Patricia Enocson, HR Consultant
Patricia Enocson, HR Consultant

We have spoken with Patricia Enocson, who has extensive and exciting international experience within healthcare. She has recently left her role as HR Director for Karolinska Hospital and is now looking forward to a career as an Executive Interim Manager in the USA, where she is moving this summer with her family.

How did your interest in leadership begin?

”It has been a fascinating journey, and my interest in leading others started already at a young age when I lived for six years in Italy and worked as a store manager. There I gained my first leadership experiences and realized the importance of guiding and supporting a team.”

You have a broad background in both the aviation industry and healthcare, can you tell us about your experiences?

”After my years in Italy, I worked as a flight attendant at Britannia Airways, but soon felt that I wanted to do something more meaningful. I decided to study to become a nurse and then continued in the aviation industry as an education manager in emergency and medical service/sales. This was followed by six years in the USA, where I was, i.a., the Program Director for a nursing program at a university in Minnesota. Back in Sweden, I took on the role of Head of Radiology at the Central Hospital in Kristianstad. In Region Skåne (South , I had the opportunity to grow as a leader and gained many valuable lessons from great leaders. My last role in Region Skåne was as Divisional Manager in surgery, where I truly developed as a leader, dealing with all the complexities of leading a large organization.”

In 2016, you moved to Ajman as Chief Nursing Officer for Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, established by GHP. What was your assignment?

”I was contacted by GHP and offered the role of Chief Nursing Officer for four hospitals in Ajman. It was a fantastic challenge, and I had the opportunity to work with Barbro Fridén, whom I had long admired. Quite quickly, I also took on the role of HR Director as they couldn’t find someone with the right expertise, which was a completely new role for me. Arriving there felt like being transported 40 years back in time; there were no digitalized systems at all in healthcare. I learned a lot about navigating difficult situations and collaborating with the ministry, management, and the board.”

You returned to Sweden to become HR Director at Karolinska Sjukhuset. What challenges does the healthcare sector face, especially after the pandemic?

”The challenges are significant, particularly in ensuring the right skills and finding experienced healthcare professionals. The workload is still high after the pandemic, and we need to think about new professional categories, analyse how future healthcare will look like, and how it will be administered, both at home and in our hospitals. Managers and HR functions, in general, must adapt for the future; we can’t stand still but anticipate the upcoming needs from a broader perspective. One important thing the pandemic brought with it is the realization that rapid adaptation is possible. At Karolinska Sjukhuset, HR became an active and equal partner; it’s important that HR is not a separate guild but integrated into the business. CEO, CFO, and HR form an important trio to support managers so that together we can drive the business forward.”

What attracts you to start a career as an Executive Interim Manager?

”After five years at Karolinska Sjukhuset, I want to try the role as an Interim Manager. Operationally driving change, development, and improvement for specific needs and projects appeal to me. I want to explore new industries in personnel-intensive, international, and profit-driven organizations. Executive Interim Management gives me a fantastic opportunity to share my experiences and to support management and staff. As an interim, you have to give your all; there are no 40-hour weeks. I have myself engaged Interim Managers and know that they are ‘up and running’ within two weeks, which provides an enormous boost when facing challenges and lacking the right expertise.”

Working internationally is important to you, and this summer you are heading back to Minnesota, USA. What opportunities do you see?

”It’s a bit like coming home again. My family loves living in the USA, and I am incredibly humble and happy that we once again have the opportunity to live and work in the country. My hope is that my combined experience from Swedish healthcare will be appreciated and valued, especially my experience from one of the world’s best university hospitals. I’m not averse to entering the private sector or the academic world. The interim market is strong in the USA, and it will be very exciting to explore it and gather new knowledge and experience.”


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