South Florida Hospital News
Thursday February 27, 2020

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May 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 11



CNOs with Executive Experience Easily Transition to Interim Co-CEO Role at Jupiter Medical Center

In mid-March, Jupiter Medical Center appointed Joanne Miller and Steven Seeley as interim co-CEOs, giving the hospital’s board of trustees time to select a new president and CEO.

“The board of trustees made the decision to appoint two people because they thought it was in the best interest of the organization,” says Miller. “It allows for a smooth interim period of time with two leaders that our team members and physicians trust.”
Seeley agrees and adds, “Our vision is to keep moving forward with the strategic plan.”
“Our strategic plan is to be a growing, world-class regional medical center, and we’re increasing the intensity and acuity of the services that we are providing,” he explains.
As part of its strategic plan, Jupiter Medical Center launched a new Comprehensive Stroke Center in December, followed by the James J. Felcyn and Louise Brien Felcyn Observation Unit in January. On April 30, the hospital celebrated the opening of its new Mastroianni Family Pediatric Emergency Department. Later this year, the hospital will unveil the Timothy and Jayne Donahue Cardiac Surgery program; a new five-story patient tower that will include the Level II De George Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Tansky Concierge Suites, patient rooms and office space; and the Anderson Family Cancer Institute.
“That’s a lot happening at once,” Seeley says. “Since we’re in implementation mode for these projects, we don’t want to skip a beat during this transition.”
Both Miller and Seeley have nursing backgrounds. From 2011 to 2018, Seeley was the hospital’s chief nursing officer. Prior to joining Jupiter Medical Center, he held numerous executive positions in nursing and patient care services, including interim CNO at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. Seeley also served as interim CEO at Jupiter Medical Center nearly two years ago.
Miller joined Jupiter Medical Center as chief nursing officer last June. She previously was CNO and vice president of patient care for Sibley Memorial Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, a not-for-profit in Washington, D.C., that is in the Johns Hopkins Health System. She has 28 years of nursing and health care executive experience.
It’s not difficult for nurses to make the shift from the clinical side to the C-suite, comments Miller. Rather, she looks at it as a journey that for her began many years ago.
“I’ve been in the C-suite for 18 years and reported to two CEOs who were nurses,” she says. “They coached and mentored me throughout my career. Having a clinical background lends credibility to your relationships with physicians and team members. It’s really been a mindset paradigm shift.”
Seeley notes that as a nurse, one becomes intertwined with most departments throughout the hospital.
“You’re dependent on other departments, so you have to have strong working relationships with them to do your job and make sure you are providing the best patient care possible,” he says.
The transition to their roles as co-leaders of Jupiter Medical Center has been a seamless one.
“It’s important that we keep communication open and collaborate on decisions,” says Seeley. “We talk on a regular basis about issues and tap into each other about decisions. Most are no-brainers because they are strictly in our specific areas of focus, but since there is a lot of overlap, we want to make sure we are cohesive decision makers.”
Miller says they complement each other well.
“It’s been fabulous,” she says. “Steve and I meet informally a couple of times a day and formally twice a week. We meet with the senior leadership team formally every week and informally, multiple times a day. The good news is, we are in the same suite and so we are in and out of each other’s offices all day.”
For nurses who may be thinking of a career in management, Miller’s advice is simple.
“You absolutely must continue your education through advanced degrees,” she says. “I would also advise aspiring nurse leaders to hire an executive coach and to meet regularly with a formal mentor. Also, networking is extremely important, and you need to continue that throughout your career.”
An advanced degree will open more doors, and nurses learn a great deal with the additional training, notes Seeley.
"It will make you a better nurse, whether you want to stay at the bedside or get into a leadership position,” he says. “There are tremendous leadership opportunities with the growth of health care, but it is competitive. So, your degrees and education can help.”
Seeley also warns that, while management and leadership positions can be rewarding, it also pays to be patient.
“You won’t get the immediate satisfaction that you do when you are taking care of a patient directly, but you can have a much larger and greater impact on more people and patients,” he says. “It just takes a little longer to get there. You need more patience when you are in these roles.”

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