Our Stories

Mastering a Field She Thought She Knew

MMHC expands finance expert’s understanding

LeeAnn Burney
Director of Finance, Williamson Medical Center

Vanderbilt MM Health Care 2014

In her nearly three decades in health care finance, Lee Ann Burney has worked everywhere from hospitals to a CPA firm, a consulting firm, a hospital management company and the corporate offices of two national for-profit hospital chains. She has served in facilities ranging from acute-care to rehab to psychiatric, transplant and critical access hospitals, among others.

She has handled everything from preparing budgets and financials to tax returns, cost reports, audits and certificate of need applications. She’s been actively involved in her field’s professional organization, HFMA, since 1986.

What can an MMHC teach her?

“I believe you should never stop learning or trying to improve,” says Lee Ann, who had intended to pursue a Master’s degree shortly after college before family and career became higher priorities. Now that her children are grown and “I’m in a good place in my career,” she says, the timing was perfect to go back to school.

“I think people can become complacent when they have been working as long as I have and think they know the business side of health care fairly well. Owen has really expanded my view and gotten me excited about doing more. The research requirements for the capstone project made me dig deeper than I ever had because I could see the benefits not only for myself but for my organization.

“I truly love what I do and want to be able to give my hospital my very best. Good leaders are fairly common. Great leaders are rare. I believe the program at Owen helped me develop the skills to become a great leader.”