finish lines: Dr. Bethany Casagranda

Dr. Bethany Casagranda – Radiology Chair at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and Mt Lebanon resident, with one of her residents Dr Debbie Sokolowski (left) in the reading room at AGH.

While some 14-year-olds are playing video games or reading Harry Potter, Bethany Casagranda, Elm Spring Road, was writing a paper about radiology. That drive served her well. In June, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) named Dr. Casagranda Chair of the Department of Radiology. She is the first woman ever to take on the role.

What are the responsibilities of your position? I oversee all the occupational imaging for eight hospitals in western Pennsylvania. I work alongside hospital administration, physicians, division leadership and independent radiology groups, helping guide the department’s mission and strategic vision. In order to take on these types of positions, you have to show you can create something. You need to bring fresh ideas to the table. Charisma alone is not enough.

your schedule would overwhelm a lot of people. How are you able to balance work and life? I owe a lot of my success to my support system at home, and to friends who force me to stay balanced by not accepting “I’m too busy” as an excuse to miss playing tennis or going on a run. I’m a member of the Mt. Lebanon Junior Womens Club, and that gives me an opportunity to stay connected to the community. I’m even reading again which is a huge deal because I never read. I’m reading about leadership now instead of medicine. I always thought you had to be born a leader but there is a lot to learn about leadership.

Who inspires you? One of my biggest inspirations is AHN’S President and CEO, Cynthia Hundorfean. In rooms frequently dominated by men, Cynthia always takes command and lights up the room at the same time. In a short period of time, she has built a tremendously talented group of individuals around her, men and women alike. I also keep inspirational quotes on my phone. My favorite is from Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker and the only woman ever to win Best Director. I tell this to my daughters:

“Never let being a woman be a reason for success or excuse for failure. It’s not about being a woman. It’s about being the very best at what you do.”

Photography by Martha Rial