December 12, 2013
By Todd Krass, RN, BSN, MSN, chief executive officer at Belton Regional Medical Center | Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News
Believe it or not, this is not my first time appearing in the Kansas City Nursing News.
I believe it was early in 1992 when I was interviewed as the director of patient care services at Research Psychiatric Center. This was my entry into the Kansas City nursing market. And boy, did I have a lot to learn.
Fast-forward 22 years later and my career has taken me to chief executive positions at Research Psychiatric Center and Belton Regional Medical Center.
There are numerous individuals along the way who have influenced my career and leadership style, more than I can attempt to mention. I made unabashed mistakes in the early years and was fortunate to have very benevolent supervisors, mentors and forgiving employees and coworkers.
Without the benefit of formal business or healthcare administration education, I was fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to get my first chance as chief executive officer at Research Psychiatric Center in 1997.
Eight years later, I was again given the opportunity to manage both Research Psychiatric Center and Belton Regional Medical Center from 2005 through 2008.
In 2009, I moved full time to Belton Regional Medical Center as chief executive officer.
My nursing background, BSN from Washburn University and MSN from Corpus Christi State University, prepared me for the role I have today. Washburn’s theoretical framework for its BSN program at the time was based on Martha Roger’s theory known as the Science of Unitary Human Beings.
Sound complicated? It was, especially to a 22-year-old working a full-time job and going to school fulltime.
However, the ideas and constructs of theory still influence my daily leadership decisions and philosophy. Life gets more complex, and nursing, like leadership, is both a science and an art; there must be concern for people and the world we live in; the whole is greater than the sum of parts (whether it be an individual or organization); people are integrated in their environment; and the purpose is to promote health and well-being of all people.
The past two years have provided me with very unique challenges. Belton Regional Medical Center has transformed itself with a $40 million expansion project that added twice the square footage, new emergency, surgical and cardiovascular/interventional radiology departments; a new medical office building; and major interior renovations to the existing building including room privatization.
All the while, during construction and expansion, we kept the doors open and services growing.
None of this could have been accomplished without the resilience of our employees and medical staff. The same characteristics described above as ideas and constructs were demonstrated on a daily basis. The support of the communities we serve has been unparalleled.
And I owe a tremendous amount of my success to my family — my wife of 30 years, Mary, and our children, Tiffany, 25; Ashley, 22; third-generation RN, Robert, 21; and Tyler, 19. Family is important to me for many, many reasons. It provides balance, inspiration and a solid foundation.
Gratitude comes to mind when I reflect on my career in healthcare. Not only do I have the priceless opportunity to represent and lead the best people that care for our patients and families at Belton Regional Medical Center, I have the love and support of my family.