Kelly Cullen, Executive Vice President and COO
People often ask me what’s the first thing I think about when I am driving into work at Tampa General Hospital each morning. Maybe it is because my career is rooted in nursing, but while I am sitting in traffic, I can’t help focusing on how our entire 8,000-person team and I are going to impact the lives of the patients who have entrusted us with their care.
As the Chief Operating Officer of Tampa General, my “official role” is to manage TGH partnerships with key constituents, while at the same time overseeing clinical and operational strategies for the organization, making sure things run both smoothly and efficiently.I also assist John in the deployment of the strategic vision that he and our team has established for the medical center.
And while I’m always focused on increasing our ability to provide world-class, affordable care, I feel like my ultimate personal responsibility is to ensure that everyone here at TGH feels taken care of, heard and seen from the moment they walk in the door. And by everyone, I mean everyone–patients, their families as well as the team members who make amazing things here happen every day.
I am empowered to do this by the experiences I have gained and relationships I have built here at TGH and in my nearly three-decade long career at BayCare Health Systems where I started as a nurse right out of school. These experience, hard work, and amazing collaborations and colleagues have allowed me to be fortunate enough to help lead TGH every day, And, even though, I just came here a year ago, it feels like home
Specifically, in my work with our team, patients and families, I try and focus on two key behaviors:
Leading with compassion:as I make my way through the hospital each day, I often think of the family members in the waiting rooms. I recognize how scared they are during their time with us and try and work with our team to be proactive in caring for them as well. The truth is that they often are more worried then the patient/loved one, who might not be as cognizant as to what is going on around them. I too have been the grateful and scared daughter, granddaughter and niece sitting in a hospital waiting room. It is a humbling experience.
Demonstrating that we all matter and the integral role, we all play at the hospital: from the doctors to the transport team to the folks in environmental services, it takes all of us doing our best to make TGH operate at the world-class level we strive for each day. More importantly, it takes all of us working together for us to be our most effective. As we continue to move forward with our new strategic efforts that will allow us to transform care, collaboration will be essential.
As I move into my second year at TGH, I am excited by the new collaborations we are building, the strategic efforts and our work with physicians, our increased focus on technology to leverage greater patient services and care and our continued focus on delivering the highest quality care possible. As I do this and as I come into the hospital each day, I will continue to be motivated by the folks I meet and the grateful patients and families who depend on our lifesaving work.