As a nurse, Joy Powell stepped outside traditional medicine to learn business and finance roles in a hospital setting.
As an administrator, she became a champion of diversity as director of human resources, winning an award for the hospital.
And as the new vice president for Memorial Hospital North, Powell faces the challenge of recruiting a work force for an entire full-service hospital.
“I was the clinical manager of nursing,” she said. “And then I kind of stepped out of the box for nursing, when the opportunity became available to learn the business and finance side of the house.”
Powell has worked at Memorial for eight years, since she and her husband returned to Colorado Springs at the end of his military career. She’s been in nursing for 22 years, but her administrative career started with the goal to create a central office for registration.
“That was so important, people get our first impression in registration,” she said. “The second is that we have to have accurate information for services. It was really inconsistent at the time. We standardized that front-end piece and started a new concept.”
Administration was new to Powell, but she says it was an interesting challenge. She soon moved into human resources, becoming director of human resources and employee relations/cultural diversity in 2003.
“It was a real eye opener,” she said. “I spent years on the clinical side, moving to the business side was just amazing. In the clinical arena, you just take care of the patient. As an administrator, you get to see it all come together.”
Her biggest challenges have come as she moved from position to position within Memorial.
“I moved out of my area of expertise, and had to learn new jobs,” she said. “I had to learn different ways that areas of the hospital outside of nursing operated. It was challenging, but challenges motivate me. I looked forward to each challenge.”
Her view of both sides of the hospital environment – clinical and administrative – will come in handy in her new job. Memorial Hospital North, an 86-bed facility, is currently under construction on Briargate Boulevard.
The first phase will employ nearly 300 doctors, nurses and technicians.
“I’m able to speak to the clinical side and its challenges,” she said. “I know how the process works for nurses, and I can enhance their ability to do their job. It’s very exciting.”
Powell says the opportunity to take the helm at Memorial North was one she could not turn down. She said her work as a nurse, in registration and as human resource director led to this position.
“I looked at all the areas, and I feel like all the work I’ve done has prepared me to take on the challenge of being an administrator at Memorial North,” she said. “I know the clinical side, the administrative side and I know the different functions. Nursing is a passion of mine, and I hope to create a culture and a vision at Memorial North that reflects that.”
Powell has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in human resource management. Her goals as new administrator are to recruit a highly skilled, broad employee base and to encourage training for career advancement.
“I have a proven track record,” she said. “I can take on a challenge and step up to the plate. I look forward to this opportunity. My biggest challenge is hiring the right staff. I think the day-to-day operations will be challenging too; but getting the right people there is so important.”
When she’s not working, Powell believes in having fun, providing a balance for her life. She said she always takes time for herself – jazzercise, reading and traveling.
She has a new grandbaby in San Diego as well. Her former employees say that she provides guidance without micromanaging.
“She gets out of the way,” said Ellen Frohardt, employment manager for human resources. “She lets people do their jobs, but she stays in touch with them during the process. She definitely is not a micromanager.”
Frohardt worked with Powell for several years while Powell was director of human resources at Memorial. She says she remembers her former boss for her wonderful sense of humor.
“She has a great sense of fun,” she said. “She always has time for fun; and believes in having fun at work. She’s also very active in the community.”
Powell is past president of the Southern Colorado Chapter of Critical Care Nurses, past president of Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority, is on the executive board of the Pikes Peak Hospice and is a member of the NAACP.
She won the 2001 Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing.
She credits much of her success to the working environment at Memorial.
“Memorial has affected my ability to grow and develop,” she said. “I’ll always be grateful for their recognition and willingness to promote talent. They have a process in place to promote people, and to recognize the abilities that are so important to developing good people to work with.”