During March, the Salt Lake Chamber is highlighting influential women in Utah. By sharing their stories and advice, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of Women’s History Month.
What does success mean to you? Share your path to success and the challenges you’ve overcome to get there.
Success means living the best version of myself by maximizing my talents, serving others, and not giving up even when things seem impossible. It means being creative to find a path forward.
I was born and raised in Kenya. Knowing that my parents could not afford to pay for my college education, I started my own design and t-shirt business that helped pay for part of my college education.
My elementary and high school education in Kenya did not include typing, computer science or information technology. In addition to culture shock, I had a rude awakening when I came to college in the U.S. and on day one of class, the instructor announced that we had to submit our assignments using a computer and Microsoft Word. Realizing that I had to catch-up quickly, I spent countless hours in the computer lab teaching myself how to use a computer, MS Word, and how to type. I increased my typing speed by participating in social chat rooms and writing daily emails to friends and family.
When I started my nursing career, the path to leadership was not very clear. I did not know how to get mentorship or champions. So, I began to volunteer for projects, expanded roles, and even took a pay cut to be able to get into a clinical informatics and project management role.
Actively taking control of my career and being deliberate about finding opportunities, mentors, and champions along the way continues to serve me well.
Share an experience of a past initiative or project that you’re proud of.
I am proud of many initiatives and projects. But what I am most proud of are the people on my teams — from each leader to each member. It is because of them that we have been able to demonstrate that we can improve the Healthcare Information Technology experience for our clinicians and give them time back for patient care.
For example, we worked together in collaboration and partnership with our nursing leaders and frontline nurses in the medical-surgical and critical care units to significantly reduce nursing physical assessment documentation burden. As a result, we decreased 11,101 hours/annually of nursing documentation time and 27.4 million fewer clicks in the system for Adult ICU Systems Assessment; 38,075 hours/annually of nursing documentation time and 78.6 million fewer clicks for Adult Med Surg Systems Assessment; and 1,644 hours/annually and 3.1 million fewer clicks in the system for Pediatric Physical Assessment.
How can others follow in your footsteps?
When you find your calling do not be afraid to have a bigger vision. And if you want to go far and succeed with your vision, bring others along and create an environment that allows them to maximize their talents.
What’s next? What are your current and future aspirations?
I want to help make healthcare affordable, expand access, and reduce healthcare disparities by developing and implementing new healthcare delivery models. I believe by partnering with communities and others inside and outside the healthcare industry, we can develop new clinical models to expand the nursing roles in new settings in innovative ways.
What are three things you’ve learned from your female mentors?
First, don’t discount your passion and what brings you joy when designing your career path. Take the time to reflect on what brings you joy and incorporate that in your career and/or professional life. This approach continues to contribute to my career and helps me maximize my talents.
Second, keep learning and be deliberate about your career and/or professional life. Consider your whole self and life not just your career. This approach continues to help me stay grounded in my relationships with my family, friends, and loved ones.
Third, People are important so treat them well and genuinely care about them. People should be number one on your strategy and then everything else in your strategy will fall into place. This approach continues to help me put together awesome teams that experience joy in their work and deliver results.
*Stay updated on more stories, events and information on Women’s History Month by visiting the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s History Month website and engaging in our weekly challenges.