What do you do after you have overseen the funding and building of a state-of-art regional cancer center? If you’re Sharon MacDonald you spearhead the $100 million capital campaign to build the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Her proudest accomplishment to date is the completion the Cancer Center. “I hope I leave Southwest Florida a better place for children and for cancer patients,” she says. “I have worked to make the community a kinder place for people struggling with illness.” Her colleagues say that it is her compassion combined “with leadership skills not often encountered on this planet” that define MacDonald.
MacDonald has been with Lee Memorial Health System since 1998 and was appointed Chief Foundation officer in 2001, the first women to hold that position. In all her efforts, she remembers her mother’s advice to her: “Work hard. Be kind to people. And, live a life of integrity.” Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, MacDonald holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Francis Xavier University and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of British Columbia.
She has been involved in health care for more than 35 years in clinical, academic and administrative positions. She says she strives to always “arm myself with education and information.” She believes that women have a lot to offer “we just need to take risks and step outside the box.”