Lorrie Normand tends to do things the challenging way.
It’s an approach that has served her well throughout her professional career. The former interim president and chief nursing officer of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne, Normand recently took the helm as president of the hospital. The 137-bed, acute-care, full-service institution has served Cleburne and Johnson County since 1986.
Growing up in the Southwest, Normand moved to Fort Worth and followed her dream of becoming a nurse.
“I fell in love with health care and the hospital environment after volunteering as a candy striper, now known as junior volunteers, during my high school years,” she said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and her master’s in health care administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and in 2014 she received a doctorate of nursing practice from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
“I believe my educational achievements, most recently achieving my doctorate of nursing practice, are among my most notable achievements,” Normand said.
Before joining Texas Health Cleburne, Normand was a neonatal nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital, chief nursing officer at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan., and director of nursing clinical practices, associate chief nursing officer and vice president of quality management at Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, where she eventually became interim chief nursing officer in 2011.
During her tenure at Texas Health Cleburne, Normand was instrumental in the hospital’s receiving the Texas Hospital Quality Improvement Award and the Premier Quest Award for two consecutive years.
“Since joining the Texas Health family in 2012, Lorrie has made countless contributions to the organization’s success and sustainability, both from a clinical and business management standpoint,” said Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay E. Berdan. “Through her continued leadership, I believe Texas Health Cleburne will continue to address the needs of its community. I look forward to witnessing Lorrie’s dedication and compassion improve the lives of individuals inside and outside the hospital’s walls.”
The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics, and ear, nose and throat care. Normand is overseeing the expansion of the hospital’s women’s services. She and other Texas Health officials will cut the ribbon Oct. 6 on the Cleburne facility’s new Women’s Breast & Wellness Center. The ribbon-cutting and community reception coincides with breast cancer awareness month.
The new 5,000-square-foot center initially will offer comprehensive advanced breast imaging, bone density imaging for detection of osteoporosis and pelvic floor rehabilitation services. Based on interest and feedback from the community, additional services will be added over the coming year, Normand said.
The women’s center is designed for comfort and relaxation and features a spa-like atmosphere, including coffee bars in the waiting room and the dressing area, along with a hospitality-style check-in desk.
“We have chosen to provide a spa-like experience designed to calm and comfort our patients,” Normand said. “From the color palette used to paint the walls to the decorative pendant lighting, we want women to enter the center and feel at ease. Being able to feel pampered and learn about women’s health is important.”
Normand has been married to her husband, Mark, for 35 years and has three grown children. She shares her goals and visions with Fort Worth Business:
What drew you into hospital administration?
When I first started working as a nurse I had no desire to work a Monday through Friday job or do any management positions. Throughout my journey my roles and responsibilities continued to change and I realized my talents were best used in leadership. I continued to progress in my career and grew to enjoy the challenges that come with health care leadership as well as having the ability to positively influence health care in a broader scope that ultimately affects employees, physicians, patients and communities.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by the ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day and especially inspired when I am able to see or hear the results of the difference we make. Hearing stories from patients, family members and staff members on how their lives were touched through something I had the privilege to be a part of is truly inspiring.
What makes an outstanding hospital?
An outstanding hospital is one in which high quality, safe patient care, affordability, innovation and reliability are embedded into the culture of the organization as demonstrated by excellent outcomes, vibrant healthy communities and individual lives changed for the better.
What is your vision for Texas Health Cleburne? And what are your goals as the new president?
My vision for Texas Health Cleburne aligns with Texas Health Resources’ vision of a faith-based organization joining with physicians to be the health care system of choice. My goals are to continue to grow our hospital through increasing services to meet the needs of the community and be the hospital of choice based on outstanding outcomes and patients receiving an excellent, personalized patient care experience.
Describe your leadership style.
My leadership style is relational and I believe in driving execution through relationships. Success leadership happens when you surround yourself with the right people who are self-driven and inspired to achieve excellence in everything they do. Empowering team members to use their talents and achieve what they are good at is very rewarding and benefits the organization.
Discuss some of the greatest challenges the hospital faces in the coming year. How will you overcome those?
There are several strategic challenges that all hospitals and health care organizations are facing. Some of these are downward financial pressures from declining inpatient volumes, decreasing reimbursement and payer mix changes, delivering on clinical and financial outcomes with comparative effectiveness and transparency, and driving performance across the full continuum. Some of our key strategic advantages to address these challenges include our organizational culture and reputation, strong community engagement, organizational structure with clinician leadership embedded and alignment with strategic partners.
In what ways will the new women’s center make a difference in the health care community?
Women are experts at multi-tasking and managing complex issues and pressure on a daily basis. Unfortunately, women tend to take care of everyone else and sometimes sacrifice their own well-being. Anxiety can sometimes lead to a late cancer diagnosis. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, estimates determined more than 350 of the nearly 15,000 women living in Cleburne will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in this year alone. That’s why this center and what it will offer is so important, especially now.
Having a comprehensive women’s breast and wellness center located in Cleburne with expanded services and flexible hours will provide a wonderful option for busy women to receive state-of-the-art services in a calm, hospitable environment close to home.
What’s your best advice for people entering the health care industry?
I believe health care providers have the best job in the world. We have the honor and privilege of being with patients at their most vulnerable moments and the ability to make a positive difference in their lives. Entering the health care industry requires empathy, compassion, competence and agility. Health care is a rapidly changing industry where change is the only constant.