Recently-named president Diane P. Kelly talks to us about her new role, navigating Covid-19 and what’s on the horizon for the hospital.
What made you decide to get into the healthcare industry?
It was not a direct path. I started out as a business major and purposely avoided healthcare as two of my sisters went into healthcare: one a physician and the other a registered nurse. I was determined to have my own story. In my first year of college I took a job as a nursing assistant on the weekends for extra money. I was hooked from there. I loved my role in that nursing home and for the first time I saw what my sisters saw. The importance of human connection and providing care to those in need gave me so much more than I gave.
What are you most looking forward to in this new position?
I certainly recognize that we are all entering a new era in healthcare, given the unprecedented times we are in due to the international Covid pandemic. As a result, I find myself, along with my colleagues, looking at what we have learned and how we can deliver care differently, while at the same time work collectively as an industry to restore the health and stability of our systems so we meet the needs of those who depend on us for their care and ongoing wellness. As a registered nurse and health- care executive, I find this time offers a unique opportunity to think strategically about a different care model, with the focus on using our access to technology to enhance our reach to our communities.
How has your experience—both at Greenwich Hospital, where you’ve been since 2018, and previously—prepared you for this new role?
I have been fortunate to have served as the Chief Operating Officer at Greenwich for the past two years, working closely with Norman Roth. Leadership transitions work best when they are well thought out and planned. I have been fortunate to benefit from this, as Norm has been a great mentor and leader with this transition in mind. Prior to coming to Greenwich I also served as the chief operating officer for 10 years at Berkshire Medical Center in Western Massachusetts.
What has it been like navigating Covid-19 at Greenwich Hospital?
Managing through the onset of the Covid pandemic was something I had never experienced or could have envisioned. The uncertainty and volatility of the situation became manageable due to the expert and dedicated team we have at both Greenwich Hospital and Yale New Haven Health. Healthcare is best delivered as a team, and I had the honor and privilege to witness firsthand the strength of our doctors, nurses and staff.
Are there any new or upcoming initiatives or programs you’re looking forward to implementing?
This is an exciting time for Greenwich Hospital. As part of Yale New Haven Health, we are focusing on building on the current strength and excellence of the medical and hospital staff to move to the next level in partnership with the health system and Yale Medicine. This collabo- ration enables us to bring expert care in the fields of heart and vascular care, can- cer care, enhanced pediatric services and neuroscience care. This includes the addition of expert physicians, state-of- the-art technology and patient-centered facilities.
What are some ways the community can get involved?
We are very fortunate to have the support of this devoted community. When Greenwich was at the epicenter of the pandemic, the outpouring of community support was heartfelt and greatly appreciated by all of our staff. As kind and generous as this was, it was not a surprise as we are fortunate to be serving a community that has been generous with their trust in us to provide their healthcare. Greenwich Hospital has been the beneficiary of years of engagement by our friends in the region who participate as volunteer leaders on our Hospital Auxiliary, event committees organized by the Office of Development and members of our Board of Trustees. We enjoy and benefit from their expertise and enthusiasm for our work as well as their generosity through philanthropy. We encourage our community to reach out and inform us of their interest to get involved.