Charlotte’s Women In Business: Angela Lanning, Premier Inc.

Original article by the Charlotte Business Journal. Photo credit Melissa Key/CBJ

Angela Lanning, chief operating officer, information technology services for Premier Inc., is a 2023 honoree in CBJ’s Women in Business Awards program.

Editor’s note: This profile is part of CBJ’s special report on the 2023 Women in Business Awards.

Current job: Chief operating officer, information technology services, Premier Inc.

Responsibilities: Leading teams of engineers, data scientists, data analysts and clinicians who provide software products and services that help hospitals with performance improvement. Some specifics include building software products that enable health systems improve quality and efficiency,
implementing the products and providing customer support, as well as managing the financial success of the team.

Civic or charity engagements: Sheldrick Wildlife Fund; N.C. State University scholarship fund and engineering school; The Humane Society;

What professional achievement are you most proud of? The professional achievement that stands out to me is being on the team that helped win the Malcom Baldrige Quality Award in 2006. While there is more work to do, I am proud of the technology advances we have made at Premier on our PINC AI platform that helps our hospital members drive high-quality, safe, cost-effective health care. I am also incredibly proud of our team’s work during the Covid-19 pandemic. We leveraged our technology platform to advance our understanding of the disease, address supply-chain issues and improve the care patients received. Finally, I have been proud to be a leader who mentors and helps other women grow and develop their careers.

What has been the hardest lesson learned along the way, or the one that’s had the greatest impact on your career? Sometimes what you believe is a negative may be your biggest opportunity. As an example, about 10 years ago I was told about a reorganization and that I was getting a new boss. I really liked my current leader and felt blind-sided and frustrated by the change. My new boss was an “unknown” and I was skeptical. However, that manager is a great leader and helped me continue to grow my career. Change can be good. It’s really important to keep an open mind.

Why did you choose your field or profession, or how did you get started in it? My dad was an engineer, so I had exposure to the field growing up. I loved math and science, so it was a great fit. When I graduated from college, I really thought my path would be in manufacturing, but I had a great opportunity with a company called Sunhealth (now Premier) to apply my process engineering skills in health care.

What inspires or motivates you? I am motivated by having a “why” or a clear sense of purpose. My “why” is driven by the challenges I see facing our health-care systems. I want to help improve our health-care technology systems so clinicians in the system can focus on providing care.

What’s the most common mistake you see young professionals make? Relying too much on electronic communication. I believe the value in having face-to-face time or picking up the phone can really enhance your work life. Also, in my experience, having those live connections enhances
understanding, helps resolve conflicts earlier and creates networking opportunities.