Women’s History Month Spotlight Series Pt. 2
Suzanne Hansen, RPh, MBA, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Operations, Maxor
The next chapter in our Women’s History Month series, we spotlight our own Suzanne Hansen, RPh, MBA, EVP, Pharmacy Operations at Maxor. Suzanne has over 20 years of retail health experience with an exceptional background in pharmacy management, including oversight of over 8,000 retail pharmacies during her career at Walgreens. At Maxor, Suzanne manages all aspects of Maxor pharmacy operations, such as 340B, 450+ pharmacists and technicians, and more. Her staff fills more than 2.7 million prescriptions each year. Suzanne currently serves on the Deans Advisory Council at South Dakota State University School of Pharmacy. Recent accolades include receiving the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Luminary Award.
We sat down with Suzanne to discuss her career and what advice she’d give fellow women in the pharma and healthcare industries.
At times I felt pressure to be like someone else or to lead in a style of someone else, and I had to learn that in order to be the best leader, I needed to stay true to me and what I care about as a leader.
Q: What has been your experience growing your career into an executive role? Did you face unique challenges as a woman, and how did you overcome them?
A: In my experience, I was able to grow into an executive role through my experiences by learning over time and working with supportive leaders that gave me the space to learn and grow and more importantly fail!
As far as unique challenges as a woman, I think I would highlight it more as the unique challenge of staying true to who I am as a leader, but also as a friend, family member, co-worker etc. At times I felt pressure to be like someone else or to lead in a style of someone else, and I had to learn that in order to be the best leader, I needed to stay true to me and what I care about as a leader. I am driven by helping others be their best, hitting goals, and by paying it forward for the support I was given in my career.
Q: What led you to Maxor? What has helped you succeed as a leader here?
A: Maxor’s mission and culture are what I am passionate about. I am happy to be a part of a talented team that is able to find unique solutions that drive patient care. Maxor is committed to caring for our patients and our employees. Finally, I feel everyone has a voice here—when I stop learning is when I don’t feel motivated or challenged. We all learn from each other and not one person has all the answers.
Q: What has been your biggest and/or proudest career accomplishment?
A: Wow, that’s a hard question! I have so many moments that make me proud. I love seeing the team grow and succeed as well as watching them challenge themselves and do things that they didn’t think were possible. Also, anytime I get to be in a pharmacy and see our front line team members taking care of patients makes me proud.
Personally I am very proud of the fact that I was recognized by South Dakota State, where I attended pharmacy school and became a member of the Distinguished Alumni. To be recognized in that capacity was very humbling.
Q: What advice would you give other women in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to help them prepare for and succeed in an executive leadership role?
A: Try to recognize early what drives you and motivates you and then stay true to yourself. Become the best version of you rather than trying to be someone else. Do not be afraid to fail or try new things. Support each other, encourage each other, and celebrate the successes!
That’s a wrap! On behalf of the entire Maxor organization, thank you, Suzanne, for your leadership, encouragement, and support as well as setting us up for success in caring for our patients and each other.
Become the best version of you rather than trying to be someone else. Do not be afraid to fail or try new things.