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Marie Moore’s leadership skills were discovered in an unexpected, and somewhat embarrassing, way, she says.
It started with a side conversation before a committee meeting and ended with the person who held Mercy’s chief nursing officer position becoming an encourager for Moore to eventually take the position. At the time, Moore had no idea she was casually chatting with health system CNO Linda Knodel.
“Oh, how ignorance is bliss,” Moore says. “She asked to meet with me after the committee was over. Once I discovered who she was, I was terrified that I had said something wrong or made a fool of myself. It was the opposite.”
Moore was leading the medication safety committee on that day. And she now realizes Knodel saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself.
“She took notice of my performance and encouraged my professional development. She encouraged me to continue my education and obtain my master’s at Missouri State University in health care administration, and to apply for a leadership position at Mercy,” Moore says of Knodel’s influence. “This ignited a flame that is indescribably the reason I am where I stand today.”
The baton was passed from one CNO to another as Moore was promoted to the post this summer. She started at Mercy Hospital Springfield 14 years ago, as a surgical telemetry tech, and moved up to leadership roles. During a two-year stint managing patient logistics, Moore led a 40% increase in patient volumes through management of a transfer center to Mercy care centers throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, and she helped reduce acute care lengths of stay by nearly 7% by coordinating with the multidisciplinary teams.
In her two years prior as Mercy’s director of operations, hospitalist and intensivist, Moore initiated a $4 million reduction plan for operating expenses in her oversight of three intensive care units and 75 providers. All told, she had operational responsibility for the acute care physician group with an average census of 500.
Now, she looks out for other budding leaders and hopes to do for them what Knodel did for her.
“I have a responsibility as a leader. I must not only provide care and access to our community, but I must also build, encourage and invest in our workforce of the future.”
She knows it’s a tall order.
“The great resignation and burden our health care workers have carried these past several years is a challenge and weight that both health care systems in our community are carrying,” she says. “I would like to disrupt and change the landscape of hospital operations. Nursing is one of the largest service lines across all access points and touches our patients like no other. I truly believe it is the key to continually improving our care.”
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.