Breaking Barriers – Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis

Girl Scout and President/CEO, Craig Hospital

“Be someone who wants what’s on the other side of that wall badly enough to work hard, power your dreams and never give up.” One of five children in a military family, Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis says when she saw barriers, it made her want to work that much harder and bust through.

As President/CEO of Craig Hospital, Jandel oversees the staff and operations at this world-renowned hospital and is shepherding a plan to put it on a 10-year course to define the future of rehabilitation for people who have sustained spinal cord and/or brain injuries.

Recently named to Modern Healthcare’s Minority Leaders to Watch List, Jandel credits the support of and collaboration with her team for that success and all of her successes.

“Taking the lead, especially from the role of CEO or president, involves a careful balancing act of facilitating others and direction-setting,” she says. “Sometimes it involves leading from behind, which allows for others to shine and be in front of the room or the conversation.

“Always, however, taking the lead requires good listening, deferring to expertise, supporting the entire team and being highly accountable for the results and outcomes.”

Success – whether it’s in a career or leading a Girl Scout troop – is about being present and mindful of the team. “Precious little is borne solely by the successful person; it takes a village,” Jandel says. “And I have been blessed to be part of some fantastic villages over my career and life.  Each has taught me important lessons, and not all of them have been easy lessons to learn.”

One of those villages has been the Girl Scout community. Jandel helped to lead her daughter’s troop while managing a fulltime obstetrics and gynecology practice. She took her troop to camp, taught the girls how to use a compass, led them through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and helped them complete service projects.

“Even when exhausted, with the right company and goals/mission, you can find energy,” she says.

Giving back is at the core of the Girl Scouts mission, and Jandel believes it’s at the core of her being as well. “I believe that gratitude for all that has been given to me requires giving back.  And it has been in the giving back that I have experienced some of the most profound growth and joy!”


Girl Scouts of Colorado