Sally Terrace is a woman on a mission.
And she believes that means she’s in the right place.
“I like the people I work with and I like working for a mission-driven organization,” said Terrace, a California native who is set to take the reins of BJC HealthCare’s general counsel position in September. “BJC is very focused on its mission. Everything we do is about improving the health of the communities we serve. I liked that very much from a philosophical perspective.”
From any perspective, Terrace has certainly earned the position. Starting at BJC in 1999 as a special projects attorney, she was promoted to vice-president of corporate compliance in 2011 and became deputy general counsel six years later. The Mizzou graduate now supervises 22 attorneys providing guidance to 15 hospitals and many community health organizations.
Her previous credits include work as an associate in Greensfelder’s health law department and a stint on Jewish Hospital’s in-house legal team before she became deputy general counsel of Washington University’s School of Medicine and, later, general counsel for the American College of Surgeons in Chicago.
“Sally is BJC’s go-to person for finding solutions to complex legal problems and is a trusted advisor to many senior leaders and hospital presidents throughout BJC,” writes her nominator, who also lauds her support of its legal intern program and her work to help start a legal fellowship program in the organization. “Sally routinely makes time to teach and help other attorneys and listens to their questions and concerns about how to approach certain problems as well as having a strong interest in their personal well being and activities outside of BJC.”
Terrace notes that, first and foremost, she loves to solve issues.
“I like figuring out ways to accomplish things,” she said.
She admits that she had “very typical preconceived ideas of what lawyers do” when she started law school but soon discovered the corporate side of the job and has spent most of her career in-house.
“It was something I was always interested in doing but I don’t think I really had a good conception of what it would be,” she said.
Frequently, it turns out to be a job centered on listening skills. That’s important for mentoring younger professionals in the department as well.
“I try to figure out what people need, what they want,” said the 60-year-old who thinks of herself as taking a “servant-leader” role. “I help people figure out what their goals are, what they want to do in their career, what kind of projects they want to work on, what kind of things they want to be involved in. Then I do my best to help make sure they get exposed to that.”