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Tamara Ceseña named Woman of the Year by Skagit Women’s Alliance Network

Tamara Cesena gives speech at podium.

Tamara Ceseña, MBA, Regional Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Skagit Regional Health (SRH) has received the honor of the Skagit Women’s Alliance Network (SWAN) Woman of the Year, in the category of Transformative Leadership. According to their website, the SWAN Woman of the Year award is “designed to recognize and honor women who have made extraordinary, recognizable contributions within the communities we serve.

Each year, the Skagit Women’s Alliance Network (SWAN) calls for nominations of professional women to be named a SWAN Woman of the Year. Nominees must be residents of Skagit County and/or employees of Skagit County businesses who maintain an active role in their community.

“SWAN annually celebrates and honors outstanding Skagit County women for their success and contributions to the community as business leaders, innovators and visionaries,” said Samantha Calkins, SWAN Board President.

Women who receive SWAN Woman of the Year awards show excellence in their work, contribute to their fields, promote professionalism of women in business and make significant contributions to their communities including service and volunteer activities that benefit life in Skagit county.

After receiving a nomination for Ceseña, the SWAN board noticed the extraordinary impact she is making in her field.

“When I was notified that I had been nominated for this award, my heart was full,” said Ceseña. “What an honor to know that your colleagues value your work and contributions such that they would bring your name forward.”

On the evening of Thursday, October 5, Ceseña was presented with her award with more than 30 family members, colleagues and board members in attendance. Skagit Regional Health has been a place for Ceseña to thrive in not only her career but also her passion for accessible healthcare. She has made a difference, and others have noticed.

“When I started in healthcare, I was hired by Skagit Valley Hospital, a small community hospital,” said Ceseña. “Over the years we have grown significantly, adding outpatient clinics, a second hospital, a Graduate Medical Education program, a multitude of new services and specialists, multiple expansion projects, etc. It has provided me the opportunity to grow with the organization and has allowed me to have first-hand experience across a very broad set of circumstances.

Tamara Cesena receives SWAN Woman of the Year award.

SWAN chose to honor her after hearing of her involvement in various projects and initiatives to improve the efficacy, quality and sustainability of our healthcare system.

“(Ceseña) is a fierce advocate of programs that support equality in the delivery of healthcare, such as SRH’s Financial Assistance, Interpreter Services, Population Health, and DEI programs,” said Calkins. “Tamara's actions prove her belief that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare regardless of their income, language, background, or identity. She is also passionate about empowering marginalized groups and uses her position to better the lives of people who are disenfranchised. Her nominators and peers describe her as an innovative leader, a diverse problem solver, and a community member committed to our county’s well-being.”

For Ceseña, this award is an affirmation that her hard work and advocacy is valued and needed in Skagit county.

“Healthcare is a fundamental human need and an important backbone to a strong community,” said Ceseña. “I take great pride in Skagit Regional Health and it is satisfying to me to help ensure our financial sustainability so that we can continue to offer services to all of our communities. The people who work in healthcare are more often than not, remarkable humans who want to do good for the world. I enjoy my amazing colleagues and love learning from and working with them to drive improvement across the organization.”

When asked if she had any advice for professional women, Ceseña listed the following:

  • “Choose a career path that is interesting and keeps you coming back for more. 
  • Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter, rather focus on getting important things accomplished. 
  • Surround yourself with mentors who support you and circumstances that allow you to grow your skills.
  • Look to add value to everything you do.”