NEA Businesswomen 2022: Brenda Million

Brenda ForrestMillion
Vice President of Women and Children’s Services
St. Bernard Medical Center
Jonesboro Residence
Education Bachelor of Nursing, Arkansas State University; Masters in Health Care Administration, Kennedy-Western University; American College of HealthCare Executives Fellow Certification — FACHE

What was your dream job and why?

My nursing career has been a dream. I have experienced so many different aspects of healthcare and been part of so many changes to improve patient care. I like to give back to others and have had the opportunity to do so in all my jobs.

What character traits do you think have helped you in your success?

I am highly motivated to succeed, reliable, thoughtful, cheerful, hard worker, team player and good listener.

How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with our family in Northwest Arkansas. Spending time with our granddaughter and watching her grow is very important to us. We like to go to the beach several times a year and have created many beautiful family memories there. I love to cook and try new recipes from cookbooks I’ve accumulated over the years. I love being outdoors, working with flowers, spending time by the lake and taking morning walks.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far?

I have had many fulfilling times, but opening our neonatal intensive care unit in St. Bernards has been very rewarding for our physicians, staff and patients. It’s so wonderful for families to be able to stay in our community rather than travel. Community support has been and continues to be tremendous. We love to see our babies grow and come back for our annual NICU reunion celebration. It has been a great blessing to me personally.

What advice would you give to young women at the start of their career?

My advice for any young woman would be to strive for what you love and what you can make a difference in. Keep looking for your dream job, work hard, be honest, and do your best.

Can you share the impact of COVID on your business or organization?

COVID has dramatically changed the world of healthcare and continues to have an impact. The number of patients requiring hospitalization and the number of staff needed to care for them have exceeded the capacity of most hospitals. The focus has shifted to the majority of our time spent on COVID care and how to secure the supplies needed for that care. The devastating loss of patients, friends and staff has forever changed the lives of families.

If you have a to-do list, what are the top three things on it?

Buy a house in northwest Arkansas to be close to your family, write a children’s book, and go to Disney World with our granddaughter.

What’s the last good book you read?

“Reality-Based Leadership”, by Cy Wakeman. A great book that everyone should read to focus on the personal changes that need to take place in the workplace.

What’s your favorite app right now?

Pinterest. I love browsing Pinterest for new ideas for decorating homes, new recipes, and ideas for my current projects.

Who have been mentors who have influenced your professional career?

My mother was my main mentor in my life in many ways, but especially for me to become a nurse. She was a nurse, and I grew up watching her as she came to the hospital after the tornado to help victims, work with behavioral health patients, and practice as a school nurse in elementary school. My friends came to see her privately for advice because they knew she would listen to them and help them.

My current St. Bernards CEO, Chris Barber, has also influenced my professional career. He is a great role model for lifelong learning and for giving back to our community. He is always very encouraging and gives advice when needed. He is highly respected by all who know him. His example influenced many of my professional decisions.

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