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Meritus Health Nurse Leader Nationally Recognized

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Carol Grove, M.S.N., RN, NEA-BC, associate chief nursing officer (ACNO) at Meritus Health, has been selected as a runner-up for the 2021 Richard Hader Visionary Leader Award. This recognition for excellence in nursing leadership is named in honor of the long-standing editor-in-chief of Nursing Management® - The Journal of Excellence in Nursing Leadership®.

Nominated by a colleague, Grove became a nurse in 1993 and has been with the local health system for 27 years. She began her new role as ACNO just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and was faced with not only the challenges of learning and establishing the new role in the health system, but taking a leadership position for the COVID response. A major ongoing responsibility for Grove has been to ensure the nursing and patient care services teams have the appropriate resources needed to care for COVID-19 patients.

Grove has utilized prediction models throughout the pandemic to plan for staffing needs. Spending time on hospital units and hearing the concerns of nursing teams, Grove has worked to have agency staff join the organization for support through the peaks of COVID-19. She helped put together a unique virtual program called “Fill Your Cup” which offers debriefing opportunities and education on resiliency, grief management and self-care to help with the needs of employees. Grove developed and managed reports to help anticipate patient discharges to be proactive and address barriers early in patient care. She has provided daily updates to leadership and for regional calls with other health care professionals, being consistently visible and communicating to help everyone understand plans, ask questions and seek clarification.

Grove has also led successful efforts to improve patients’ experiences at Meritus Medical Center, using evidence-based practices; role modeling personal connections with patients during her own rounding time on hospital units; and prompting staff to initiate meaningful, personal conversations with patients.

Grove’s nomination narrative noted that she “is able to exemplify transformational leadership at all times, staying true to the mission of Meritus Health and thinking ahead, all while keeping nurses and patients at the center of all decisions and leading the team during the most difficult of times.”