The Path To Leadership

The Heart of Advocacy: Shanna Adamic's Journey of Resilience and Optimism

February 13, 2024 Catalyst Development Season 1 Episode 21
The Heart of Advocacy: Shanna Adamic's Journey of Resilience and Optimism
The Path To Leadership
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The Path To Leadership
The Heart of Advocacy: Shanna Adamic's Journey of Resilience and Optimism
Feb 13, 2024 Season 1 Episode 21
Catalyst Development

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When Shana Atomic speaks, you can't help but be riveted. Her transition from would-be broadcaster to an icon of healthcare and philanthropy is not just a career shift—it's a life affirming crusade. This episode peels back the layers of Shana's story, tracing her steps from personal health battles to championing Oracle Health Foundation's global mission. With her at the helm, we see how lived experiences fuel a relentless drive to advocate for others, and how storytelling can be a potent force in the health and wellness landscape.

Wrapping things up, we bear witness to a health journey that will grip your heart—a former Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader's brave confrontation with a life-threatening diagnosis. Her story isn't just a tale of survival; it’s a masterclass in self-advocacy and the incredible strength found in community solidarity. We talk about the salience of women's health, the resilience instilled by a positive outlook, and the understanding that our mistakes are not dead ends but detours on the path to growth and knowledge. 

Join us for an episode that's as much about the tenacity of the human spirit as it is about the power of collective effort in the face of daunting challenges.

Connect with Shanna on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannaadamic/

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

When Shana Atomic speaks, you can't help but be riveted. Her transition from would-be broadcaster to an icon of healthcare and philanthropy is not just a career shift—it's a life affirming crusade. This episode peels back the layers of Shana's story, tracing her steps from personal health battles to championing Oracle Health Foundation's global mission. With her at the helm, we see how lived experiences fuel a relentless drive to advocate for others, and how storytelling can be a potent force in the health and wellness landscape.

Wrapping things up, we bear witness to a health journey that will grip your heart—a former Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader's brave confrontation with a life-threatening diagnosis. Her story isn't just a tale of survival; it’s a masterclass in self-advocacy and the incredible strength found in community solidarity. We talk about the salience of women's health, the resilience instilled by a positive outlook, and the understanding that our mistakes are not dead ends but detours on the path to growth and knowledge. 

Join us for an episode that's as much about the tenacity of the human spirit as it is about the power of collective effort in the face of daunting challenges.

Connect with Shanna on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannaadamic/

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Okay, Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Path to Leadership. I am so excited for our guest today. I'm going to have her introduce herself. How are you?

Shanna Adamic:

Hi, it's so great to be here and I'm so happy to be on talking to you a little bit more.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, so can you tell everyone who you are, kind of what you do, all of your good stuff.

Shanna Adamic:

Oh, absolutely. I'm Shana Atomic and I'm the executive director of Oracle Health Foundation, formerly CERN or Charitable Foundation, aka First Hand Foundation, and I'm also the director of social impact for Oracle and occasionally a correspondent for Oracle TV to talk about our position in healthcare.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

I love this and I'm so excited because we don't know that I've ever told you this. The first time I saw you and heard your story was a couple of years ago at the. It was still the Cerner Gala and you were up on stage and we were just talking before we jumped on here and it just clicked. You had this amazing sparkly jumpsuit on and I sent a picture to my daughter and I'm like you need this. You would look amazing.

Shanna Adamic:

I love that, okay. So this is kind of funny. I just had a conversation about this. This last weekend. I went to Red Hot Night with Children's Mercy Love that event, by the way but I wore another jumpsuit, like a black jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are my thing and I rent my husband. He's like when are you going to be ready? Give me 10 minutes. I got to find something to wear. He goes you're going to grab a jumpsuit, so just put one of those on. So thank you, because I love that sparkly jumpsuit and I will buy a good jumpsuit whenever I see it.

