2014 Forty Under 40: K. Alicia Schulhof

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schulhof_alicia_k_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Returning to Riley: Schulhof volunteered at Riley Hospital for Children in high school. “I was at their mercy,” Schulhof said. But there was another connection as well. She and her husband were high-school sweethearts introduced by a common friend who fought a battle with cancer and was hospitalized at Riley. “From that point forward,” she said, “I knew I wanted to go back there and work. After getting a lot of experience outside Indiana, I am so proud that I was able to come back home.” She became chief operating officer in 2011, prior to becoming senior vice president at IU Health.

The road to administration: Early on, Schulhof thought she wanted to be a physician. But while studying at Purdue University, she became involved in student organizations and found she enjoyed the administrative and leadership side. “When I learned about IU’s master’s in health care administration, I applied and was blessed to get a full-ride scholarship. I thought it was a good financial decision to go and it ended up working out incredibly well. It allowed me to do what I love, every day.”

Another benefit: “I can play the Purdue card and the IU card when I speak and get cheers on both sides.”

AGE 34
Hometown: Indianapolis

Family: husband, Patrick O’Connor; sons Zach, 8, Joshua, 5, and Bryce, 3

The future of health care: “Those closest to the work know the solutions. Give them authority to change the way they do business. Let them do their jobs and get out of their way. I think that’s how we are going to tackle the next decade or two of health care. Deliver care and provide the least waste with the greatest value.”

Board room temperament: “You have to strike a balance,” she said, “knowing when to step forward, when to step back, and when you let the team guide its own solution. It’s a delicate balance but when you strike it, that’s when you have the most success.”

Board work/family bonding: Schulhof tries to find ways to combine family and charitable time, including volunteering at Ronald McDonald House. “I want to lend my expertise but also do things that my family can participate in.”•

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