Director of Operations, Surgical Services | Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
Since attending South Texas High School for Health Professions, Lesley Freeberg has held an interest in the health care industry. Originally on a pre-med path, she eventually found her niche through pursuing business and health care administration.
Freeberg attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a BBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Texas at Brownsville. She was able to gain significant work experience before returning to graduate school.
“I had the opportunity to work four years after college before graduate school,” she said. “I knew I would go back to school, and the timing worked out perfectly.”
She was contacted by Col. Scott Garner, coordinator of the Robbins MBA Healthcare Program, about the new program being offered at Baylor. Through the program, candidates earn an MBA degree with a focus in health care administration.
“When Col. Garner approached me about the program, a light bulb came on, and I knew this was the career path I wanted to pursue,” she said. “The program was the perfect blend of business and health care and turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
Freeberg joined the inaugural class for the program. As part of the curriculum, candidates complete a seven month health care organization sponsored residency.
“I completed my residency at Valley Baptist Health System in Harlingen, Texas,” she said. “One of my major projects was to establish an outpatient geriatric psych unit from start to finish. This included all aspects of program development, from Medicare approval and building out a physical space, to recruiting physicians and staff and seeing our first patients walk in the door.”
Freeberg’s success in her endeavors led to a job offer with Valley Baptist upon completion of her residency. She returned to Baylor, finished her MBA degree, and went right back to work as the organization’s director of corporate services, later becoming the director of planning.
“The residency experience was invaluable. I gained working knowledge while applying theory from class curriculum,” she said. “I rotated through different hospital departments, interacted with hospital executives and board members, and really got a feel for the health care industry. From there I was able to launch my health care career.”
After four years at Valley Baptist, Freeberg joined Children’s Medical Center of Dallas as director of operations for surgical services.
“I work with surgical leadership to establish the strategic direction of our surgical services through the discovery of clinical and market needs/trends and implementation and growth of programs,” she said. “To accommodate this growth, our goal is to strive for continuous improvement by driving efficiency and effectiveness in operations in order to make the surgical experience for our children and their families as easy and pleasant as possible.”
Through her role of supporting surgical leadership and acting as liaison between the surgical services and Children’s administration, Freeberg understands the big picture of contributing to a health care system.
“Not many organizations have a joyful spirit like a children’s hospital does,” she said. “I encounter something daily at work that makes me smile. It really gives me perspective on life, and I know I am impacting the lives of our patients and their families.”