Barb, what have you enjoyed about your long career here?
My big regret is not coming sooner to join the health system! I really like the work and have so many great memories. When I was new, I worked on the hospital bond issuance process for finance and got to work closely with Joyce Smith (retired former CEO executive assistant). I was Jodi’s executive assistant for about 20 years and now I’ve been with Ed for about a decade.
It worked out here for me because of how everything changes … I got to see so much growth and feel part of it. We went from being a single hospital to a multiple hospital system — and nothing has slowed down! I’ve liked all our CEOs and executives, and the hardest part was when they left after you’d known them so long.
What’s kept you with this organization?
It’s like a family here. That’s why it’s been so hard for me to leave, even though I’m ready to retire. I spend as much time here as I do at home. It’s an exciting place! But I’m ready to spend more time with my husband, Mike, our three kids and our (seven) grandkids.
Ed is only three days younger than my son. I feel like I know him well — he’s energetic and ‘predictably unpredictable’ and keeps things interesting. He has lots of ideas, says, “Make it happen!” and leaves me to figure things out. I have stayed flexible, I’ve grown and I’ve enjoyed it.
Tell us something about our executive team that you want to share.
They all want the right thing for our patients and employees. They really have people’s best interests at heart. They can’t make everyone happy but they work hard trying. They always do their best for our staff.
Come on, Barb. We really want some intel about Ed …
As for funny things, well … What’s interesting is he comes in the door and we look at each other and nod or shake our heads and often don’t need to say much. And he’s never in a bad mood! He’s good at reading other people. He’s naturally energetic. And … he likes banana pudding. And he likes the brownies I make and bring in. If there are leftovers, he’ll take them home, so sometimes I make extra for him.
That’s more like it. One last question. What’s been your biggest inspiration?
Going into the hospitals, seeing how hard our doctors and nurses work. The way they work together … To me, they are all underappreciated! Everyone here, everyone … they work so hard. And how the CEO and leaders keep everything going. I don’t know how they do it. UF Health is growing and it’s amazing how it’s not slowing down. This place keeps blossoming.