This year, the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) awarded its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award to Marilyn Margolis, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services and operations at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.
“It was an honor and a surprise when I found out about the award,” Margolis says. “It deeply touched me because I consider it a privilege to do the work for which I’m getting recognized.” Emory Johns Creek’s CEO Craig McCoy nominated Margolis for the award.
Her “work” is an understated reference to a 30-plus year career with Emory Healthcare that has included positions as staff leader of Emory University Hospital’s Coronary Care Unit, unit director of Emory University Hospital’s Emergency Department, director of nursing for Emory Healthcare’s Emergency Services and Emory University Hospital’s neurosciences department, director of nursing operations for Emory University Hospital, and her current roles at Emory Johns Creek, where she collaborates with all providers and oversees the hospital’s operational and clinical functions.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with incredibly talented and dedicated people in the Emory system,” says Margolis. “The support from Emory’s administration and the opportunity to work collaboratively with a number of great teams is what has really helped move some major projects forward that made positive impacts on patient care.”
A few of those major projects include:
- Development of continuous-improvement programs to enhance patient safety, increase nursing staff retention and reduce nurse-to-patient ratios, including a reorganization of Emory University Hospital’s ER admissions process at and the development of an “express care” line, which improved patient safety (1999).
- Creation of the Family Coordinator role and mechanisms that allow patients’ family members to provide input and voice concerns about the patients care. These initiatives were recognized as best practices at many conferences, including the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care. The program received multiple awards and was featured in the New York Times (2002).
- Implementation of University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) best practices at Emory, resulting in system-wide improvements and UHC recognition (2002).
- Successful certification and accreditation initiatives, including The Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center certification for Emory University Hospital (2008, 2010) and Emory Johns Creek Hospital (2011); and accreditation with commendation for Emory Johns Creek’s cancer program (2013). She is currently leading efforts to ready Emory Johns Creek Hospital for Magnet Hospital certification.
Margolis credits numerous mentors who provided her with guidance and learning opportunities throughout her Emory career. “If you’re open to constant education and open communication, the opportunities are limitless at Emory. It’s truly a gift to work here,” she says.