Joan Podleski, CHC, CHPC, CHRC, CCEP, Senior Director, Chief Privacy Officer, Children’s Health System of Texas, Dallas, Texas
GZ: Let’s start at the beginning of your career. When you were at Webster University, majoring in history and paralegal studies, had the idea of a career in compliance yet crossed your mind?
JP: I finished my degree while working for the general counsel and the head of Governmental Relations at Washington University in St. Louis. At that point, compliance wasn’t really a recognized field, so that didn’t cross my mind as a career path. But I did have a great introduction about the complexity of large organizations and their interactions with federal, state, and local governments and laws as part of that work.
GZ: What was it about compliance that first drew you to the profession?
JP: I transitioned from the legal administrative side of the university to the healthcare operations side after a few years, but I was always fascinated by the rules that drove the operations. There’s really no way to successfully run any part of the clinical or research operations within a university without understanding all the restrictions on what can and can’t be done. Working from the operations side, I was part of a number of projects that helped figure out how to implement new regulations into day-to-day business and found that those were frequently the projects I enjoyed the most.