Mentor those younger than you not just to succeed but also to be supportive of other women.
7. Your Astrological sign:
Gemini and I do Gemini type things. When I like something, I’ll buy two of them. I also need to balance my introverted and extroverted sides.
8. Favorite donut:
This could be a dissertation. I LOVE donuts and actively follow great donut shops on Instagram and seek them out on trips. A couple of favorites include: The Donut Experiment’s cinnamon and sugar cake donut on Anna Maria Island. Top Pot Doughnut’s Maple Bar in Seattle, WA. Fisher and Donaldson’s Fudge Doughnut in St. Andrews, Scotland (discovered during my time at the University of St. Andrews).
9. Favorite podcast:
POLITICO’s Pulse Check is my most consistent, although I’m really going to miss health reporter Dan Diamond. I also like listening to my friend Becca’s podcast Dishonorable Mention.
10. Favorite book:
One of the most inspiring books I’ve read is In No Uncertain Terms by former South African Member of Parliament Helen Suzman. I especially love biographies and real stories. I’m reading Susan Rice’s autobiography now which is particularly interesting because I worked on U.S.-Africa policy during her tenure at the State Department.
11. Favorite pandemic binge watch:
Madame Secretary, The Durrells in Corfu
12. When I practice self-care I…
I hit the Keri self-care trifecta: 8+ hours of sleep, at least an hour of exercise a day, and great food/cocktails.
13. The place I am happiest is…
Exploring new international terrain with my family and then being able to come home to my creature comforts in Tampa.
14. People are surprised to learn…
I used to own a bakery. I was the “bread lady” of South Tampa for a few years and have the burn marks (oven!) to prove it. It was the most demanding job I ever had, and that’s saying a lot after a year of COVID response.
15. 2020 taught me…
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough. That goes not only for your work, but how you grade your performance, particularly in a crisis.