Toni is an excellent director of our emergency department. She is engaged, compassionate, dedicated, approachable, and has a heart for our team and the patients we care for. She brings us together. We knew that Toni had all these exemplary qualities "pre-COVID", but after the last 4 months, we have a whole new level of appreciation!
When the emergency department began preparing for COVID, it was all hands on deck. We would brainstorm for hours and work out different scenarios, discuss how they could be managed, and then execute each plan. Toni was at the forefront of these meetings. She was patient. She listened to our thoughts, ideas, concerns, and opinions, and then she led us as a team.
Often, we were overwhelmed and discouraged (I am sure Toni was too!) but she never showed that to us. She continually was encouraging and making sure that we were supported throughout the entire process. During a challenging time, she demonstrated the ability to create an environment where relationships were built, and mutual respect was established.
Toni not only had the large task of managing our emergency department, but she also took on many additional roles.
She oversaw the respiratory department and led them as they prepared for a ventilator shortage. They were able to obtain multiple additional ventilators that better equipped us for the increased number of ICU beds we would need.
She helped integrate Visqueen plastic walls, not only through the emergency department but throughout the entire hospital. This was a solution to make each room private during a time where it was an absolute necessity.
She came up with the idea of infant monitors. They were utilized throughout the entire hospital so we could safely care for our patients who we no longer could visualize from behind closed doors and plastic walls.
She rallied our ED team and was able to open an additional 12 bed ICU that was fully capable and able to care for patients within a weeks' time. Additionally, she was able to open a PCU by taking over CPU for additional beds that were needed.
She was an integral part of incident command. She worked long days and all through the weekend. Putting aside her own personal agenda (like not being able to see her 1st grandbaby for several weeks in person after he was born) for the good of the organization and the patients.
Toni's innovation, commitment, leadership, and dedication to our patients and community, team, department, hospital, and health system are acts that cannot go unnoticed. She continues to make a difference every day. We proudly work with and for Toni, she is a true DAISY Nurse Leader.