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Dallas CLO Teaches That Education Is The Pipeline To Success

When someone goes to a hospital they want to make sure they receive the best care from the most talented people. As vice president of organizational development and chief learning officer, it is the job of Dr. Sushma Aggarwal to make sure that the employees who work at Parkland Health & Hospital System have the skills, resources and learning experiences to build their career and provide the best patient care.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Sushma Aggarwal)

Aggarwal holds a Doctor of Organizational Development and a Master of Arts in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding University, and a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio.

"I wanted to be part of organization strategy on how do you build leaders. If you cannot teach it then you haven't really learned it. The greatest value is when leaders can teach others," Aggarwal. For her doctoral dissertation, Aggarwal invited 800 leaders to participate in a study of health care leaders serving as organizational teachers.

"HR has been very operational and reactive, now it has evolved into being organization and development which is very strategic. We proactively build talent pipelines. For example, an employee works at Parkland. Our job is to help that employee to grow in that role, by providing them learning events (i.e., shadowing another employee, career mentors, job rotation, and talent cohorts).

"It is no longer about having a job at Parkland; it is about building a career a Parkland," said Aggarwal about the creating and launching the Parkland Academy. "The learning experiences are based on the employee's aspirations. We make sure the employee has core competencies to help them grow in their positions."

"Most people tell you to go with heart when deciding on a degree but, if you really want to get value out of your education, look to the future. Aspire to get a degree by investing the time in researching what careers are growing that you will be passionate about," said Aggarwal.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at 


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