Providence Alaska Medical Center has a named its new CEO to replace the retiring Dr. Richard Mandsager.

Ella Goss will head the state's largest hospital and private employer, overseeing 4,000 caregivers and affiliated medical staff, according to a news release from Providence. Goss is the first woman to hold the CEO position in 42 years.

In an interview Thursday, Goss said she is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the top job.

"I love a steep learning curve and this is probably going to be the steepest I've had," she said.

Goss said her long career has been helped by mentors, both women and men, who encouraged her to take opportunities as they arose.

"They tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'I think you can do this,'" Goss said.

Now, she said, she tries to do the same for others. When asked what advice she'd give young women just starting their careers, she said she'd encourage them to "lean in."

"Sometimes as women we step back in the shadows and we think, 'That's too much for me' or, 'They wouldn't want me,'" Goss said. "Sometimes we get passed up because we don't have that tenacity to think, 'Hey, sure, I could do this.'"

Goss said it's an exciting time to be a leader and a woman; she's looking forward to an exciting turn in her career.

When asked about the job itself she said she said a priority is making sure Providence continues to give people excellent medical care, so that patients can stay in Alaska and be treated in-state.

Goss will take over as Providence’s CEO effective Monday.

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