Q: When you think of the impact you’ve been able to make, what comes to mind?
A: At Plantation General, we developed what I call the “ships.” I took a core team of leaders — managers — and we created the ships, and then we educated the entire organization about the ships: workmanship, ownership, partnership, leadership and stewardship. We really were able to change the culture of the entire organization.
Q: What brought you back to Westside in Broward County after your time elsewhere?
A: I was at Plantation General from 1975 to 2011. I still had a lot of deep roots and connections to the community. I was very involved in chamber [of commerce] activities and the American Heart Association. I had a lot of relationships and a lot of love for the Plantation community. When my boss called me and said, “Do you want to come home?” I jumped at the chance.
Q: What did you find?
A: I saw it as an opportunity. There were a lot of good people here, but there was a lot of opportunity to improve processes. Westside had an opportunity to really be part of the community.
Q: How have you seen that opportunity come to life?
A: The community needs to know who we are and what services we offer. Here at Westside, we’ve created a Graduate Medical Education program for residents. Part of my job is to make sure the community knows they have a teaching hospital in their own backyard. We really have totally improved the quality of the care here, with new programs and physicians.
Q: What’s most rewarding about your job?
A: This is one of my catchphrases: “Thank you for everything you do for our patients, our community and, most importantly, each other.” I really believe that we give quality patient care. And then there’s our people. You’ve got to take care of your people because they’re taking care of the patients.
Q: How would you describe this remarkable relationship that you’ve had with HCA Healthcare for almost 50 years?
A: I’m an HCA Healthcare lifer. I think about what HCA Healthcare did for me personally. I had the opportunity to go from a graduate nurse to a CEO in three hospitals. So I always tell colleagues when I do orientation, “I am the poster child for ‘anything is possible if you work hard’; it’s here for you in the HCA Healthcare world.”