Getting to Know: Susan Gaffney, Vice President of Membership, Development, and Operations

Following is a Q&A to get to know Susan Gaffney, Vice President of Membership, Development, and Operations, who began working at the National Health Council (NHC) in March 2020. 

Putting Patients First (PPF) Blog: Why did you want to work for the NHC?

I’ve spent most of my career in the nonprofit health sector focused on specific chronic conditions. Working for NHC holds great appeal because it provides unique opportunities to raise our voices collectively so that the impact is greater. The individuals, caregivers, and communities that NHC members represent deserve to have their voice and their impact magnified. It’s a mission I believe in my bones.

PPF Blog: What upcoming projects are you excited about working on? 

I’m honored to be working in service of our member organizations at this unprecedented time in public health. This global pandemic is changing the health landscape daily, and I am excited to work with the organizations and people who are defining the future for the better.

PPF Blog: You lead NHC’s member services and support the NHC’s work to ensure a diverse and robust membership. Tell us about what makes NHC membership unique and why organizations should join?   

I have been struck since starting at the NHC how valuable the peer leadership network is for our members. The cliché is that it’s lonely at the top. NHC makes it a lot less lonely for leaders in health care by creating spaces to collaborate, share, and innovate.

PPF Blog: What’s your favorite part about working at the NHC? 

I can honestly say there is never a dull moment! I started with the NHC the week that the US started to shut down in the face of COVID-19. It’s been a memorable start to a new chapter, but the incredible colleagues in conjunction with the inspiring mission has made it a lot fun.

PPF Blog: Tell us something about you personally. What do you do outside of work?

I am a real family person – I have three high-energy sons who keep me busy, and I am caregiver to beloved family members with chronic conditions. Cooking, travel, and dabbling in painting and crafts occupy my free time (when there is any!)