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5 Inspiring Women in Leadership at Valley Health

5 Inspiring Women in Leadership at Valley Health

Meet five of our new leadership team members and learn more about what drives them in their work, connects them to their purpose, and inspires their vision for the future. 

Author Marcus Buckingham said, “People leave managers, not companies.” At Valley Health, we know that inspiring leaders are key to our mission. We’re proud to have great leaders who connect with our teams to create a thriving work environment and make Valley Health a great place to work. Join us in welcoming our new system chief nurse executive, chief nursing officer, chief information officer, SVP of acute care and president of Winchester Medical Center, and VP of nurse operations and professional practice.    

Theresa L. Trivette, DNP, RN, CENP, Chief Nurse Executive (CNE)   

Theresa guides both clinical leadership and advocacy for nursing as Valley Health's System Chief Nurse Executive. Theresa joined the Executive Leadership team in 2021, taking responsibility for the leadership of all nursing functions across the system. Theresa's priorities include ensuring that nurses have the resources, training, and support to provide exceptional patient care.  

Why is it important to reimagine the nursing profession?   

This is one of the most critical times in nursing where the landscape has changed significantly. More patients are requiring more complex care, nursing shortages have created challenges for meeting patients' needs effectively, and we need to be positioned to deliver the highest quality care possible. We must now turn our attention to equipping nurses with resources, knowledge and support to meet the needs of our current environment. We need to support our nursing innovators and lead transformative change in how we deliver care in all settings.  

What is your vision for the future of nursing as a profession and at Valley Health?   

My vision for nursing at Valley Health is to be innovators for the future. We must explore and test new models of care to influence and shape our commitment to improving health and influencing health equity in the communities we serve. We need to support our nursing colleagues to continue to professionally develop and foster an environment to grow and thrive.  

What is your favorite part about working at Valley Health so far?   

The people! We are a community of thoughtful and caring families. The determination of our care team to continue to show up every day and give all they have to our community and for the community to show love and support of our care teams is inspiring!  

What is your connection to purpose?   

My father died from a medical error many years ago. I remember the pain and frustration of navigating that event. I have worked hard to lead teams to improve care and reliability over the years because I never want another dad to die from a medical error. My daily mission is to ensure our care teams have the skills, training, and resources to always deliver on that commitment.  

Teresa Collins, MSN, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at Winchester Medical Center  

As Chief Nursing Officer, Teresa plays a pivotal role in overseeing nursing departments, ensuring the highest-quality care for patients, and serves as a representative for nurses and healthcare employees to executive leadership. Her clinical background includes emergency services, adults and pediatric critical care, and hospital and post-acute care quality.  

What is your vision for the future of nursing as a profession and at Valley Health?   

To have Winchester Medical Center (WMC) be the premier hospital for nursing – offering the highest level of quality care, provide the best place for nurses to practice – including professional growth, and to continue the great relationship between the hospital and the community.  

What is your favorite part about working at Valley Health?   

The welcoming environment – everyone has been very interested in ensuring that my start with WMC and Valley Health is successful.   

What are you most excited about in beginning your new role at Valley Health?   

Continuing to grow the nursing program, our fourth Magnet re-designation, and partnerships both within and outside of the hospital.  

What is your connection to purpose?   

I take my role very seriously. The decisions that I make affect hundreds of nurses, thousands of patients, and the community that we serve. It’s a great honor and a great responsibility.  

Barbara Ballard, MBA, Chief Information Officer   

Technology is crucial to advancing the continuum of care and Barbara leads Valley Health's information technology initiatives, strategy, information systems, and medical record functions. With Barbara's experience in healthcare operations, strategic planning, information technology visioning, and execution, she will lead Valley Health through its next technological transformation: the implementation and building of our own Epic instance connecting information across six hospitals and 90+ locations in our health system.  

What excites you the most about technology and healthcare?  

What is exciting about healthcare technology is the impact it can have to allow us to facilitate better outcomes for patients. Technology and tools can help empower healthcare delivery to result in better clinical decisions, operational outcomes and bring treatment to patients where they are when they need it.  

In your own words, can you share what it means to launch our own EPIC instance?  

It is EPIC! It is an ambitious, extraordinary journey. It takes coordination, dedication, and collaboration!  The journey is to enable better systems which allow teams to collect delicate and valuable information about the patient.  

There are over 8,000 active Epic users, 1,000+physicians & APPs using Epic and almost 100,000 MyChart patients.  

The new instance will include three new core clinical systems to include cardiology, lab and home health. It will expand capabilities for five new applications, including population health.  

It will take all of us here at Valley Health, plus 80 external contract employees and 40 Epic contracted staff. It is a journey to enable better systems for care providers, better outcomes and access for the patients we serve, while maintaining quality services and care without disruption.  

What is your favorite part of your job as a female leader in tech and the healthcare field?   

Health care allows me to serve an extraordinary mission. As a female leader in technology, I am aware of my impact and influence to pave the way to bring others along with me.  

What is your connection to purpose?  

In childhood, I was fortunate to have family and friends who chose noble callings in health care and introduced me to the care setting. I began my journey as a candy striper for Holliday Hospital (now Arnold Palmer Hospital) in Orlando when I was 14. I enjoyed seeing a difference you could make by caring for others. A year later at the age of 15, my father had a cardiac event and underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery at Florida Hospital AdventHealth, it was traumatic and frightening, but those who saved and cared for my father made an impression on me. What I found out during that time is that I was a bit too shy of the impact of seeing someone suffering, after having to be saved by very observant nurses, from passing out when I saw my father on a bypass machine. Fast forward a few decades later, I was presented with an opportunity to join the organization that saved my father in a technical leadership role and this has led to a very rewarding and impactful 24 years of service. I feel truly fortunate to be a part of a mission that allows me to be an instrument of hope and healing here at Valley Health.  

Tonya Smith, Pharm D, Senior VP of Acute Care and President of Winchester Medical Center  

Tonya plays a key leadership role, working closely with members of the healthcare leadership team to achieve patient care goals and overseeing operations at Valley Health's largest hospital – Winchester Medical Center.   

What is your connection to purpose?   

I started my career in healthcare as a pharmacy technician while I was in pharmacy school. I was drawn to pharmacy as it seemed to match up nicely with my skills in math and science and would be an opportunity to help others. Not long after graduating pharmacy school, I got a job as a Director of Pharmacy at a hospital. It didn’t take long for me to realize that although I enjoyed being on the clinical team, my greatest joy in my work came from taking care of my team – caring for the people who care for people. And that continues to be what connects me to my work every day.    

What are you excited about the most for the future of Valley Health and Winchester Medical Center?   

I am excited to be (hopefully) coming out on the other side of COVID and taking the opportunity to reconnect with each other, our patients, and our community. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do my part to support all of our caregivers in doing their best work to take care of patients and each other.    

Sharon Rigney, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President, Nursing Operations and Professional Practice   

With her recent promotion as Vice President, Nursing Operations & Professional Practice, Sharon oversees nursing operations, supporting Valley Health nurses in the workforce through development and professional practice, and executive management of the Patient Logistics Center.  

Where do you see the nursing profession headed at Valley Health in the next five, 10, 20 years?   

Our nursing workforce will continue to face incremental challenges as we rethink our traditional approaches in realigning our profession. Technology will be a key member of the care team as we head towards sustainability, creativity, and innovation. We must take the lead on healthcare progression and always find value, purpose and joy in the work we have chosen to do.