Phone icon circle

Leading through a pandemic

Our physicians believe that women belong in the boardroom. In fact, women have held the position of chair of the Vancouver Clinic Board of Directors since 2009! Discover how Dr. Keren Rosenblum helped the clinic navigate the impact of the pandemic and learn what she thinks true leadership is in this fifth and final piece highlighting our leading women.

Part 5: Dr. Keren Rosenblum, Chair of the Vancouver Clinic Board of Directors

Dr. Keren Rosenblum, obstetrician and gynecologist, accepted the opportunity to chair the clinic’s board of directors in the spring of 2020—precisely when COVID-19 hit. Washington state enacted emergency precautions to protect health and safety just two weeks after she began her term. There was no transition or ramp-up time. Instead, she had to start making decisions.

“Maybe that was good for me,” Dr. Rosenblum said. “I didn’t have to worry that I was doing okay, I just had to do it. Plus, I’d rather be in the room being part of the discussion about how to fix things instead of waiting to see what happens.”

Dr. Rosenblum helped guide the clinic through major decisions, including how to protect jobs given the initial financial impact. She also supported the team tasked with defining workflows to keep providers and patients safe amid shortages of testing equipment and protective gear. When vaccines became available, she turned her attention to the extraordinary effort of getting shots into the arms of eager patients.

“I really believe in the work we do at Vancouver Clinic,” she said. “We take our responsibility to our community seriously.”

It’s an honor and an obligation shared by others in the organization. Dr. Rosenblum was quick to point out that she never feels alone in her leadership role. She always has other physicians, executives, and staff to consult and talk through ideas with. The board itself is filled with incredibly smart, curious, and engaged minds, she said.

“Sitting in a room with them always humbles me,” she said. “I want to rise to be the person they think I can be.”

After the intensity of the last two years, Dr. Rosenblum is excited to focus more on the future. She believes that one of the first steps is to help everyone acknowledge and talk about the trauma they experienced due to the pandemic.

“Taking the opportunity to name it is the first step,” she said. “A lot of this next year will be starting to recognize the need for healing.”

Other projects on Dr. Rosenblum’s plate include the fall 2022 expansion of the Salmon Creek campus. A new medical building will feature an extended-hours urgent care and six new surgical suites, which are dearly needed by the community.

Her other priorities include understanding how Vancouver Clinic can expand its regional presence to improve the health of diverse communities and looking at health and wellness from a community perspective. She is also passionate about supporting the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as it develops its programs and impact areas.

“I think the role of leadership is not to say ‘I’ve got this figured out,’” she said. “It’s about listening. It’s about creating a place where people can share and we can work together on a fantastic future.”


Meet all of the physicians in our Leading Women series:

Part 1: Dr. Sharon Crowell, Former board chair and mentor

Part 2: Dr. Marcia Sparling, Chief Medical Information Officer & Medical Director for Surgical Specialties

Part 3: Dr. Priya Veeraraghavan and Dr. Terry Moy-Brown, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Founders

Part 4: Dr. Katherine Vaughn, Contributions Committee Chair