Leadership Insights

Change maker


Dori Healey is passionate about patient safety, public service, and volunteering.

President-elect for American Nurses Association (ANA)-Idaho, Dori Healey, MSN-RN, MBA-HA, CPPS, takes every opportunity to advance the nursing profession. In addition to her role as a senior practice manager for the heart and vascular clinics at St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, she’s the elected precinct committeewoman for her Idaho district, a recent appointee to ANA’s political action committee, and an active community volunteer. ANA spoke with Healey about her varied pursuits.

change-maker-doriTell us about your journey to ANA-Idaho president-elect. 

I have always believed that to make a difference a person has to get involved. As soon as I became an RN, after many years as an LPN, I knew that I wanted to be a part of ANA. The mission, to lead the profession to shape the future of nursing and healthcare, is exactly what I wanted to do. When the ANA-Idaho elections came up, I ran for president to get my name out there and become a known leader. Winning was a bonus!

How can nurse leaders gain trust when it comes to issues of patient safety?

Most of the time, when safety events occur it is due to a failure in the approved process. That is the message I convey to nurses: This is not about judgment, but how we can improve the process and prevent it from happening again. As a patient safety specialist, my role was to review patient events where there were unintended circumstances that could have resulted or did result in harm to patients. I gained trust by listening to and validating what the nurse had to say. Once we established the root cause of the issue, we worked on a process improvement and solution together that the nurse could be excited about and own.

What led to your interest in public service? How can nurses get more involved?

I grew up in a political family and spent summers helping on campaigns throughout Idaho. I knew that to help create change I had to be part of the change. I started out simply attending meetings and asking questions, then I decided to run for an office. The precinct committeewoman position is fun and allows me to get to know elected officials and constituents throughout the state of Idaho. To get involved, contact your party’s headquarters, start going to meetings, and volunteer.

What has leading in the time of COVID-19 taught you?

Anything is possible! During COVID-19, I volunteered our service line to immediately begin telehealth. In a matter of 13 days, I worked with our healthcare system to begin telehealth that included video visits when accessible. The plan for our healthcare system is to continue to use this practice after COVID-19. This will allow greater access to rural communities and hopefully have a greater impact on their health. Communication is the greatest asset right now. Encouraging questions, rounding to ensure nurses really understand, and acknowledging their concerns and skepticism is huge.

How do you think your volunteer experiences affect your nursing and vice-versa?

Volunteering is my outlet. In Idaho, I am the co-chair for Case for Smiles, a national organization that provides cheerful pillowcases to children undergoing medical procedures. I am starting my own non-profit organization to support parents who have lost children. It has been meaningful to assist families of children who have medical and financial needs. Volunteering gives me insight into where the largest needs are and the resources that are available, and it allows me to give back to the community.       AN

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