Shanna Adamic:

But I did share my health journey a few years ago on stage at the Masquerade and it's something that I'm really passionate about. Talking about it. Definitely it's like the serendipitous dance I've done with healthcare my whole life, whether being engaged in it inside philanthropy, but then also living it a real health journey with a rare brain tumor. And so thank you for mentioning that, and my goal when I tell the story is that if I can inspire one person to be able to advocate for themselves on a healthcare platform, to be able to go one more time to that doctor, to be able to believe in themselves in a way that they didn't think they would be able to. That's my goal. Is that, just that one person in the audience that I could possibly inspire.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, I love that and I want to talk more about your health journey because I had never heard anything. So, yeah, I want to. I want to make sure that we touch back on that, because I had heard about you and heard your story, but then to hear you on stage telling it. So, before I take us down that way because I can so quickly do it, especially since we were talking before we jumped on about kind of the health journey we're going on with my daughter, can you tell everyone a little bit about your career journey, kind of how you got where you are?

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, absolutely it's. You know it's interesting. I've been growing in my career with the same company. Now we went, now we just went through a merger with a seven company for nearly 22 years, which I don't really feel like, katie, that you hear that much anymore of that. You know that length of a tenure, except for if anyone who is listening who worked at Cerner for decades, you win because we have a lot of them in Kansas City.

Shanna Adamic:

But I, you know, just to back up just a bit, you know, going through college, I just knew I was going to be a broadcaster on this and I thought I was going to graduate from college and I was going to be the next Katie Couric and I, in fact I interned with NBC oh my gosh. And then they wanted to move me to a small market and at that moment I couldn't. I couldn't go for one reason or another. And I remember interviewing with this small little foundation that was within a company called Cerner Corporation and I went into that interview. I packed the interview with all the things I knew, you know talking, storytelling, and also I was really transparent on what I wanted to be. Like that I actually this was just temporary, I wanted to do this. And then the funniest part is, katie, that I pulled out a printed off PowerPoint and I swear I got hired at Cerner because I get my PowerPoint skills, which is hilarious now, like two decades later. And it was printed off, which is so funny. And so I got. I got hired into the position within a foundation that had three people working for it at the time and just a small little foundation focused on pediatrics. And I remember, just a couple of months in to you know, starting that role and falling asleep with a medical dictionary because I was, I was had, you know, been hired in as a caseworker to talk to the families around the world who needed care for their child.

Shanna Adamic:

And and I remember having this conversation with Jean-Lilith Patterson, who is one of my great mentors, someone who I love dearly, and she and I told her I was like, oh my gosh, this is, this is harder than I could have ever imagined. And she said it is, and she goes, and this is trial by fire. And then she goes. Sean, I know you always wanted to be a storyteller in front of the camera and I'm going to teach you how to be a storyteller to save lives.

Shanna Adamic:

And that changed the, the like, the whole course of my life really, and my career, and it's you know, I have so much respect for her and the leadership that came before me and this, this foundation that was built on the shoulders of giants, and that's all of these hundreds of thousands of people you know who contributed to the foundation for years and then also just who believed in this mission of Cerner, that that we were going to change healthcare, that healthcare is too important to stay the same, and so I feel like that.

Shanna Adamic:

I look back on this now and there are moments in life where you can like pinpoint that that that changed my life for the better, and that was one of them. So I stayed there. I grew in my career within the foundation. I'm now the executive director of that same foundation, leading not only foundation but social impact and more, and I can't I can't even begin to express the, the gratitude I have for that journey and those people who walked with me, taught me and helped to grab my hand to pull me back up along the way.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Oh, just soaking up, there's so much just to that story of your journey. I mean it just gives me chills like all of that. I mean thinking about you know telling people stories in the medical journey. But I even listened to that from being a young woman and you know I talked to so many women about confidence and you know, taking scary jobs and doing scary things and you know to, to have someone who you now consider a mentor Be like, yeah, it's gonna be really hard and you're gonna have to, and then to have to like, learn all this medical stuff.

