Vicky Locey

Chief operating and nursing officer, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403; 707-393-4000; kp.org/santarosa

Age: 54

Residence: Windsor

Professional background: Registered nurse for over 30 years. I started my career in SCAL as a staff nurse. We moved to Santa Rosa in 1990 where I became a staff nurse at Community Hospital (now Sutter). In August of 1990 I started working at Kaiser Santa Rosa as a staff nurse and within a year went into a manager position. I have worked at the executive level at Kaiser since November of 2005 when I became the Chief Nursing Officer. Over the past few years I have had the dual role of Chief Operating and Chief Nursing Officer.

Education: R.N., Los Angeles County School of Nursing; B.S.N., Consortium of the Dominguez Hills State University; master’s degree in nursing administration, Sonoma State University.

Staff: 2,450

Tell us about your organization: Kaiser Permanente (KP) Santa Rosa Medical Center provides integrated, physician-led care to more than 161,000 members. The Santa Rosa Medical Center provides a broad range of hospital and outpatient medical services and specialties. In addition to the hospital and main campus at 401 Bicentennial Way, there are medical offices in Rohnert Park and north Santa Rosa.

Members can choose their own personal physician, and they receive care through an integrated medical team approach, with easy access to specialists and lab, X-ray and pharmacy services. Kaiser Permanente members also enjoy the technological advantages of KP HealthConnect, where they can e-mail their doctor, schedule routine appointments, and view many lab results online.

The Santa Rosa Medical Center is a certified Primary Stroke Centers and accredited Breast Care Center. The Santa Rosa Medical Center is also a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. We delivered more babies than any other hospital in Sonoma County in 2014.

For the ninth year in a row, employee rankings earned KP Santa Rosa and KP San Rafael Best Places to Work in the North Bay awards from the Business Journal. Both facilities are also recipients of Fit Business and Healthy Business awards. Kaiser Permanente is the only Five Star Medicare Plan in California.

Kaiser Permanente offers a wide range of health insurance products for individuals, seniors, and large- and small-group employers, and participates in the Covered California.

Words that best describe you: Strong, caring, perfectionist, giving.

What is a major accomplishment in the past year or so?: Within this past year I have become a board member for Canine Companions for Independence. Community service is a strong core value of Kaiser Permanente as well as a strong personal value for me. This particular board service fills me both on a professional and personal level. I am humbled to be a part of an amazing organization that matches people with disabilities with assistance dogs for lifelong partnerships.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career?: There are many proud moments for me. The one that stands out for me was the first year out of nursing school working as a registered nurse. I was working at a nationally recognized burn center in Southern California and I was nominated by a very seasoned nursing leader and won the award for Nurse of the Year. I was 24 years old, still a “new” nurse. It was such an honor to be recognized by the administration at this hospital as well as the nursing leaders. It was the beginning of a long and rewarding career.

What is your biggest challenge today?: I want every hospital patient and their family to feel that they had a 10-out-of-10 experience. Our work is about caring, purpose, and making a difference, and I want our members and patients to feel that at every encounter. It’s a challenge that takes special people to deliver with compassion, skill, and expertise all day every day. I’m happy to say we have those people here.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: Many of the baby boomers are getting ready to retire so I am concerned with having enough nurses. I am a strong advocate for “new grad” programs and will continue to support the hiring and training of our new nurses. I will continue to support our Nurse Camp program that I started here many years ago. This program allows for our local high school students to spend a half day in our hospital to gain exposure for potential career paths in healthcare. As a hospital system there will continue to be strong focus on patient safety, quality, and transparency with our consumers. I think we will continue to see even more patients being managed from their homes which will impact the demand for nurses going into home health nursing. I find our future dynamic and exciting.

As a successful female professional, what have been the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: Early in my nursing career I was made to feel “less than” by some physicians, especially as a young, new nurse. In my first job as a nurse we would have to give up our seat at the nurse’s station if a physician needed a seat. I have to say we have come a long way since then. I overcame feeling inferior by experience which helped me with my confidence as well as just the maturing with age. I am very fortunate to work in the current environment that I do where we work as colleagues and do what is best for our members and patients.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: I am fortunate to have two daughters both going into healthcare. My advice to them has been to have a strong work ethic. Make sure you are honest, loyal and dependable. Make a difference to those you serve. You will see people when they are most vulnerable, treat them with respect and dignity. Understand that the work we do in healthcare, especially as a nurse, is a privilege and an honor. My daughter Ashley’s favorite quote is from Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the World”. I encourage all of our youth to be that change.

Current reading: Just finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I highly recommend it. Next is Paper Towns by John Green.

Stress-relievers: Bootcamp at LP Fitness in Santa Rosa. Walking my golden retriever, Moose.

Favorite hobbies: Reading, sewing, traveling.