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Conversations with CEO’s Series: Jessica Embry

We’re excited to continue our Conversations with CEO’s Series with Jessica Embry at Yalobusha General Hospital.

What drove you to pursue a career in the healthcare industry?

I wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of others. As a young girl, I always wanted to do something that would help others. I attended The University of Mississippi Medical Center where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. I worked clinically in critical care and then moved to endoscopy. After eight years of clinical work, I moved to the role of Quality and Risk Management. Later, I added Chief Operations Officer to the Quality and Risk duties. Each of these opportunities helped to prepare me for a leadership role as hospital administrator. Working in healthcare allows me to contribute to creating a healthier world.

What are some issues facing healthcare today, and what one leadership strategy do you feel will help you deal with them?

One of the greatest issues that stands out to me, since the Pandemic began, has been staffing shortages. That, along with financial challenges, is a test that takes a whole team approach. I believe one leadership strategy that will help us to deal with these issues and many more is creativity. There isn’t a book on every situation that arises, so we must be creative in healthcare to recruit, hire and retain staff, all while making ends meet.

Briefly, where do you see healthcare in the future?

Advanced technology will continue to play a role in healthcare, hopefully giving patients more information in less time. Telehealth has grown since the pandemic, and I see the continuation of advances in this area of healthcare. We will continue to see healthcare geared toward disease prevention rather than seeking treatment. This will, in turn, continue to affect in-patient admissions.

What leadership tips would you pass along to healthcare leaders who may be just starting their careers or who may be feeling their leadership careers aren’t advancing as they wish?

Surround yourself with competent, hardworking people who “buy in” to helping your healthcare organization succeed. Tell your people that you appreciate them. Remember that it is not about you. Keep the “big picture” the “big picture.” Learn to delegate what can be delegated. Focus on what only you can do. Live out your organization’s motto. Ours is “Neighbors Caring for Neighbors,” and it is my goal for us to do just that!

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