Shanna Adamic:

Yes, I will never forget like that. I felt like I learned so much during that time. I love, katie, that you teach young women about you know doing the hard things, taking the job that hard, that's hard making, making being a moment that make you uncomfortable. That is the one place we're going to find growth and I think for me it's a constant. That has happened time and time again, time and time again through my career and I've never been able to back down from it. It's always, it's been ingrained in me to go like, actually push harder during those moments, and I think that that lesson was taught to me at that very beginning. And talk about strong women she was, and what a person to look up to in that moment. So it was an incredible life lesson that keeps on giving, keeps on, it's still giving.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

So yeah, I mean we have to do scary things. And I tell women all the time because they'll say, well, I'm not qualified for the job, or I'm this or that, and it's like, yeah, if you meet all the qualifications, you should be supervising that job. You should not be taking that job. If you know how to do it, go for the next one.

Shanna Adamic:

Absolutely. I think that's it's so right to. It's. It's like do you know, go after your dreams a bit, go beyond, you know, don't just try to stay in the status quo of your own life like push harder and push and and push faster, and some. There's been moments, oh, this kind of brings me back to several days ago. I'm in the car with my, with my kids, dropping them off at school, and Ava, my daughter, his nine years old, she said she was had to do something at school that morning. She goes, mom, I don't know if I can do it, I get so embarrassed. And I was like, let yourself get embarrassed, Like that's actually a good feeling. And she said Well, mom, you never get embarrassed and you're never afraid I go. Oh, that is not true. Like there are plenty of times where I've had to basically try and prototype my own life and and get embarrassed and fail, just to do it again and actually to see what my potential is. And so I love that. I love, katie, that you focus on that.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

And being able to. I love when we're able to tell not just our daughters but you know the our young boys as well, like, yes, the shiny part that you see at the end there was a lot of practice and stuff that went went into it.

Shanna Adamic:

Oh, 100%.

Shanna Adamic:

I mean, this is like the in front of the curtain, I mean the, the event that's happening behind the curtain, like it's constantly going on, so that that absolutely is 100% true.

Shanna Adamic:

By the way, that the event that you saw me at, where I talked about my story, I think that you know there's I use that story in conjunction with this role I've been able to be in and this foundation I grow because, you know, our mission within the foundation has always been focused on removing barriers to health care for children worldwide, and when I talk about my health journey, I talk about this point. You know, while there's a whole story of why I wasn't diagnosed, you know, leading up to it, there's a point where, once I got the diagnosis, I got this, this and the the exact right care that I should have, and it's only because I had the resources to do it. And that's the story, you know. That's when we talk about health equity and that's what I talked about. Everyone should have the outcome I did, and I had it because of the resources, and so, with the foundation, we're removing barriers, which means we're we're providing those resources so children could get that care because they deserve it.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, and it's. It's really cool because I didn't know about the Surner Foundation and now with the merger of Oracle and I know we've talked kind of offline a little, so for those people outside of Kansas City, I mean people in Kansas City were like yep, surner, we got it. It's part of the thread of Kansas City. But can you talk a little bit about the foundation digging, a little more about the work you do and all of that, christoph?

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, absolutely, you know it was. It's been really interesting over the last. I said I worked for this, the same company, for for 22 years and the last six years of that have have been filled with some of the you know, the largest challenges that the community has faced. And I think that's the opportunity, the you know different things that have come up that have just provided us a I'm going to use the word opportunity again to to pivot, to push into action, forward, and so going through a merger, and especially one of our size, which it has, is I believe that it's the second largest merger in healthcare IT history that is not for the faint of heart. I mean, we were a company of 30,000 people worldwide and we went and we were acquired by a company going into them, becoming an enterprise of 150,000 employees worldwide. So it's I always explain to people that you know, going through a merger like that feels a little bit like putting a your culture on a rocket ship and blasting it into space and it's kind of you know you have all these particles and people that are on the same mission and looking for each other again and you find each other. Just it just is is coming back together in this new form and which is filled with a lot of opportunity along the way to strengthen in a way we weren't before, but it also comes with a lot of digging deep, because there there are a lot of change that comes with that.

