January 23, 2012
McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital's new Vice President of Patient Care Services carries a strong influence from her father into her new job. Marta Hudson, RN, MS, learned life lessons from her father such as having passion for what you love, living a life of integrity and loving the people of southwest Nebraska.
Marta grew up in Benkelman, moving to North Platte during high school. Her father, the late Don Hudson (known as Doc Hudson or Dr. Don), was a veterinarian in Benkelman until 1977 when he accepted a position as Extension Research Veterinarian for the University of Nebraska at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte.
Growing up, Marta helped her father perform C-sections on cows, spay cats and dogs and work cattle at the sale barn. "I loved to go with my father on veterinary calls particularly during calving season," she said. "My father encouraged me to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing when I was a young girl, because I could be a nurse in a rural or urban environment and I would have many opportunities."
She followed his advice, completing her bachelor's degree in nursing from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and later her masters degree in nursing management from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
Early in her career, Marta recognized her passion for leadership and management. Over the past 20 plus years, she has served patients, staff, and physicians in leadership positions in acute care hospitals. She values her diverse experience leading and managing staff in union, rural, urban, for profit, not for profit and faith based environments.
After her brother, Nick Hudson's death in 2006, Marta returned home to North Platte to pursue her passion for ranching and support her mother, LaVonne Hudson, while working in a leadership role at Great Plains Regional Medical Center. In 2008, she accepted a position as an interim nurse leader and consultant for B.E. Smith, Inc. For the past three years she had the opportunity to work as an interim nurse leader and consultant in Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health hospitals in northern California. Marta developed comprehensive engagement evaluations and action plans based on the organizations' strategic plans, and managed hospital nursing departments.
She is excited to be working in Nebraska again. But even during her consulting travels, her heart never left the state. She and her mother still own small ranches in Benkelman and North Platte, One thing she learned from her father was, "The people in southwest Nebraska are the best people in the world," which Marta heartily agrees. She lives in North Platte with her partner E. Scott Carroll, DO, who is hand surgeon affiliated with North Platte Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.
As Vice President of Patient Care Services, Marta has the responsibility to provide leadership for the departments of Patient Care Services to include med/surg, swing-bed, surgery, women's services, emergency, laboratory, respiratory, performance improvement, home health & hospice, social services, and pharmacy. In her position, she will serve as a member of the administrative council, along with Jim Ulrich, President and CEO, Tory Bruntz, Vice President of Finance and Karen Kliment, Vice President of Ancillary Services.
Her first order of business at Community Hospital is to shadow those staff members who directly report to her and to get to know the nursing staff in all shifts. Her goal is to develop relationships and trust before moving forward with any changes. "I would describe my leadership style as transformational," she said. "I am a huge proponent of shared decision making; to make sure that the staff who are doing the work are making the decisions about their work.
Referring to a wall quote from Jim Ulrich in the patient wing corridor, "Through these halls walks a premiere Healthcare Team with a passion to exceed your expectations," Marta says "I am here to help the staff achieve that vision. In my role, I'm here to serve the patients, staff and physicians—to be a servant to them and to provide support."
Overall, Community Hospital has exceeded her expectations on many levels. "This facility is exceptional," she said, referring to the new patient wing and soon-to-be-completed surgery wing. "I consider it a privilege to be a member of the leadership team. I am very impressed with the vision, mission, values, leadership, staff, and facilities at Community Hospital that would compete with what I have seen in other hospitals.
With her experience as a nurse leader and as a consultant, Marta has ideas to bring to the table. "I have a wealth of experience in implementing evidence-based patient satisfaction strategies." In her consulting work, she learned about the concept of "The Care Experience." "That includes everything from how we communicate with the patient during bedside report to making sure they are informed about their plan of care, that their pain is well managed and our staff is recognized for giving excellent care," she said.
Marta's father died from an accident in 2003 but she carries his life values into the work place. "One of the values at Community Hospital is integrity," she said. "That is one of the things I am known for and my father was known for." His work ethic and life lessons are ingrained in her.
It's obvious that her father's passion, integrity and love for the people of this area have given Marta a strong foundation for her new position at Community Hospital.