Sharn Barbarin, CEO at Medical City LewisvilleBy Kelly Wooley
Sharn Barbarin swears she sleeps—some. The 44-year-old mother of two busy teen and tween athletes has a high-profile job as the CEO of Medical City Lewisville; spends time volunteering for various organizations; and serves on the board of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce, Lewisville Lake Symphony and the Cross Timbers Rotary Club.
Originally from Baton Rouge, Barbarin earned her bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and her master’s in health administration from Tulane University. And in 1997, she moved to North Texas as an administrative fellow with Medical City at Las Colinas Medical Center and married her college sweetheart, Reginald, who owns a general contracting and homebuilding business in Dallas. (The two celebrate 20 years of marriage this month).
From there, things didn’t slow down for Barbarin. She was quickly promoted to COO at Medical Center of McKinney, where she served nine years before moving to Medical Center of Arlington as COO in 2011. In 2015, Barbarin became the CEO of Medical City Lewisville. All this while she was raising two boys—Courtland, 14, and Brice, 12.
What's your favorite thing about living in North Texas?
I absolutely love the people. There is such a strong sense of community and family here, both of which are very important to me. And being a lover of dance and music, I love that we have access to so much culture here in both Dallas and Fort Worth.
You have been with Medical City for 20 years, what's keeping you there?
It’s the company’s mission I directly connect with—“Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.” Working in health care, I get to be part of something that is larger than myself. We are there for our patients on their best days as well as their worst.
Did you always want to be a mom?
Absolutely. I come from a very large family. My grandfather had 20 siblings, and we all got together every Sunday as a family. Reginald and I struggled at first to have children. I am so grateful for our two boys.
How have you balanced your successful career and motherhood?
I think that’s been one of my biggest struggles and greatest lessons. I don’t necessarily believe that there is such a thing as a work-life balance. I just have to do the best I can. Whether it’s in my marriage, with our kids or in my career, I do my best to be fully committed to wherever I am at that moment. When I’m at work, I’m all in. The same goes when I’m with my kids or my husband.
What's the hardest part about being a working mom?
Accepting that it’s OK not to be perfect. I remember one particular instance where I had been planning to take cupcakes to my son’s third-grade class for his birthday. It was a stressful day at work, my meeting ran late and then I hit traffic. By the time I arrived at his school, my son was in tears. I was sure that I was going to win the worst-mom-ever award. It turns out he was crying because he was worried something had happened to me, not because of the cupcakes.
How would you describe your parenting style?
I’ve taken my greatest influence from my parents. I grew up in a household where a strong emphasis was placed on independence, family and the importance of having goals for yourself. We also have very rich religious beliefs. As parents, we know that we will not be able to be there for all of the roadblocks our boys will experience. It’s our hope that they can rely on the values we’ve instilled in them to make good decisions as they grow older. It’s the last thing I say to them when I drop them off somewhere, “Make good decisions today.”
How do you make sure each of your boys gets what they need from you?
I make sure we have an open line of communication. We are very transparent. I ask them to tell me what’s important to them so that I can prioritize the games and school events that I’m able to attend.
Where do you like to spend family time?
Hard Eight BBQ in Roanoke is a family favorite. And then being sports fans, we love to support our local teams, particularly the Dallas Mavericks since our boys play basketball.
Where do you like to go when it's just you and Reginald?
We love Truluck’s in Southlake. It’s probably our favorite. We also really like Al Biernat’s and Uchi, both in Uptown Dallas.
What's been the best part about motherhood so far?
Honestly, it’s just the love that I see and feel when I look at both of them. It’s so interesting how you can have two children from the same parents who are so totally different. Both are hilarious and always keep me laughing. They are great little entertainers. But Brice is quiet and structured, and Courtland is our social butterfly.
And when you can steal some time for yourself, what do you do?
You know the only thing that I do regularly for myself is to get manicures and pedicures. I realize it’s only one hour of time, but it’s something that I do that is totally for me.
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