Shanna Adamic:

I have this sweatshirt that I wear that says it's just a brown sweatshirt and it says potato, and actually credit to can be because it's a sweatshirt that I bought to as part of a fundraiser they had and they do wonderful things, you know, like buying produce in our, in our food deserts, but I, as soon as Max put up that he was selling these shirts, said potato. I would like drove down there, I bought one and I immediately put it on for a team meeting because I have this, this thing that I've said to my team for years and that is we've. We're on this journey together and right now what we're trying to do is we're trying to land on this. We're landing on this new planet together and we're all figuring out how to harvest one potato and one figure out how to harvest that one potato.

Shanna Adamic:

We're going to harvest to, and then we're going to start to build a city and then we're going to, and that's where we're at. So I think it's, you know, from a leader perspective. Sometimes I've had to wake up in the morning during this process, not sometimes. I've went. Well, I've gotten up in the morning and I've become my own cheerleader and I know that I have to show up for my team as their cheerleader, and it's also a form that comes with a lot of transparency, a, you know, a lot of collaboration, and it's more than just motivation, it's more. It's. It's more than just continuing to do the work, it's really believing that and what we're doing and that we can do more on in this next chapter. And so it's been a. It's been a bit of a journey with our entire organization, but what, what stands, what is still true today, and what we went into this knowing, is that we do some incredible work at the foundation we're.

Shanna Adamic:

As I mentioned a second ago, we were built by giants. We stand on the shoulders of giants that started this incredible foundation to help children worldwide. So we wanted the mission to continue. Oracle has, from the very beginning been so receptive, supportive, and now have just launched into the work that we're doing with the foundation and over the last several months, actually this last year, as you saw, I rebranded CERN, our charitable foundation, to Oracle Health Foundation. We're going to continue our work removing barriers to health care for children worldwide, continue our programs with our pediatric grants, with our school programs, where we're in over 100 schools in Kansas City, and our high school program, where we're over 40, in schools and over 42 states, or exactly 42 states. We're going to continue that and then we're going to do more. That's exciting, katie, it's so exciting.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, and what a gift, I would imagine. I mean, I think in Kansas City we all know people who worked for CERN-R and I think the beginning of the conversations with the merger with Oracle was the what's going to happen in the unknown and probably the roller coaster that everyone was going through of what's going to happen and to come out on the other end and Oracle say we believe not just in the work you're doing, but we want to expand it and do more and give you more opportunity. I think is. I'm sure it's still a journey to be going through this, but it probably makes you feel phenomenal.

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, well, I think, you know it definitely is still a journey and it makes me feel, you know, first of all, incredibly thankful for the team that is so strong and I remember on there is, I mean, they're an expert at what they do. So I feel so thankful that these people have, you know, pushed forward the programs that are key to this foundation. And then it is exciting to think about the opportunity to come, because it goes back to one thing, and that is we're closing the gaps in healthcare for children worldwide and we're going to continue to do that, and that's a big deal. I mean, you know, healthcare is complex for a lot of people around this world and you know we need to keep doing that work.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, well, and what's fascinating, when we met recently in Spoiler Alert. We're recording this before the Super Bowl, but it will come out after the Super Bowl, so hopefully we'll be celebrating another Chief's Super Bowl. Let's hope. But you know, cerner is such an important part of the fabric in Kansas City. So how do you keep that local connection and love for Kansas City and continue that as well as the growth of what you're doing?

