Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health’s Leadership Featuring Haley Harris

This blog post is part of a series titled Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health's Leadership. Different leaders throughout Eskenazi Health will be featured, giving an inside look at their work roles, backgrounds, passions and even hobbies. We hope you enjoy learning about some of the exceptional leaders Eskenazi Health is proud to employ.

Assigned with the responsibility of managing the Eskenazi Health operating rooms, Haley Harris serves as the operating room clinical manager at Eskenazi Health. Her mission is to ensure all surgical patients receive excellent care.

Harris attended the University of Mississippi where she majored in psychology. She also attended William Carey University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

Her nursing career started in 2005 in an operating room due to a sudden and tragic necessity. In August of that year, hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi gulf region. In dire need of nurses, Gulfport Memoria Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi, hired Harris to work in the operating room. She later served as a nurse at River Oaks Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.

In 2008, Harris, her husband (an Indianapolis native) and daughter moved to Kuwait, where she worked on a military base. In 2010, she gave birth to a second daughter and the family moved to Westfield, Indiana, and she accepted a position at Wishard Hospital. From the moment she walked into the facility for the first time, she knew it was the place for her because the people were welcoming and have since become like a second family to her.

Harris loves that Eskenazi Health promotes personal and professional growth, but what stands out most to her are the patients cared for here. She believes that working in the operating room has its own set of challenges and new successes. She loves the team work and autonomy that staff members have with the physicians and believes Eskenazi Health’s perioperative team is the best at what they do despite working in a stressful environment. She loves that all the employees have a voice and the opportunity to improve Eskenazi Health.

Harris is currently focused on nursing and certified surgical tech recruitment and retention. She’s in the process of creating an OR Nurse Residency Program that will help train Eskenazi Health nurses. Harris says the OR orientation time for a nurse with no experience is usually six to nine months, and she believes this new program could substantially reduce that time, which would have a positive effect on the department.

Impacting one patient per day is one of Harris’ biggest goals. She believes patients going into surgery are in a vulnerable position and being there to hold their hand and reassure them is very rewarding. She also looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experiences with future generations of nurses. In fondly recalling how much one of her nursing mentors meant to her, Harris hopes to impact at least one nurse’s career in that same role.

In her spare time, Harris enjoys playing golf and spending time with her two daughters, which means attending all of their activities. She also loves football, particularly the Ole Miss Rebels and New Orleans Saints.

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