Good Samaritan Hospital Transition Leaders Present to Dayton Ohio Organization of Nurse Executives

At the July meeting of the Dayton Ohio Organization of Nurse Executives (DOONE), Premier Health System Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Peggy Mark, PhD; then-Good Samaritan Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Christie Gray, MS, RN, NEA-BC; Miami Valley Hospital Director of Women’s Services Melissa Merritt, MSN, RN; and Diana Pearson, BSN, RN, C-EFM, former nurse manager of Women’s Services at Good Samaritan Hospital, presented a panel discussion titled Coming Together: Two Hospitals’ Integration of Women’s Services Through A Hospital Closure. Christie has since transitioned to the chief nursing officer position at Miami Valley Hospital; Melissa is now associate chief nursing officer of women’s services; and Diana is nurse manager for Miami Valley Hospital’s antepartum unit.

During the hour-long continuing education discussion, each member of the panel shared and compared their thoughts and feelings from when each first were informed of the decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital, to the realization of a new, transformed Women’s Services team at Miami Valley Hospital.

Diana explained the vast array of emotions during the process and included stories and photographs of the somber closing ceremony of the unit, as well as the celebration of the last baby born at Good Samaritan Hospital created by the staff and leadership of the unit.

Melissa recounted her personal story and how she and her team put themselves in others’ shoes, worked together to have fun welcoming sessions prior to the actual transition, and developed new on-boarding orientation for the experienced staff.

Christie shared her initial thoughts of personal impact and how she simultaneously thought of the impact to all the Good Samaritan Hospital staff. She discussed how the nursing leadership team grieved and developed a strong support system for each other and the nursing staff, and how the entire Premier Health system came together to support Good Samaritan Hospital employees.

Peggy spoke to all the stages of mourning that everyone from administration and leadership to individual staff members experienced. She also reflected on how she could see and experience the strength, resilience, and passion nurses have for each other and for their patients and families – the art of nursing.

Sharing their stories and experiences was part of the healing process for the four-member panel. It was a reminder to all nurse executives attending that through strong leadership skills, positive attitude, and meeting employees where they are, teams can and will continue to rise to the most chaotic, stressful, difficult, sad, and overwhelming situations.

As Peggy stated in one of her past messages to the nursing community: “Having experience and even expertise in leading and managing change doesn't mean it is easy or comfortable. Sometimes it feels like we are moving mountains. With the amount and pace of change we face today, we must call on all the support, creativity and resources available to us to manage through effectively and compassionately."

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