Work of Heart

The morning the call came is a morning that will be remembered for a very long time—maybe forever.

A conference room in Fairfield and one in Vacaville were filled. We had gathered to eavesdrop. Kathy Richerson, Chief Nursing Officer, was on one end of the call. On the other was the leader of a respected national organization that had scrutinized every step in our five-year journey.

It was epic news: We had earned the coveted and extremely difficult-to-achieve “Magnet” designation for quality patient care and nursing excellence.

We were told we could not cheer while the call was in progress, so we all silently celebrated. Once the call was completed, cheers erupted and tears flowed.

Our nurses were also cited for innovations in professional nursing practice, their advanced education and their community involvement.

Long from now, folks will look back and recognize it as a landmark day. It is also an exclamation point on a 43-year career in nursing for Kathy Richerson, who has been with NorthBay Healthcare for the past 15 years. An era ends when she officially retires July 31.

I have no doubt the legacy will continue as the next generation of nursing leaders steps up to take the reins. This national distinction for our nurses is embedded in the culture of our organization. It’s not a one-time triumph. You see, for our dedicated cadre of healthcare professionals, it is now the NorthBay Way.

We believe we are fundamentally different than other healthcare providers here in Solano County and beyond. When it comes to nursing, we use a professional model rather than what I call an industrial model. This great “Magnet” distinction for NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital is evidence of that.

I’m so proud of Kathy for culminating a career by adding this jewel to her crown. I’m just as honored to work with such a competent, dedicated, compassionate corps of dazzling professionals.

In this issue of Wellspring, we want to explain how 800 nurses are different and how they are making a difference. Enjoy!

Gary Passama

President and Chief Executive Officer

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