By Kim Walter
Winchester Medical Center has welcomed Anne Whiteside as its new vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer.
After earning her bachelor's of science in nursing from Columbia University in New York, Whiteside went directly into the work force as a staff nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. She also worked at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, part of NYU Medical Center.
Throughout her career, Whiteside has served in a variety of positions, including clinical coordinator, educator, consultant and administrator for rehabilitation services, long term care and acute care facilities in New York Connecticut and Texas. She said she's worked for all age and acuity spans.
Most recently, Whiteside was the executive vice president and chief nursing officer at Tomball Regional Hospital, a 358-bed hospital in northwest Houston.
Whiteside said she was happy to make the move to the valley, as her family is dotted along the East Coast. However, one thing that drew her to Winchester Medical Center was it being part of a system.
"Valley Health is very unique," she said. "I really liked its size, as well as its individual components."
Whiteside is no stranger to being in a leadership position, and said she plans to take time to "get to know and appreciate the organization." She plans to learn Valley Health and Winchester Medical Center's history, and won't be hasty in making swift changes.
While it's a little early to say what new things Whiteside might bring to the table, she did say she was happy to learn about the medical center's place in the community and school system. In particular, she was said she was pleased to hear about the recent partnership between Valley Health and local school divisions and colleges to increase the local health care work force.
"Hospitals are a main pillar in a community, along with education, so it's natural for us to partner," she said. "Nursing is a great career choice, and there are so many other clinical avenues that students will have a chance to explore. Offering this bridge between the two entities is a great opportunity to feed our future employment needs."
Whiteside already has taken the time to meet with educational leaders in the area, including those at Shenandoah University. She said she'd like to focus on how the hospital can partner with the college to work on continuing the education of current employees.
She said she also wants to support the university in making sure that nursing graduates are ready to enter the workplace.
Since starting in March, Whiteside said she's been impressed with how quickly the Valley Health community has welcomed her. In particular, chief nursing officers in neighboring communities have been quick to offer information and support as she settles in, she said.
Whiteside said the camaraderie is one benefit of being part of a system.
"I could tell right away that in this community fabric is that desire to be the best that health care has to offer, and that's what I want, too," she said. "Health care is filled with change right now, and we need to be flexible and adaptable. However, I have such faith in nursing as a profession ... this is nursing's time to shine."
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org