40 Under 40

Laura Pickett

Indiana University Health Foundation
Indianapolis, IN

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

1. As the chief operating officer of the Indiana University Health Foundation, Laura organized three vital priorities for the Foundation’s formation: moving from 15 to one centralized database; shifting from an events to major gifts-focused shop; and engaging clinicians via a new grateful patient program.

2. In a previous role at the Methodist Health Foundation, Laura launched the first-ever grateful patient program for Indiana University Health. More than 100 clinicians have now been trained through the program.

3. Laura was nominated by senior leaders at IU Health to participate in the Indiana Healthcare Leadership Academy, a program designed to train the next generation of leaders within the organization. She graduated from the program in 2016.

4. She was recognized as Goodwill Industries International’s Volunteer Board Leader of the Year in 2017, chosen from among nearly 10,000 board members from Goodwill organizations across the nation.

Q & A

1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

After serving in IU Health’s system marketing arm for a few years, I was seeking a role that would embed a non-clinician, such as myself, to work closely alongside patients and families. Health care philanthropy allows this unique opportunity and provides a daily platform to remain close to IU Health’s mission.

2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

The deep connections with patients, families and donors afford a natural avenue to focus on mission. Health care philanthropy is relationally centric while requiring a high level of business acumen. It’s the best of both worlds. Additionally, I’ve benefited from tremendous mentors and leaders who have aided the cultivation of my career path.  

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

After multiple health issues my family experienced, I realized how vital philanthropic investments are to patients and families. My call to leadership, passion for operations and serving within an Academic Medical Center are driven by personal health care experiences. Not only do I see the fruit of our work, I’ve experienced it personally in life-changing ways. 

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

As an intern for a small, unaffiliated baseball club, I sold tickets, worked concessions, cleaned bathrooms, served as a mascot for community events and chalked the field. This experience taught me two valuable lessons: teamwork is essential for good outcomes and business success requires employees to flex many muscles.

5. What are your future aspirations?

Simply put: To answer the call of leadership. Embracing leadership is what health care philanthropy beckons to meet our opportunity and address challenges. I want the next thirty years of my career to positively impact the health of our current generation and future generations.
Laura Pickett

Fun Fact:

I love to cook and my specialty is a French dessert crepe.