Jerrye Wright to retire after years of leadership and mentorship
With mixed emotions, Jerrye Wright’s retirement is fast approaching. It is time to celebrate the hard work that led to this joyful occasion. There is so much to appreciate about Jerrye it will be difficult to capture. Jerrye has been an integral part of the Asante Ashland Community Hospital culture since September 2009.
She is calm and kind, but she also has deep passion for the work she does and the people she works with. Her perspective and years of experience are so valuable on almost every topic. Her diverse background has given her great empathy to everyone she encounters. She communicates openly and honestly with a great deal of compassion. Each of us can be grateful for her leadership and mentorship over the years. As we look back at Jerrye’s nursing career it is easy to have gratitude for all the amazing attributes Jerrye brought to our team. Jerrye retires on Jan. 5. She will be succeeded as director of nursing by Amalia Kieley.
Jerrye started her career as a CNA. She worked for 10 years in hospitals and long-term care. When she finished nursing school in 1987, she worked for two years on a medical research unit at UC Davis Medical Center. They cared primarily for patients with HIV/AIDS. Jerrye states, “I learned lessons I have never forgotten” when she reflects on that experience.
She then transitioned into a 13-year career in surgery. This was the beginning of her “love for the world of surgical services.” She ended that adventure as a leader and the administrator of a surgery center. She then decided to go “back to my roots and went to work as a hospice bedside nurse.” That was what led Jerrye to Ashland (and to us) when she accepted the role of director of Home Health and Hospice for AACH.
Susan Montgomery, former vice president of nursing for the hospital, selected Jerrye in 2014 to become the Director of Nursing within AACH. Jerrye describes this as the “honor of a lifetime.” Jerrye has always been recognized for her passion in mentoring leaders. She reflects that “I loved the one-on-ones that I had over the years with James, John and Amalia. We learned together and stretched the boundaries of our imaginations to build our teams.”
One of the funniest moments she recalls was while she was acting as incident commander during a large power outage. “It took all my composure to keep it together when Rob Hibner shared that the outage was caused by a squirrel in a high voltage box! Only in Ashland!”
The Asante annual VIA Award was presented to Jerrye in 2017. She was nominated and chosen for her steadfast demonstration of her values of excellence and was described as having a “warrior’s spirit combined with curiosity, vision and a dedication to deliver results.” Jerrye was recognized for her ability to empower leaders to have a voice in decisions that affect their work. She displayed a thoughtful approach while skillfully balancing the sometimes-“thorny truth” as a mentor and leader. Her extensive elder care expertise, generous volunteer efforts and her selfless commitment to serving the best interests of Asante on behalf of patients, staff and the community, rightly earned her the honor of this special award.
Dr. Lee Shapley worked with Jerrye on the Ashland Duffers Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation. “Jerrye’s leadership and passion for supporting the community was impressive. I witnessed first-hand Jerrye’s dedication to the hospital.”
“I am ready to hand the reins to our amazing nursing leaders at AACH,” Jerrye says. “I know the time is right. I have watched so many of you come into your own strength and the gentle power it takes to navigate even through the adversity of 2020! Thank you all for the care you bring to our patients and to each other. Ashland Hospital’s culture of family lives on inside and because of each of you!”
Jerrye will be the president-elect of Celia’s Hospice House board of directors in 2021. It is hard to imagine a more compassionate, skilled president of this important service. Jerry will of course make time for many rounds of golf as well!
Although we are at the end of Jerrye’s career at Asante, she is at the beginning of another great chapter in her story. Congratulations, Jerrye. We wish you success and happiness on this new journey of your life. May you be showered with abundant opportunities to do what your heart desires. Never forget the difference you have made for each of us at Asante. You will be truly missed.
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