Sharon M. Gross
As the executive director of construction at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, Sharon Gross works with the architects, general contractors, subcontractors, regulatory agencies and hospital staff to ensure that the construction taking place at the facility does not interfere with patient care. Her team is involved in furniture, fabric, hardware, signage and artwork.
Sharon has worked in health care for 38 years—27 of them at Providence Cedars-Sinai in a director’s position. Over the years she has provided leadership for departments including performance improvement, risk management, infection control, case management, social services, health information management, and all licensing and regulatory. Five years ago she took on her current role to support the campus redevelopment project, which includes a new employee parking structure (completed October 2019), the new patient tower, a new lobby, and the development of five new operating rooms and the Diagnostic & Treatment building.
Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center has been caring for San Fernando Valley residents since 1973. The hospital has been recognized repeatedly by Healthgrades® as one of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. and as a distinguished hospital for clinical excellence.
What do you love about your current position?
This project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To be part of a building project from the ground up is unbelievable. It takes a huge team of people—each with unique talents—to make this happen.
Tell us about how you chose to work in health care.
During high school, I worked nights and weekends in radiology developing film and transporting patients to and from the department. After college, where I earned a degree in health record administration, I worked in medical records as a coder in my hometown on the East Coast.
I have been in Los Angeles since 1987, first working at West Valley Hospital until it closed. I joined Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in 1995.
I chose health care as a career because I was exposed to hospital work early on and realized the impact it has on everyone. I wanted to be part of something that helped others in need, where I had the opportunity to make a difference. I was lucky to have mentors along my career path who provided me with the tools and knowledge to get where I am today. I am forever grateful to them.
Describe your leadership style.
My leadership style is to lead by example and to be available to my staff at any time. I like to explain the “why” when asking someone to do something. I like to see my team grow and succeed. My job is to make them successful in what they do, and I try to provide the same guidance that I received throughout my career.
What has made you successful in your career?
What I have accomplished is due to hard work. I have also been fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and ready for the opportunities that came my way. I’m grateful for the bosses who supported me and allowed me to challenge myself. I have adopted their mentoring style and shared it with my staff over the years.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay grounded?
I stay grounded by appreciating the opportunities given to me and what I have today. I do not take things for granted. I do what I need to do to get the job done alongside those I work with. I feel privileged to work at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center. I have expanded my career opportunities here, and I have had the privilege to work with such talented and compassionate people who all have a common goal of providing a high quality of care and services to all those whom we serve.
How do you encourage honest, open employee dialogue?
I collaborate with my employees and try to get to know them on a personal level. My job is to help them succeed in their job. If they succeed, then it is a win-win situation. I look for opportunities for growth for my employees just like I had. I like to challenge them so they are working to their full potential. I try to remain approachable and make myself available if they need me.
If you could begin again, what would you want to do over in your career?
Looking back on my career, I would not want to do anything over. Each job I had and each person I met along the way got me where I am today. I am so grateful for what I get to do now. I was given an opportunity to be part of something big. It was all the lessons learned over the years throughout my career that prepared me to take on this challenge. I am still learning but also making a difference today and for the future of the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center community.
What role does your family play in your career?
My family has always been supportive of my career. My husband, Marc, and I are fortunate to have careers that allow us to be part of our children’s lives. As they grew up, our children saw the work ethic that my husband and I had and how important a career is, and I think they benefited from it. My son, Jacob, has an MA in psychology and a doctorate of education. He now works for a large software company. My daughter, Emily, has her MBA and works for a Major League Baseball team.
What advice have you given your kids over the years?
I’ve always told my children to do their best and maintain their passion and drive for what they want. I encourage them to never take things for granted. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all work out.