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Have You Met Linda Hunt?

Every effective nonprofit needs a mentor with vision for its inspiration. For The Harp Foundation, that person is Linda Hunt, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She is also the Service Area President for Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) Arizona, which includes Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, the leading not-for-profit healthcare system in the western United States.

Ms. Hunt is being honored this spring by The Harp Foundation for being their legacy sponsor. Committed to their mission statement, “Transforming lives and healing hearts”, The Harp Foundation is the only entity of its kind in the US as they collaborate between health care and spiritually-based organizations. Since its inception in 2000, The Harp Foundation has provided over 50,000 hours of therapeutic harp music to individuals and their families in the Greater Phoenix area and throughout Maricopa County.  Programs have been provided to The Foundation for Blind Children, Arthur Hamilton Elementary School, and numerous other private, charter, and public schools.

The Harp Foundation also serves children and infants who are critically ill and medically fragile.  Linda Hunt explains, “They operate through programs that we have here at St. Joseph’s and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. I applaud the care and compassion that these volunteers have for patients who need comforting. Besides excellent health care, we also strive to improve the overall patient and family experience at our hospitals. The Harp Foundation can be an important part of that.”

Hunt’s first job after she finished nurses’ training was as a staff nurse in Labor and Delivery. “As a new graduate, it was exciting and scary at the same time to be responsible for the lives of mothers and their babies.  I learned that there are situations that bring great happiness and moments that bring overwhelming sadness in people’s lives. I had to grow up and face the trials and sometimes the violent side of humanity. I loved being a nurse. It was fun working with people, hearing their stories and seeing a new life come into this world.”

Having lived in this area for over twelve years, Linda has also resided in Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. “I learned the value of having a good mentor many years ago as the Director of Patient Care services at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. Dr. Jodie Alphin taught me the importance of good decision making, relationship building and the art and science of leadership. I learned to set goals, but I also learned that I need a team I can trust to achieve those goals. These are the values that I believe are instrumental to The Harp Foundation.”

Under Linda’s leadership, St. Joseph’s has consistently received local and national awards for its high-quality care, innovative research, academic programs and supportive work environment. In fact, in 2007, St. Joseph’s was awarded the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This award is presented annually to a U.S. member institution or organization with a long-standing, major institutional commitment to addressing community needs.

Linda is known for being organized and results oriented, but she is also approachable and compassionate. “It’s a challenging time to be in healthcare administration. The prospect of healthcare reform and budget cuts requires a need for innovation. But I believe my capability for establishing trust and building confidence has allowed our hospitals to offer more collaborative programs, those offered by The Harp Foundation being one example.”

And Linda Hunt sums up her value system, “I truly believe that we all have a commitment to give back to our community.”

In addition to her Governor-appointed role on the Arizona Commerce Advisory Council (now the Arizona Commerce Authority Board), Linda is also active in the following: 
* Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems Administrative Board of the American Association of Medical Colleges
* American Association of Medical Colleges Executive Council
* Arizona Commission on Medical Education and Research
* Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee
* Greater Phoenix Leadership Bioscience Task Force
* Arizona Health-e Connection Steering Committee
* Greater Phoenix Economic Council Healthcare Strategy Council

Civic organizations:
* Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Roundtable
* Arizona Women’s Forum (a chapter of International Women’s Forum)
* Childhelp of Arizona (Past Board Member)
* Colorado Women’s Healthcare Coalition (Past Education Chair)
* First Things First Advisory Board
* Foundation for Senior Living (Past Board Member)
* Fresh Start Women’s Foundation (Past Board, Executive Committee Member)
* Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (Past Board Member)
* Greater Phoenix Economic Council Healthcare Strategy Committee (Co-Chair)
* Greater Phoenix Leadership Board
* Phoenix Symphony Boar