As senior vice president and chief legal counsel at Fairview Health Services, Trudi Trysla has helped the organization navigate through many issues related to legal and ethical adherence to federal and state law, as well as risk management, drawing on her experience as legal counsel for both Medtronic and Mayo Foundation.
All of that has come into play as the state, country, and world deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Obviously, all of this is new territory, but I’m relying on my experience with not just legal issues but also strategy and leadership,” she said. “As an in-house counsel, you have to be ready to be immersed in any situation, even one like this, and respond quickly.”
Although this is a formidable challenge, Trysla has been through other significant changes while in her role. Since joining Fairview, she’s helped the organization through four CEOs, has taken over supervision of the compliance function, and had had to fill in as chief human resources officer on an interim basis. She’s also guided the company though the Sanford Health negotiations as well as mergers, acquisitions, and a difficult joint venture agreement.
Through all those experiences, there’s a common thread. Trysla noted that she feels fortunate to work in health care—not just now, when everyone is in crisis mode, but also during calmer times.
“There’s a feeling of purpose in this role, I consider it a privilege to work with providers who change patients’ lives every day,” she said. “It’s why I do what I do. I feel like I have a small role that makes a big impact.”
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