Shanna Adamic:

Absolutely. I love that question and really fast to talk about the Chief's, and we'll have to come back to this someday. But you know I'm watching all of this come out as the cheerleaders now have landed in Las Vegas and all of this begins and I know this is going to come out afterwards. But I'm so envious. I cheered for so long and wanted to go to the Super Bowl so many times and I'm so happy for those teams and so I can get on a whole tangent about how those are such incredible athletes that are out there as part of that team. So anyway, we'll come back and talk about that someday when we're celebrating the Chief's win. So you know, after let me start again.

Shanna Adamic:

I think that you know one thing that I hope people know is that Oracle's second largest concentration of employees is now in Kansas City and again, this is a huge enterprise.

Shanna Adamic:

So that's exciting and I also feel so energized by the support that I've gotten philanthropically from social impact side.

Shanna Adamic:

So it's not just about the hundreds of schools that were in Kansas City and the kids were gonna help through our programs, but it's the partnerships that we're making with nonprofits across the city, the investment that we're making, the investment that we have in partnerships with our civic organizations and economy building initiatives and things that are really going to put back into Kansas City.

Shanna Adamic:

And so, yes, you know, I think that this is CERNR was so important to Kansas City and is so important to Kansas City, because I truly believe that our founders really created the intersection of healthcare and IT, and they did it here, they did it with CERNR with a big idea, and then they went and digitized healthcare, which is incredible, and one thing they did was they hired the some incredibly intelligent people, experts in what they do, people who carried on to lead organizations that we all know in Kansas City Well-Skied, netsmart, just to name a couple, and there's so many others and I think that's an incredible legacy.

Shanna Adamic:

I mean, they changed the city through the leadership that continues today, and what Oracle's going to do is continue to continuing to invest in our city, and not just with the employees that are here, but in the future of what Kansas City is, and also push forward that idea in healthcare that it is too important to stay the same. And so it's an exciting chapter. It's a chapter that has come with a lot of change and again I'm gonna say again, not for the faint of heart, but it's going to come with a monumental shift in healthcare globally and that's exciting.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, and it's cool as I have learned about the founders of CERNR through the years of being in Kansas City, and I mean you talk about the leaders that they helped create and shape, but just also the infrastructure in the different parts of the community. I mean, would we have Sporting KC without you know? I mean the families and all of that, like all of the things that we love so much about Kansas City. They contributed, thought up, was there for it.

Shanna Adamic:

Oh my gosh, absolutely, absolutely. It's the building up this company in Kansas City, bringing in that talent, building up the city's Sporting KC. Maybe that was the domino effect that really helped push into KC current and like you can see that happening in different places, but absolutely, and that continues, that continues in so many different ways and that I don't even think you know that will definitely surpass my lifetime, like that will keep giving and keep giving.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah. Well, when you talk about the faint of heart and we talked a little bit about the beginning, about your health journey and your brain tumor can you talk a little bit more about that and kind of a little peek behind the curtain of that journey? Yeah, absolutely.

Shanna Adamic:

So, mm I, between the years of 2011, 2017, I went and I visited my primary care physician or hospital 109 times. The average person goes, and they seek out care from a doctor four times a year. To put that in perspective, so that was an unusual amount. I appeared healthy. What started as my first doctor appointment the reason I went to that was because I had just retired from being a Kansas City Chiefs Chair Leader retired and I was starting to lose my hearing in my right ear just slightly to where I couldn't hold a cell phone on that side. So I went to the doctor and they actually said that my hearing loss could have been due to cheering in the loudest stadium in the NFL for so many years. That sounded right until the moment it didn't, until my symptoms started to increase, from just the hearing loss to dizziness, to vision problems, to vertigo, to problems with my speech and with my memory, and this just added up year after year after year after year. And then one day I saw an interview a celebrity interview with Maria Menounos, and she was talking about the symptoms that led her to find a brain tumor. Maria and I actually got in contact and are friends now, and she's an amazing human. But I pushed one more time, asking for a referral to a specialist, and I went into that referral and I said you're going to think I'm crazy, but I think I have a brain tumor. And they sent me for an MRI and 20 minutes later he called me and he said, sean, something's there he's like, and he said it's large and we need you in the office the next day. And the next day what I found out was I had a golf ball size brain tumor that was compressing my brainstem and it was described to me in a couple of ways. It was described to me as a ticking time bomb, the best of the worst, and that it was on my on off switch and if it grew just the size of a small little hair then all of it could go off. And it was this moment.

