Patrick Heins’ tenure as president of Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital hasn’t been a long one, though he’s been a member of the Vidant family for more than 20 years. Heins notes that even in his short time at the hospital, he’s felt incredibly welcomed. “This hospital provides a family environment where you're welcomed and you see people in the hallways who want to know how your weekend was, how your kids are doing. They ask the small things that make a big difference,” he says.
The beauty and tranquility of the area draw people in too, he says. Close proximity to Virginia Beach and a wealth of outdoor activities help make the area a great place to live and work.
Heins says one of the most important components of attracting talented and compassionate people to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan—and keeping them—is a commitment to truly listening to the staff. “One of the big things is just listening to what employees need to do their job and then providing them the tools to do that,” he says.
What a hospital does is bigger than any one person, Heins says. Finding people who believe that, and who are committed to doing the right thing for patients, colleagues and the hospital as a whole, is an integral part of searching for the perfect fit for Vidant Roanoke-Chowan.
Jennifer Harrell, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, is one of those perfect fits. Heins notes her dedication to her patients and constant learning and improvement makes her an exemplary Vidant team member. Harrell takes it upon herself to continuously research practices to improve care for patients, particularly those with severe infections, who are among the highest risk patients in the hospital. Her passion for improving her patients’ lives is evident.
Raised as a member of a fishing family in the Outer Banks, Harrell grew up in a culture centered on working hard and working together and a strong sense of community. That same environment of collaboration is what she loves most about Vidant Roanoke-Chowan. During her clinicals as a student, she saw an environment filled with warm and welcoming people with an eagerness to teach. “I truly love the ability to work as a team all the time. Everyone is always communicating. If something isn’t working, we say ‘What do you think?’” Harrell says.
After dedicating years to her family’s business and her adopted children, Harrell chose nursing as a second career. She notes becoming a part of the Vidant family is something that makes her intensely proud. “A great employer is hard to find. I feel honored to be here. I really enjoy working with my Vidant family,” she says. “You better get on board if there’s an opening. And take pride in it.”