Crunching numbers, building consensus

'We need to understand the patients even out of the hospital.'

By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
Ever since Mary T. “Mamie” Wakefield was 16, when she first cashed out the day’s receipts on the register at the gas station where she worked and was thrilled to get everything balanced to the last penny, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in accounting and finance. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS

Crunching numbers, building consensus

'We need to understand the patients even out of the hospital.'

PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
HEALTHY OUTLOOK: Mary T. Wakefield, chief financial officer at Lifespan, joined the health care provider in 1997 and became its CFO in 2002. She has helped produce operating gains during her entire tenure in the position.
By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
Posted 4/9/12

Ever since Mary T. “Mamie” Wakefield was 16, when she first cashed out the day’s receipts on the register at the gas station where she worked and was thrilled to get everything balanced to the last penny, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in accounting and finance.

Now, as senior vice president and chief financial officer at Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest hospital system – and with a much more difficult challenge in balancing the bottom line than at the gas station – she still loves crunching numbers.

“This is my ideal job. I love being CFO,” Wakefield said. She spent the first 17 years of her career as an accountant working with KPMG. She joined Lifespan in 1997, and has served as CFO since 2002.

Her impact on the hospital’s finances has been impressive. When Wakefield arrived in 1997, the system was reeling from a $50 million loss. Under her guidance, the system’s financial underpinnings were stabilized. During the last 10 consecutive years, from 2001 through 2011, Lifespan has realized operating gains.

Over this same period, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s ratings for Lifespan’s bonds for Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Bradley Hospital have improved from BBB and Baa2 to A- and A3. As of March 6, Moody’s downgraded its ratings for Lifespan to Baa1 from A3.

Lifespan’s return to financial stability enabled the system to invest in nearly 2,000 additional employees and to make more than $500 million in capital improvements, as well as upgrades in new equipment and technology to facilitate better, safer patient care and an enhanced work environment.

One of the secrets of her success, Wakefield said, is her ability to translate the numbers into a compelling story. “When I came to Lifespan, there was a whole world of people who didn’t like numbers,” she said. “They didn’t enjoy working with them.”

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

See the List of 2014 Winners. And save the date - September 10th - for the 3rd Annual Fastest Growing & Innovative Companies program at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport.
  • Healthiest Employers
    Thank you to all who attended the 3rd Annual Healthiest Employers Luncheon today ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement