On Monday 14th February 2022, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) welcomed its new Chief Operations Officer (COO), Dr. Christine Greenidge D.H.A., R.N.
At the tender age of 19, Dr. Greenidge deviated from her original career plan, choosing instead to begin her career in healthcare in the field of nursing.
“Originally, when I was in high school, I wanted to be a physician, and up until my graduation, I was tossing back and forth between being a physician and a nurse,” she says.
But what solidified her decision to become a nurse was her mother. “My mother is a retired nurse… and my mum often came home and shared her nursing stories and many of them were delightful despite the hard work nursing is known for … and innately I have a very caring spirit … so after high school I decided that’s exactly what I wanted to do.” This led her to attain a Bachelor’s, and a Master’s degree in Nursing, as well as a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration.
Dr. Greenidge takes great pride in her background as a nurse. She explains that nursing “is a key discipline that influences the experience of our patients and their families, and they (nurses) are the pillars that hold up a lot of healthcare organisations.”
Consequently, she has used the knowledge obtained through her decades in the nursing profession to lecture upcoming nurses at several colleges throughout the New York City area, such as Lehman College and Bronx Community College as a Professor of Nursing, and Business Administration.
However, her nursing and teaching experience are just part of what Dr. Greenidge brings to the table. Previously the Associate Executive Director of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States, Dr. Greenidge had oversight of multiple inter-disciplinary departments, primarily focused on patient care services, training and development, customer service and patient safety.
She also values being recognized as a Patient Safety Officer, accredited by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI). “I’m a patient-centred type of person who recognizes the value of every discipline … to achieve outstanding clinical outcomes for patients, and above all their satisfaction … that recognition (Patient Safety)… reminds me of exactly what we’re here for – to cause no harm, and to mitigate risks in causing harm.”
In her new role of COO, Dr. Greenidge intends to focus on customer service and quality care outcomes. “Within customer service would be patient safety, patient satisfaction, as well as staff satisfaction cause I think they go hand in hand; but also streamlining operations, looking for where we see processes or systems broken and fix them as quickly as we can.” She hopes to make the QEH a place where patients and customers are always satisfied with the quality of the service they receive.
Delighted to join her colleagues at the QEH, in her first week Dr. Greenidge met many of the staff through her rounds in the hospital and describes them as passionate people, and she is looking forward to working collaboratively with all of them. However, her ultimate appreciation is for the opportunity accorded to her through the role of COO.
“This position has afforded me the opportunity I have dreamt about for many years, and that is to come back to my native Barbados, and use some of my knowledge and experiences to contribute to the improvement of healthcare.”