Shanna Adamic:

And I also got a real gift from my physician. My physician who's incredible said to me at the very beginning I've only performed your surgery 421 times. That was a gift because of the way he said it, that it, like it, triggered me. I was like I have to get a second opinion, I need to go find the experts and this kind of surgery. And, funny enough, katie. I got that second opinion because I went on social media. I got pushed beyond my fear of not wanting people to know what was happening. I said what was going on, that I was looking for a second opinion, and within a few hours I received a note from a girl I went to college with who said Shauna, I don't know if you know what I do now, but I'm a nerve reconstructive surgeon.

Shanna Adamic:

For the doctors who read the white paper on your tumor, oh my gosh, I know. And within 48 hours I was in Chicago sitting across from these doctors and I'll never forget when Dr Leonetti it's late at Leola put out his hands, as like as to beckon me to put my hands in his, and the first thing he said as I'm sobbing is he said there's no crying and brain surgery. So I was like, okay, so then I'm laughing and. But he told me he goes. Here's what I know you're going to go to sleep, you're going to wake up and you're going to get your life back. And I was told at that time that this was going to be a big surgery with a big outcome. They were going to stay in and try to remove all of the tumor and remove it without the need for radiation afterwards. And, however, with such a large, large surgery that I was probably going to fall within a bracket of having a 4% chance of regaining back the right side of my facial function.

Shanna Adamic:

And so when I woke up from that surgery, I lost my hearing on my right side. I was paralyzed on this side, I couldn't close my right eye, I couldn't smile, I slurred my words, I couldn't pronounce a lot of things, had a hard time swallowing and went into recovery, working on those basic mobility skills, went to recovery and I, first of all, was the most thankful, katie, that when I woke up I had lost so much. But the first thing I said was my husband held the iPad with Google chat in front of me because I wanted to see my kids, because I got to be a mom. And it's like when you decide that, it's like you're going through this moment where it's like, okay, what if I don't get back at all everything? What do you want? And it's like I want to be a mom and I want to be the same mom I was. I want to be a wife and I want to do and I want to come back to my family, and the weeks that followed in recovery were so freaking hard and I will never forget that moment, that and I'm an optimist and I had to remind myself, like I'm like, I'd remind myself what that meant, that that didn't mean it was going to be easy or that doesn't mean it was going to get better right away.

Shanna Adamic:

I remember going in the mirror and looking at my image and not recognizing myself and feeling that like loss of identity, and I just crumbled to the ground and I took a pen and paper and I wrote on the paper. I said I will smile with all my teeth, I will close my eye completely, a couple of other things, and I will be a better version of me. And I stuck that note on the mirror and in front of my like face. So when I would go there, that's the first thing I would see and I would make myself say it out loud, and I truly believe that we have a lot of power with our mind and that was a moment where I was willing myself to get better, where I was willing myself to move forward, and I personally needed that for my own recovery.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

I've heard the story before but hearing it again. It's just the fight to keep going back and to keep getting answers. And I think when we talk about health equity and we talk about so many other things, we trust that a doctor is the doctor and that they know. But we have to keep fighting and advocating and pushing and trusting our gut that sometimes something doesn't feel right. And it doesn't mean that doctors are completely wrong. It's that there's something else there.

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, no, no, no and I think you're right it's the understanding that doctors.

Shanna Adamic:

There are moments where doctors don't have all the answers and we can't look to them thinking they're going to have every answer, and especially not now, at this time, when there is such a demand on doctors.

Shanna Adamic:

There's a demand not only from the number of patients they have, but there is so much noise that has been caused by technology. The irony of working in healthcare, healthcare industry for so long that technology that is great and has done so many amazing things. And now we're on the verge of doing what's next in healthcare, and that's actually continuing on with that technology, but taking out that noise so the doctor can face back to that patient and really look at them and see them and understand and have that human connection, rather than being so distracted by many other things. And so I think that every person needs to be able to you know what my friend, maria, who I just talked about, says be the CEO of their own health. And that is so true. You have got to listen to your own body, you've got to take care of yourself, and your physicians are your partners in your health journey, but you still have to be the CEO of your own health.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, I think that's powerful and I mean I could go on this soapbox and take you down a rabbit hole of this. But I mean it's February, so it's heart month and women's heart disease is such an important thing. I have deep ties to that. I have deep ties to Alzheimer's. There's just so much out there and it's important for us to just keep, like you said, take control of our own health and get answers.

Shanna Adamic:

Absolutely, absolutely, and I love that you brought that up, and I also know that you are. You're doing a lot of talking about that right now, because, and tell me what it is that you're doing again.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, so I am so honored Also with Mary Messner, who used to be at CERNR. We are there's five of us that are the 2024 Women of Impact nominees for the Heart Association, and what's cool is every all over the country during the same eight weeks, we are all are raising money and raising awareness and having conversations about heart health, and so it's just a really cool campaign, but, more importantly, it's an important conversation that we're excited to have.

Shanna Adamic:

I love that. I love that. Well, I'm going to be supporting both of you.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

So we appreciate it. We appreciate it Well, and I love, when you talked about your health journey, that you had to remind yourself that you are an optimistic person, and every time I've seen you, whether it be in person or on social media or whatever you are always just this light of just positivity and excitement and shout out to me in a cheer leader, like being there for people. And so how do you keep that going? Is it that you're reminding yourself and do you surround yourself with people, or how do you do that?

Shanna Adamic:

Oh gosh. I think all of the above and I strongly believe optimism is a choice and it's my daily practice, it's become my life strategy. But it's something that you do have to choose. You have to choose the mindset. I always tell people that doubt is that faithful companion of fear, and it takes less energy to doubt something than it does to actually think. Maybe I can do that, maybe I can just push a little bit more. Having that mindset, that outlook in your life that you can do more, that it's not just wishful thinking but it's truly bold hope and it's also optimism.

Shanna Adamic:

For me is not just now. It's not looking at things and thinking, oh, that's fine, oh, that's going to be fine, I'm not going to worry about it. No, it's actually planning for the future. It's looking ahead and saying, okay, I see that challenge. What do I want that outcome to be? Because optimistic thoughts, perceived, desired outcomes, and I'm telling you time and time again it doesn't matter what or where you look. That is true every single time.

Shanna Adamic:

So, yes, I do have to remind myself sometimes.

Shanna Adamic:

There are some mornings I wake up and I'm like my kids aren't out of bed.

Shanna Adamic:

I'm dragging them to get to school and I'm like I'm going to be late for a meeting and it's like the breathe in, the breathe out.

Shanna Adamic:

And there are things that I do that are so basic in my daily life that help me with that mindset every day, whether it be my, you know, the discipline ritual of waking up every single morning at six o'clock to go work out, to coming back and having a gratitude journal that I started actually during my brain tumor journey, which is writing a few things down that I'm grateful for, and some days that is only coffee, and I'm okay with that.

Shanna Adamic:

Like I'm like, I'm okay If today I'm only grateful for coffee. It's like, it's like the understanding that it's like does it have to be these big things all the time? That it's like I can be grateful that you know the sun is shining, but doing, doing little things like that. And then I think that carries over in who you are as a person, how you see the day, how you see the outcomes for yourself, and then it carries over to how you're going to interact with teams, how you're going to be a leader, what you're going to bring to the table, how you're going to collaborate. So it really is a ripple effect in your own life when you understand that mindset shift that you could have as an optimist.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, I think it's so cool and, as we get ready to ask the last question which I ask everybody, it's such a perfect answer that leads into this question because I think so often. You know, we see people's social media and it's so pretty and it's so shiny and it's so positive all the time, but we all have stuff and it's not always perfect. In our career journey, our path, our things that we go through are not always the cleanest, straightest, most beautiful paths. So can you, to the level you're comfortable sharing, will you talk about your biggest leadership or career misstep that you've taken?

