Ellen Zane, who served as president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children for more than seven years, has joined the Suffolk Healthcare Programs as a Distinguished Guest Lecturer.
Zane concluded her tenure at Tufts on September 30, but continues as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees. She is also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Care Research at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Zane will be active at several other universities in the Boston area, but Suffolk is unique. “Suffolk has a strong business school with a strong orientation to healthcare,” Zane said. The program’s emphasis on hands-on learning and real-world experience also appealed to her.
During her lectures, Zane will share her “Management Pearls.” These pearls are “tried and true bits of advice on leadership and management that I wish someone had taught me along the way. I learned them all through the ‘school of hard knocks,’” she said.
Her most important advice is for leaders to be bold and not afraid to take risks. “I find far too many ‘leaders’ unable or unwilling to step up out their comfort zones and do unusually innovative or extraordinary things. Too many are focused on power over accomplishment,” Zane said.
Zane’s wisdom comes from years of experience. Before joining Tufts, she was network president for Partners Healthcare System Inc. She developed a provider network of 5,600 physicians for the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Zane is also the former CEO of Quincy Hospital and a former director of the biotech company Variagenics Inc. and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In 1996-2001, Zane was a member of the Board of Governors at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health.
Before transitioning into administration, Zane was a speech-language pathologist and audiologist. She always had “an inclination to take charge and lead.” So when given the chance to lead an audiology and speech-language pathology program, she took it. “My opportunities were more serendipity than planned. It shows that one needs to grab opportunities and run with them, even when you least expect it,” she said.
Currently, Zane is a director of several companies, including Parexel International, Lincare Holdings Inc., Fiduciary Trust Company, and Century Capital Management. She is also on the advisory boards of Vetera Healthcare Partners LLC and Pinstripe Inc. She is a Trustee of George Washington University and is a member of the Health Policy and Management Executive Council at the Harvard School of Public Health. Zane is also former Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association.
Zane has received many awards. Most recently, she received lifetime achievement awards from the Boston Business Journal and the American College of Healthcare Executives of Massachusetts. She also has numerous honorary degrees from area universities.
Zane earned her bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University and her master’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington.