Published on December 17, 2020

OHRH emergency manager of nursing honored for leadership skills

By Christie Netherton, Messenger-Inquirer

Blakeley McDaniel

Blakeley McDaniel, manager of nursing in the emergency department at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, stands in the ambulance bay at the hospital on Tuesday. McDaniel was recently awarded the 2020 Twin Lakes Emerging Nurse Leader Award from the Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer

Blakeley McDaniel, the manager of nursing in the emergency department at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, was recently awarded the 2020 Twin Lakes Emerging Nurse Leader Award from the Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders.

KONL is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to advance the development of administrative leadership in nursing services, according to Cathy Stewart. Stewart is the 2020 Twin Lakes District KONL director and director of nursing for medical and surgical services at OHRH.

Stewart said McDaniel was chosen for the award because of her strong leadership abilities, critical thinking skills and dedication to excellence.

“Blakeley was chosen because of that,” she said. “She’s been strongly involved in all of the … processes to help COVID patients and really improve the care for our community.” McDaniel, who has worked in the emergency department at OHRH for more than four years, transitioned to her current role just eight months ago as COVID-19 hit the region.

She said she was excited to step into the role because she wanted to make a difference.

“I feel like I know the depar tment and I have a strong, trusting relationship with the staff,” McDaniel said. “Whenever this next opportunity opened up, I was just excited because I could make a difference in the emergency department and also at Owensboro Health and just continue to provide the excellent care for our patients.”

Being an exceptional leader, especially while working through the pandemic, she said, requires outstanding teamwork and communication, and being present and transparent with staff.

McDaniel said part of ef for ts to strengthen communication and transparency during COVID-19 is having daily safety huddles with fellow employees, leadership meetings and making updated information accessible to staff.

“You have to have that frequent communication and presence with your staff, especially in these trying times with COVID and the pandemic,” she said. “At the beginning of the pandemic, the policies and procedures were changing every day as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) was coming out with new recommendations, so it was very important to just have that constant communication as a team and be up-to-date with the most current information.”

Stewart said she was “very excited to present Blakeley with this well-deserved award.”

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.