Dr. Joann Schaefer on pushing through struggle, overcoming fear, and calling on others on the path to a better life

M any of us believe we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us. But Dr. Joann Schaefer, my good friend and mentor, found out at just 27 years old that it wasn’t necessarily the case. She was diagnosed with a serious disease at a young age—but rather than letting her health hold her back, it’s propelled her into positivity.

Today, Dr. Schaefer is a leader at Blue Cross and Blue Shield. And the question she asked herself as she faced an uncertain future years ago still dictates her actions today: “How do I want to be remembered?”

As a successful career woman and a positive influence to many, Joann had some great advice to offer. Some of the things we talked about were:

  • Why she feels her disease was the best thing that ever happened to her
  • Why being coachable and open to growth are crucial to success
  • The importance of allowing others to lift you up and show you the way
  • Her thoughts on the future of women as leaders in the workforce

Dr. Schaefer and I also talked about some grounding ideas for growth, like how “the worst thing that could happen” is rarely as bad as we think.

She wrapped up our conversation with a piece of advice that’s relevant to everyone.

Everybody has a responsibility to make this world better in some way, shape, or form, to have an impact. So, find out how you’re going to do it.

—Dr. Joann Schaefer

What’s something that you’re afraid to try? Imagine it, then ask yourself what the worst thing that could happen is if you try and fail. Does knowing that make it less intimidating? I’d love to hear about your experience.

About Dr. Joann Schaefer

An Executive Vice President at Blue Cross Shield of Nebraska, Dr. Joann Schaefer is responsible for the company’s Risk Adjustment, Health Network Services, Case Management, Reimbursement Strategy, Utilization, Quality, Pharmacy, Medical Policy and Wellness Areas. Previously, she served as the Chief Medical Officer and the Director of the Division of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.  She also practiced family medicine and served as a tenure associate professor in the Department of family medicine at Creighton University Medical School.

Dr. Joann Schaeffer is a community leader and sits on the board of many organizations. She loves to run and has a deep passion of improving the health care system and helping Nebraskans live a healthy lifestyle.

Marco LeRoc
Marco LeRoc

Marco LeRoc is a three-time author, an international speaker, an accountability partner and the founder of Marco LeRoc & Co.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *