Women in community making history in health care

Dr. Lynette Watkins is chief medical officer for Baptist Health System

SAN ANTONIO – One hospital system's first female African-American chief medical officer is among the many women leading health care in San Antonio. 

Dr. Lynette Watkins is Baptist Health System's first female African-American chief medical officer. 

"We all have to prove ourselves. And part of that is working hard and excelling and executing. That is the key. Execute. Execute. Execute," Watkins said. 

She said it's been a long road to get here. 

"I went to medical school. I did a residency in ophthalmology and two fellowships in optimic plastic surgery," Watkins said. 

After practicing for 12 years, she went into administration and joined the team in July 2017.

She joins several prominent women already in top leadership positions at BHS, including Dr. Sowjanya Mohan. 

"Dr. Watkins has been an incredible asset to our system and our community as a physician and leader. Just vast amount of experience, but also bringing it in a very positive constructive way," Dr. Sowjanya Mohan, chief of staff said. 

Of those at the director level or above at BHS, 65.3 percent are female; 64.7 percent of those at the supervisor level and above are women. 

Watkins said women and minorities are important contributions to the future of health care and she is honored to serve this role. 

"As we are mentoring and leading our colleagues and young people coming through the ranks, it's important for them to see that people who look like me, people that look like you have the ability to and the chance and the opportunity to lead organizations that are great," Watkins said. 

Earlier this year, Forbes released its list of the 250 “Best Employers for Diversity.” Baptist Health System was one of only 23 hospitals/health systems to be recognized on the list. 

About the Author

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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