Monday, October 25, 2021

Gratitude, Change, and a Healthier Future

To Your Health

When Physicians Regional Healthcare System announced that Katie Bove, Chief Nursing Officer at our Collier Blvd. campus, had decided to retire effective June 21, 2019, it felt like the end of an era. Though I’ve been a part of Physicians Regional for many years, like so many staff members and patients, I just didn’t know a “Physicians Regional” without Katie Bove in it.

A native of Burlington, VT, Katie joined Physicians Regional in 2000 when we were known as the Cleveland Clinic. The irony is that Katie originally planned to work part-time; nevertheless, her commitment to “those in need” quickly landed her in the high-profile role of Director of Nursing. And “those in need” went far beyond the countless patients whose lives she touched over the years. They included numerous other medical professionals Katie has successfully mentored over the years—me included.

Katie would go on to serve as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for the Collier campus beginning in 2013; however, her influence is felt throughout the system. She opened the operating suites at the Pine Ridge hospital under the Cleveland Clinic in 2000 and was very involved in the development and opening of the surgical services at the Collier Blvd. campus in 2007.

Through Katie’s leadership, Physicians Regional became the gold standard in surgical care. Katie Bove is a force—and we are all stronger for having her in our lives.

“I have loved seeing Physicians Regional grow and develop into a real center of excellence,” Katie says. “I have really enjoyed mentoring young nurses and young leaders and connecting them all. Picking out talented people and helping them get to the next level—I really love that. I got it from my mother; it’s in my soul.”

Despite Katie’s exit, our staff and patients continue to be in excellent hands. Susan McKinley, the Chief Nursing Officer for our Pine Ridge Campus, has been promoted to Market CNO, adding Katie’s Collier campus team to her impressive staff list.

And Katie was among the first to celebrate her promotion: “I think one leader bringing us into the future is important. Susan’s promotion is going to bring everyone together—it’s going to be one camp, one team. It’s not going to be about Collier or Pine Ridge; it’s going to be about one hospital.”

Susan McKinley joined PRHS in December 2012 as the System Director of Quality and was promoted to Chief Quality Officer in 2014. She was subsequently promoted to the CNO for the Pine Ridge campus in 2015.

She brings expertise as a nursing executive and quality & risk management specialist to her role as Market CNO. Susan is a certified professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ) and risk management (CPHRM). Throughout her 40-year career, She has served in a variety of clinical and administrative positions in the United States as well as in New Zealand and Australia.

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Education at Massey University, New Zealand, and went on to earn a post-graduate diploma in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Management.

“Susan is very intelligent and has tremendous attention to detail,” says Katie. “She knows how to get from A to Z because she can see the details as well as the big picture. I admire that so much.”

When asked about goals, Susan quickly responded: “To deliver the best patient experience that we can. Being hospitalized can be a very isolating and frightening experience and we always need to have empathy and compassion. We need to be visible and available, sometimes just to answer even the simplest of questions.”

The conversation then takes on a more personal tone. “We are such a small community—a lot of our nurses have lived here most of their lives and end up caring for their friends and families. They understand the fabric of our community.”

And just as we are part of one community, Physicians Regional is ultimately one healthcare organization. Yes, we have two hospitals and various clinics, but we move forward with a shared vision of providing the best care to everyone who walks through any of our doors.

The support Katie and Susan have shown all of us—and each other—is extraordinary. And though I will have to get used to a Physicians Regional without Katie, I find myself filled with gratitude. Not just for Katie, but for every member of our team, especially those who have given 5, 10, fifteen years or more to this organization.

Though change can be tough, without it, no one can grow. I am so proud to lead an organization focused on the changes necessary to ensure a healthier future for all of us.

And with tremendous respect and appreciation, I stand aside to give Katie the final word: “It’s been a pleasure to come to work every day. I’ve had a lot of fun—I have always believed in having fun. All my days have favorite memories—some days we have laughed so hard that we cried, and every bad experience somehow strengthens you and makes you better. Every single day is a chance for something new and special to happen.”

And what’s next for Katie? “I have no plans other than to go home and clean out my freezer.”

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