(MINOT, ND)-Barbra Brown, Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) with Trinity Health, has announced she is retiring after 40 years in healthcare.
Brown has served as Trinity’s CNO since 2010, leading a variety of clinical departments and a staff of over 1,100 employees. During her tenure she established a distinguished record, leading several transformational initiatives aimed at improving care quality and patient safety.
“Barbra’s passion for learning and her commitment to the profession of nursing has had a tremendous impact on our staff and on our organization,” said Trinity President and CEO John M. Kutch. “Within her first few months on the job, she crafted the outline of what would become the strategic plan for the Nursing Department, a plan which aligned perfectly with the overall strategic plan for Trinity Health. Thanks to the quality of our nursing staff and clinical team, Trinity emerged as one of America’s best performing hospitals for clinical outcomes and safety. She was instrumental in Trinity’s joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network last year – a move that has since leveraged the expertise of Mayo Clinic for many patients here at home. We are extremely appreciative of her service and wish her the best in retirement.”
Brown’s innovative approach to recruitment helped Trinity Health weather a nursing shortage. More than 80 international nurses were recruited under her watch, many of whom went on to earn recognition from patients and fellow staff. Through her efforts, Trinity Health increased its support for nursing education, growing its MSU Nursing Scholarships from 16 to 24 students, with plans to increase it more as the class grows.
“Barbra has been steadfast in her determination to raise the bar for nursing excellence and education,” said Scott Knutson, MD, Trinity’s Chief of Medical Staff. “She has increased recognition for nurses, and her leadership in establishing a shared-governance model within the organization helped to transform the role of our nurses.” He added, “I wish Barbra well in a well-earned retirement, and on behalf of the medical staff, I want to express our appreciation for her many years of service in healthcare.”
Using a model of shared governance implemented by Brown, nurses from across Trinity’s organization have been able to develop and participate in action plans to impact care quality and safety, research and implement best practices, shape culture, and develop lifelong learning opportunities. Other initiatives started under her tenure include hourly rounding, employee huddles, and standardized uniforms for nursing and ancillary staff.
Prior to joining Trinity Health, Brown was a nurse executive at a Magnet hospital in Vermont, and served on the executive team for hospitals in Michigan, California, New York, Maryland, and in her home state of New Hampshire.