Making Waves of Influence

by Debbie Simon, UnityPoint Health

Helen Keller said, “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” As I reflect on her words, my mind turns to the countless influential women who have dedicated their lives to the service of others. Many of them are nurses at UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor. I am certain that without their strong leadership and commitment, our organization wouldn’t be able to deliver outstanding healthcare. Thanks to them and many like them throughout our nursing staff we can realize our vision of the “best outcome for every patient, every time.”

We count on influential women like Jennifer Reid. She’s a charge nurse on the Methodist campus, making sure we meet our patients’ most critical needs when they’re with us. Jennifer says her female role models taught her to be fearless. She’s an advocate for patients, speaking up when they can’t. She shares that the women she looks up to lead by example, always putting others before themselves. They know their opinions matter, and they’re not afraid to take a stand. We are proud of nurses like Jennifer who are there for our patients during critical times. The strong voice of a caring nurse can often make all the difference in a patient’s care.

It’s a similar story with Tammy Cooper. She’s the infection prevention coordinator on our Proctor campus. Tammy says she draws inspiration from the incredible life of Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who overcame obstacles to achieve a remarkable goal, helping countless people during times of great need. Tammy sees those same qualities in the nurses who have mentored her throughout her career. When a nurse asks her for advice, Tammy tells them to take every chance they get to learn new skills. Knowledge is one of the keys to becoming an asset to your organization… and a woman of influence.

Nancy Neal began her career with us in 1975. She tells young nurses throughout UnityPoint Health – Peoria to never stop learning and always strive to reach your full potential. It’s important to be open to new ideas and challenges, she says, never settling for less than the best. Nancy sets an important example for those who look up to her, proving that influential women are incredibly valuable in evaluating and improving processes for positive change. She says women in leadership must be enthusiastic about what they do, sharing their visions, and lifting others up into new and exciting opportunities.

These women of influence are helping to shape the fabric of our organization and affecting the future of healthcare. Their actions are rooted in a deep passion for serving others, and that’s evident to the people who work with them. Nurses like these three are having a profound influence on our nursing staff, our patients, the organization and the community. It takes all of us together to make positive changes. Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” There are many women of influence at UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor that are creating ripples. In fact, they are making waves. iBi