13:01 PM

Chadron’s Turman Adds MHA to Busy Schedule

Chadron’s Turman Adds MHA to Busy Schedule

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

FreelTurman_CroppedAlready the Chief Information Officer at Chadron Community Hospital in northwest Nebraska, Anna Turman took on the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer three years ago. That makes for a pretty hectic schedule already, but Turman is also in the midst of pursuing her Master of Healthcare Administration at Bellevue University. Turman was recently interviewed about her experiences in the MHA program so far, and what it takes to juggle work family and school.

What led you to pursue your MHA at Bellevue University?

I am an extremely driven person, and ultimately desire to be the most highly effective leader I can be.  I am actively involved in the healthcare industry with many years of experience, but leading with experience alone I feel is a myopic approach.  I felt there was tremendous opportunity for growth of my leadership skills through greater knowledge.  Bellevue’s MHA Program aligned with my goals, making it the right fit, and here I am today.

What have you enjoyed most about the program thus far?

I have learned there is no perfect set of leadership skills; it is how one utilizes those skills and leadership style that adds value.  I have most enjoyed the diversity of professors and students, and appreciate the different approaches and styles in every class.  I learn something new from every committed and involved person from students to professors; you get out of it what you put into it. I also appreciate the extensive backgrounds of the professors; they add value when they teach from experience.

How do you juggle work and family responsibilities with school work?

It is tremendously helpful to have wonderful support mechanisms or team, the stronger the support from work, school, and family the easier it is.  I just simply make sure I am giving 100% to all three commitments and it comes back three fold. It then becomes less of a juggling act worrying about dropping a ball, and more about a balancing act where team members support some weight.   The only things I have let slide a bit, is my morning run (the dog has gained a lot of weight), and how often I make lunches for the kids to take to school.  There will always be sacrifices, one just needs to prioritize what is ok to sacrifice, in this case an overweight dog, and more hot lunches seem like appropriate sacrifices.

Has anyone been particularly supportive during the process (family, professor, etc.)?

My family takes the biggest brunt, and has been the biggest supporters.  My kids do their homework with me after school, they read to me at night while I am doing homework, they help make breakfast while I am doing homework, and they snuggle on the couch with me while I am doing homework.  They have even let me work on homework on the sidelines between wrestling, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and football games.  All of this and I have never once heard a complaint that I am too busy for them.  My kids and husband are more amazing than I am, they are my own personal cheerleaders, and teammates in my pursuit for a MHA.

From Bellevue perspective I have had great experiences with professors especially Dr. (Mike) Freel who encourage, understand, and support my goals of success, I especially appreciate when they weave themselves throughout the healthcare community, their commitment to presenting or attending organizational forums, conferences, and meetings validates that they are committed to developing and supporting the future leaders of healthcare.

What has it been like to interact in the online classroom with other healthcare professionals from around the country?

It is very different than the previous experience of earning my bachelor’s degree, but different is good.  Life is different than it was the last time I went to school.  Life is fast paced and busy, and for someone who is balancing family, work, and school like me, they will find advantage in the agility and flexibility of Bellevue’s MHA program.  The program is much more interactive than I would have actually expected, and I appreciate the diversity of fellow students from all across the country.  I sometimes even forget that another student I am talking to is from a completely different state, or organization.   The ability to network and connect with each other removes the factor of distance as a barrier.  I feel that In today’s culture of immediate gratification Bellevue’s MHA program is successful at providing responsive and conducive interaction.

What are some of your responsibilities as COO and CIO at Chadron Community Hospital?

My responsibilities are along a very broad spectrum especially in a small rural organization where employees where many hats.  The most important responsibility is leading, empowering, engaging, and believing in the most valuable of all assets, the employees.  It is a team effort to accomplish any goals operationally.  My team is made up of incredibly hardworking people with pioneering attitudes that have helped provide access to high quality care efficiently and effectively for our community.

What led you to take on the role of COO three years ago?

A Chief Information’s officer is a business partner in an organization, who aligns the IT department’s goals and objectives with the organizations strategic goals.  Having the vernacular and experience of technology added value to what seemed a natural and logical move to Chief Operations Officer, managing operations in the technologically savvy world today often requires leveraging technology to improve processes and quality, in effort to achieve goals. Based on my leadership experience and technological vernacular, it was the right fit and move for both the organization and myself.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What are some of the biggest challenges?

I enjoy the people, especially taking a group of diverse individuals with different beliefs, opinions, ideas, strengths, and weaknesses and connecting them to meet there fullest potential to ultimately attain success as a team.  It is an awesome thing as a leader when there is synergy.