Meet the nurse running a $13 billion health system

  1. The Advisory Board Company
    July 22, 2013

    Meet the nurse running a $13 billion health system

    Lessons from the C-Suite: Judy Persichilli, CEO of Catholic Health East-Trinity Health

    Q: How did you go from staff nurse to hospital administrator?

    Persichilli: I've always worked in Catholic hospitals--my first job was as an ICU nurse at St. Francis in Trenton.

    After several years, I came to the realization that there was a lot more going on in the hospital than I could see, on my level. And often, the people making the decisions didn't seem to have much clinical knowledge.

    That struck me as odd--I thought decision-makers in healthcare should have some clinical background--and I wanted to be able to help shape the type of care we delivered.
    So I went back to school and ended up getting a Master's in Administration.

    Q: And since then, your career has been a study in achievement: hospital executive, hospital CEO, and now health system CEO. Can you talk about a time when your path didn't unfold as planned?

    Persichilli: About thirty years ago, I was asked to start a QA program in Trenton. And while there were challenges, I loved the opportunity--it gave me a really broad perspective on hospital operations.

    But then I got an unexpected surprise. The sister CEO came and told me, "I'd like you to go work in the finance division."

    And I thought, "No way. I love quality; it's my life's work."

    Needless to say, I was moved. I spent several years in the finance division and that provided invaluable learnings that helped to shape my career.

    Persichilli named one of the 'Top Women in Healthcare'
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 8, '13
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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  3. by   jaybless
    would love to be like you some day.. thanks for sharing
  4. by   Flyboy17
    It is important to have a nurse up top, as well as business persons, doctors, etc. What I like most is how she mentions the lack of clinical knowledge of most persons that are making decisions that directly affect clinical action.
    I am a firm believer of mandatory patient care hours, where a clinical coordinator, director, VP, etc. has to do some direct patient care.
    This can be accomplished becouse most of these positions are held by RTs, RNs, PA-C, Lab Techs, etc. I have seen it work with our current director and he can say that decisions he made either did or did not work well for our unit because he sees the direct effects of his decisions.