Sadro with her husband, Frank
Cheryl Sadro joined UTMB as executive vice president and chief business and finance officer (CBFO) in October 2014. She is responsible for leading all aspects of financial operations at UTMB, in addition to human resources, information services, and business operations and facilities.
Cheryl has more than 30 years of financial leadership experience, including major, mission-based health systems as well as public accounting. Most recently, she worked with Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), serving on a number of corporate-level teams addressing national financial operations, clinical and operational effectiveness, mergers and acquisitions, and national payor strategy. During the same time, she served as senior vice president for finance and market chief financial officer at CHI’s Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tenn. She has also held leadership positions at hospitals in Washington, DC, Pensacola, Fla. and Waco, Texas. 
With five months under her belt in her new role, we sat down with Cheryl to talk about where she sees the future of UTMB and to get a glimpse into her life outside of work. 
What does the Road Ahead look like for you?
When I think of the definition of the Road Ahead, I think of a passage from one place to another --- a path and a forward course that we choose to take. While the road ahead looks very promising for UTMB, we’ll be faced with several “stepping stones” along the way. For example, we are going to see financial performance that looks a little different from the past few years simply because we are bringing on new facilities and dealing with depreciation. 
These are exciting and unprecedented times of change for health care. We are prepared for this journey and have excellent people who not only understand health care today, but can also envision the change that is necessary to position ourselves for the future. Our Road Ahead is very bright. 
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?  The most rewarding?
Challenges are our opportunities. As in any other academic medical center, the diversity and complexity of our businesses and stakeholders create a unique opportunity for a CBFO to further the collaborative culture across our missions. 
I find satisfaction in being a true strategic business partner that can help shape the future of health care. I find it most rewarding to see the strategies for improving quality, service and financial performance develop and come to fruition.
In 2013, you were recognized as one of the “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review. To what do you attribute that success? What advice would you give others in the health care industry?
First of all, I tend to be a little shy about these kinds of things. There are a lot of other very qualified women on and off that list and it is humbling to be included among them.
As I look back, my parents taught me that integrity and a strong work ethic are the foundation to your career and subsequently, your success. Building on those principles, I would say that nurturing strong, healthy relationships, believing in your workforce and learning from a variety of work experiences have allowed me to contribute to each of the organizations that I’ve represented.
As far as advice, I would tell others interested in health care finance to come in with the desire to make a difference. It is important to stay on top of the changes that are going on in your community, marketplace and nationally. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a lot of different information sources, so pick a few of the best to stay well-informed.
It’s also important in our roles as effective finance professionals to really understand the business and manage for the long-term. As finance professionals, we traditionally focus on numbers, but it’s important to step back, put your institutional strategic cap on and understand what is really going on behind the scenes. We should not only be good at reporting results, we must also be good stewards to our business partners. Someone told me early in my career: make sure you understand the business.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
There are a few pieces of advice that I have found to be valuable. Remain true to yourself; maintain your integrity and hard work really does pay off.
What four words would colleagues most likely use to describe you?
Fair, tenacious, tough and personable
What do you like to do when you are not in your office?
I like to spend time with my family, although we are dispersed around the country at the moment. My daughter is in college in Tampa, Fla. and my son is in Chattanooga, Tenn. Planning time together is very important to us. I also love to garden and go hiking with my husband.
What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m pretty open, but one thing would be, I don’t like heights or standing on the edge of something that is high up.  
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would go to a foreign island where I could just relax and not have phones or any kind of IT connection. Secondly, I would probably go to Italy; I haven’t been there yet and I would like to learn more about their culture.