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, absolutely, and I'm, you know, by the way, I'm pretty I'm pretty up there now with sharing where it's like I'm pretty willing to share most things. Now I've learned over the last several years of my life. But I look at that and think, you know, missteps and this is something that you know I've thought about. You know that I've learned time and time again. I don't I try not to see things as missteps and I, you know, honestly I go back to this love.

Shanna Adamic:

I have, for you know, something called design thinking, which is prototype and fail, and I think there have been moments in my my life, many, many moments that I've been prototyping my own life, prototyping as a leader, and I have failed and I've learned and I've come back stronger.

Shanna Adamic:

And so I think that you know, along the way, especially in the six years, one of the biggest lessons I've learned along the way is that, a reminder and this is a good reminder for all leaders.

Shanna Adamic:

I think it's the reminder that it's like I need to look to my right and to my left and to the strength of my team, that all decisions actually don't have to be made by me and they shouldn't be made by the leader.

Shanna Adamic:

It's that collaboration, that team pushing forward, that holding onto that rope together on what we're gonna do next. And I think that, as leaders, sometime and I know I have been victim of this or fallen guilty, I've been guilty of this, not been guilty of this sometimes, when things, when change is looks like this huge mountain of a challenge, sometimes it's like okay, guys, everyone, hold onto the rope, I'm gonna pull us up here, I'm gonna do it alone, and I think that it's a big reminder, because that rope is heavy, that it's like wait a minute, there are a lot of incredible people around me that can help really get us up this mountain and get us up fast, and in a way that it's like when you get to the top, you see that view and it's a victory together. So I think that is a moment and a lesson I've learned a long way.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, and what a great lesson and so important. I think as leaders, we think we have to be the smartest person in the room, or do it all or be it all, and it's like no surrender yourself by really great people and make your job easier as well.

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, and I do love that. I do love that saying I've heard time and time again if you are the smartest person in the room, then find a new room because you're not in the right one. And so it's like I love surrounding myself with people that it's like, oh my gosh, your thoughts and your ideas and your conversation make me catch fire with excitement, and so and that's how I feel about my team- yeah, yeah, that's so cool.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Well, Shana, I appreciate you so much. You got so much going on. You do keynote speaking. You're working on a book, is that?

Shanna Adamic:

true, yeah, I am working on a book and I'll be excited to come back and talk about that, but it's all about some of the things that we hit on at the end. I use a lot of life experiences along the way, but it ties in that my entire life there's been a thread and that's I keep coming back to what is my North Star, and that's optimism, and I bring that in through the entire journey of my life.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

That is so awesome. So how can people get in touch with you, support you, be around you? How can they reach out?

Shanna Adamic:

Yeah, absolutely Reach out to me at LinkedIn any of the social. Really, I'd be happy to engage with you. However, you want to have more conversation about my journey, about optimism, about just getting to know you and building a network just more. So absolutely reach out to me any of those ways.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Great, well, we will put your LinkedIn and everything in the show notes and, yeah, can't wait for the book to come out and for us to talk about that. And I, just every time I'm so fortunate we've met in person a couple of times and you just, every time I'm with you, you just make me so happy and so thank you for being open and for this conversation and really for everything you do. I appreciate it.

Shanna Adamic:

Oh my gosh. Thank you, Katie. You're pretty amazing, so thank you so much for everything you're doing in our community and for future leaders and for current leaders. I think it's pretty awesome.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well, thanks everyone for joining us and we will see you next time. Bye, everyone.

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