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Plainfield resident now regional emergency coordinator
La Grange – Since being promoted to regional emergency management coordinator for Adventist Midwest Health, Sue Smith, RN, has been intricately involved in determining how the region’s four hospitals can share staff, supplies, space and other resources during an H1N1 pandemic. Smith’s job is a new position that fosters closer cooperation among the hospital group on regional emergency initiatives such as the response to H1N1 and seasonal flu outbreaks.

Formerly Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital’s emergency room director, the Plainfield resident now works directly with facility directors and emergency department directors at all four hospitals – in Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital – to promote policy and procedure standardization and employee training in emergency preparedness. Smith also represents Adventist Midwest Health on public community groups associated with emergency management.

Mary Murphy, vice president and chief nursing officer of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, to whom Smith now reports, welcomes Smith to her new role.

“Sue Smith’s extensive knowledge, skills and past experiences of emergency management is an asset to our organization,” Murphy said.

In 1980, after working seven years as an emergency room nurse at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago, Smith became head nurse in the emergency department at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, later transferring to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.

“The work is never boring because you never know what will walk through the door,” Smith said. “I’d keep thinking I’d seen it all, but then something else would happen.”

Yet, through the years, Smith saw the need for a regional emergency management coordinator to ensure a smooth flow of efforts and services when an emergency strikes. She is looking forward to being that person.

“One of our strengths at Adventist Midwest Health is that our hospitals can draw upon the resources of one another,” Smith said. “That means we can help more patients and their families get treated and get back to their normal lives at home.”