At this year’s Milestones Service Awards banquet, our leadership team and fellow attendees acknowledged this year’s “shining star” — Rhea Broyles, M.S.N., R.N., the evening’s only 45-year Milestone Award recipient.
In 1971, Broyles began her journey with our organization at what was then Alachua General Hospital, or AGH. During her time there, Broyles earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing. She held a position as a graduate nurse and then was promoted to nurse manager.
As the hospital evolved as part of the UF Health Shands system, Broyles built a challenging and rewarding career.
“I only planned to stay a few years after nursing school, but there were all types of opportunities there,” Broyles said.
Following the community hospital’s closure, Broyles took on a new role at the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety. In 2010, she became a senior quality improvement specialist, supporting our patient care providers by analyzing current hospital processes and finding new ways to improve them. The updated procedures on which Broyles worked have become hardwired in the organization and have helped improve quality patient care at UF Health. She attributes much of her success in this role to her nursing experience.
“As nurses, we understand how patient care should be delivered,” Broyles said. “We’re able to look at things very objectively.”
After 45 years of service here, Broyles retired in February. During her time at UF Health, she said she witnessed and experienced many changes across the organization and believes that the patient focus remains our priority.
“Over the years, I’ve seen so much growth and change as to how we provide patient care,” she said. “Although technology has improved the care we provide, our foundation is still the patient. No matter how technical we get and depend on new inventions, we continue to look at the patient as a person.”