Katina Williams is the vice president of finance and chief financial officer for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Before coming to Baltimore, Williams worked for the Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine)

By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,

When North Carolina native Katina Williams won the job of vice president of finance and chief financial officer for the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Johns Hopkins) in 2021, she and her family relocated for the first time outside her home state. They landed in Howard County, Md.

For Williams, Johns Hopkins is not just a leader in medicine but an innovative trailblazer, and she wanted to be a part of the institution’s mission.

“It’s been a great experience thus far. I think one of the things that attracted me to Hopkins is that it’s consistently recognized as a top-performing hospital and is a renowned healthcare leader not just nationally, but worldwide,” said Williams. 

She began Johns Hopkins’ recruitment process during the height of the pandemic, and it was clear to her that the institution, “excelled at being a leader of COVID care and analytical support, so much so that the rest of the world was relying on the data and reporting that was generated by the folks there.” 

Williams most recently completed a 21-year stint with the Duke University Health System in Durham, N.C., where her husband, Eric, continues to work as a sourcing and supply chain manager. She started as a financial analyst and worked her way up the ladder. 

Eventually, she became the health system’s first chief financial officer for network expansion, and she primarily worked to increase ambulatory services throughout the North Carolina region. 

With an accounting degree from North Carolina A&T State University, the nation’s largest historically Black university, and a master’s in business administration from North Carolina State University, Williams said she knew she could have instead turned to a different venue in corporate America, but healthcare was a natural fit for her. 

“The reward I think, for being in healthcare, is that it doesn’t just help but it also heals, so when I think about how my work fits in that paradigm, I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day knowing that I’m supporting a mission that saves lives,” said Williams.

“What’s extra special about academic medicine is the discovery that’s brought about through research, so in addition to that healing aspect that comes along with healthcare, the research and teaching missions of academic medicine provide hope for the future that will benefit our families and community.”

Before working in Baltimore, the 46-year-old said she noticed that the city, like many other urban areas, had a reputation for poverty and addiction. But, since she came to Charm City, she’s felt a sense of community, particularly from African-American residents who’ve reached out to lend their support and encouragement.

Williams said she’s also discerned the passion that Baltimoreans have for their neighborhoods and their city. 

At Johns Hopkins, Williams’ main responsibilities include overseeing the management of Hopkins’ $3 billion in operating revenue, managing the annual budget cycle or evaluating the hospital’s strategic initiatives. 

She said her goal is to ensure that Johns Hopkins has the funds to achieve its mission of improving the community and global health by demonstrating excellence in medical education, research and clinical care, both in the short-term and the long-term.  

As for her personal life, Williams said she wants to ensure that her husband and 11-year-old daughter, Madisyn, know how much they are valued and that they come first in her life. 

“As a leader, I really want to be able to inspire my team to reach their full potential and have them feel the psychological safety and support from me in doing so. I want them to not only see me as a leader who is passionate about the mission but a leader who is also compassionate toward them and their needs in a way that makes them successful,” Williams said. 

“From a personal standpoint, my goal is really simple and it’s always been my goal for as long as I can remember. I just want to be the best mom, wife, daughter and sister I can be and really be there for my family and let them know how much they’re valued.” 

Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member. 

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