Conroy Joins SVMC as Chief Nursing Officer

For Immediate Release
1 June 2009
Media Contact: Kevin Robinson
SVMC Communications Director

SVMC Appointed Carol Conroy as Chief Nursing Officer

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Dr. Mark Novotny, Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), announced to staff on Monday that Carol Conroy will join the hospital as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) August 1. Conroy has 37 years of experience as a nursing professional and two decades of experience as a nurse administrator, most recently at Caritas Christi Healthcare in Boston.

"Carol is an exceptionally talented nurse and administrator," Novotny said. "The skills, knowledge, and experience she brings will help our hospital overcome the challenges that lie ahead."

Conroy will replace Barbra Brown, the interim CNO. Novotny said that Brown will remain with SVMC through the transition: "Barbra Brown has provided strong leadership during a crucial time for SVMC. We are grateful that she can continue in this role to create a smooth transition until Carol Conroy comes on board."

Conroy said she chose SVMC "because it was clear to me during the interview process that SVMC lives its values — quality, empathy, safety, teamwork, and stewardship — each day, with each patient." She also praised the hospital for its reputation throughout Vermont as "a great place to receive care, to practice clinically, and to work."

As chief nursing officer, Conroy will be the vice president responsible for a wide range of clinical services at SVMC, including nursing, respiratory therapy, renal dialysis, cardiac and critical care services, women's and children's services, and others. She will report to Dr. Novotny.

Conroy is pursing a doctorate in nursing practice at Regis College in Weston, Mass., where she teaches a graduate-level course in nursing theory. She already holds two masters degrees — a master of science in nursing and a master of business administration, both from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. — as well as a bachelor of science in nursing from Cornell University.

At Caritas Christi Healthcare, she was the corporate vice president for exceptional care. While there, she led an effort to develop a system-wide culture that focused on customer service, quality of care, and patient safety.

She also has a background in smaller community hospitals. She was chief nursing officer at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Mass., a 57-bed, for-profit, community hospital, and director of perioperative services at HealthAlliance, a 150-bed, community hospital in Leominster, Mass.

She began her career as an operating room nurse at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and still maintains her CNOR certification.

"I am honored to join the leadership team at SVMC," she said. "I am looking forward to working with our employees, nurses, and physicians to make our communities the healthiest in the nation."

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