Our plans are not always God’s plan. I learned this lesson years ago when a health diagnosis that was terminal impacted my family. While that situation brought many challenges, the care that my family and I received by the healthcare team inspired me to want to get involved with healthcare. My desire was to impact others with empathy, advocacy and empowerment during health crisis.
I’ve spent the past 24 years in non-patient care areas of acute care hospitals working as a Corporate Compliance Manager and Regulatory Manager of Patient Safety & Reliability. In 2015, I took on the role as Risk Manager for MountainView Hospital, where I am currently the Director of Patient Safety & Risk Management/Patient Safety Officer. I currently serve on the Far West Division’s DEI Counsel, and I’m also the chairperson for MountainView Hospital’s facility DEI Committee. These opportunities were definitely not in my panoramic view but again, it wasn’t my plan.
What keeps me in the healthcare industry is the ongoing need to ensure that patients receive care in an environment that is safe, with systems that are highly reliable and that the care provided is equitable. “Caring like family” means that we think of our patients as if they were our mother, father, family member or dearest friend. We would expect nothing less than for our loved ones to receive the safest patient care possible.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family/friends and “grand princesses.” I’ve learned to appreciate the small things in life and focus on the things that money can’t buy. Being purposeful in saying, “I love you” to family & friends means so much more post COVID.
As a leader that has a passion in the DEI space, I think it is important to highlight diversity in our workforce and our community. Safety culture is a byproduct of staff feeling inclusion in the work environment.
During this Black History month, I would like to highlight James Durham (1783). Although born into slavery, he learned to read, write and work with the patients of physicians that owned him as a slave. Talk about an attitude of service!! Eventually, he moved to New Orleans, where my family roots are, bought his freedom and opened a medical clinic where he successfully treated patients from all racial backgrounds. While he did not have a formal medical degree, some of his successes include treating patients with Diphtheria and Yellow fever. He highlights for me an attitude of service to one’ s community and providing care to everyone regardless of background and differences.