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Rhonda Foster To Be Honored as a UT Outstanding Alumna

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

On October 4, Rhonda Foster, EdD, MHP, MS, RN, NEA-BC, will be returning to her native Toledo from her current Los Angeles setting to receive an Outstanding Alumna Award from the University of Toledo College of Nursing for her accomplishments as a health care professional.

During her senior year at Central High School, Foster got “got the bug” as she recalls, for the health care profession, specifically for nursing. “I liked science, physiology and the body … nursing gave me options.”

As the child of a single working mother, her college choices were limited. The way out was first to earn an associates degree without incurring a lot of expense, then a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UT.

Foster became a registered nurse but eventually discovered that the satisfaction of caring for patients did not satisfy her curiosity about how decisions were made at the highest levels about how that care reached the patients.

“I’ve always been very inquisitive,” she says. “I would ask ‘what made them do that?’” She made the decision to attain head nursing status so that she could be a part of that decision-making process only to discover that head nurses “weren’t involved in decisions.”

She had to set her sights higher.

Now, some years later after earning a master of science in nursing administration from Georgetown University, a master of public health from Bowling Green State University and a doctor of education from BGSU and then becoming an administrative fellow at the Humility Mary Health System in Youngstown; the director of Women’s Services at Sparrow Health System in Lansing; the VP of Patient Care Cervices/Chief Nursing Officer at Childrens Hospital of Lansing; the CNO at St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County, CA; the CNO at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA, Foster became the VP for Patient Care and CNO at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles this summer.

In her current CNO position, Foster oversees 4,000 employees and a budget of almost $400 million in a hospital that is ranked number five in US News and World Reports for its comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, its research and medical staff as well as its designation as a magnet hospital.

Foster’s reach, however, extends far beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles County. She is a widely published and highly-sought-after hospital consultant, mentor and leader with a goal of advocating for change, quality and organizational improvement.

As a consultant, her practice has led her to provide services to hospitals in the United States and in various places of the world. She has been a presenter at numerous national and international conferences around the globe addressing issues related to health care delivery, hospital administration and leadership.

Foster’s ability to put theory into practice and build relationships has earned her widespread praise within her field. Understanding the benefits of technological advances in health care administration, Foster led the implementation of an electronic medical record system that provided computerized physician order entry and ease in nursing documentation and medication administration at the Detroit Medical Center and City of Hope National Medical Center. 

In addition, prior to it becoming a widely accepted practice, she implemented a nurse residency program for new graduate nurses that resulted in a 40 percent reduction in turnover.

Foster’s work can be found in the Journal of Nursing Management, Nursing Management, Oncology Nursing Society publications, and other reputable print and online resources.

On Friday, October 4, UT will recognize 15 outstanding graduates, Foster among them, at the Homecoming Gala in the Lancelot Thompson Student Union. The university’s 12 degree-awarding colleges will toast the achievements of their graduates, along with the recipients of the Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Awards.



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/19/19 09:44:55 -0400.

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