inPractice - Summer 2017 - 4

NURSE, EDUCATOR, MOTHER, G

F E AT U R E S T O R Y

Through two decades at the helm of the College, President Simcox
has witnessed enormous changes to both health care and higher
education, and sees a number of parallels between the two industries.
"For years, health care has been struggling with being too expensive
or too inaccessible, and needing to hold providers accountable for
outcomes. And now higher ed is dealing with being too expensive,
not accessible, and driven by outcomes. The parallels are uncanny."
Looking back, President Simcox says she never imagined this was
where she, or the College, would be 20 years down the road. "On my
first drive into Lancaster, I never ever envisioned anything other than
helping a nursing school. I was very lucky. I've done things that few
people will ever do in their career, and worked with some really good
people, and a really strong legacy." She cites her role in starting the
College and building the new campus as the two biggest highlights
of her term as president, and comments on her determined, and
sometimes competitive, nature as a key component to her success. "I
don't give up easily. 'No' is not in my vocabulary!"
With an eye to the future, President Simcox plans to devote the rest
of her time as president to leading the College to become a highperforming organization. "We've gone through all the growing pains,
and we've got the new campus in place, so now we need to utilize
everything the new campus is capable of. We need to be effective
and efficient, and leverage the incredible talent that's already at the
College. That's what will set us apart."
To her future successor, President Simcox offers this advice: "This
College is unlike any other college. You can't try to fit us like a square
peg in a round hole. We really are a different sort of institution, and
we move very quickly, which is unusual for higher ed. But if you just
appreciate all that's been done here, and what the people here have
accomplished, you'll recognize that the sky is the limit as to
what the people of PA College can do."

...President Simcox is all of these, and more. Born and raised
in Philadelphia, she's worked in health care since her teenage
years when she volunteered as a candy striper. Much like her
career as our president, President Simcox's candy striper shifts
began with a phone call specifically requesting her services
on the med-surg floor at Roxborough Memorial Hospital. After
graduating with her Associate Degree in Nursing from GwyneddMercy College in 1972, that candy striping gig translated into
a full-time job on the same floor, where she stayed until the
neighboring ICU's persistent phone calls finally persuaded her
to switch to intensive care nursing.
While working in the ICU, President Simcox lead training
sessions for her fellow nurses. During one session, an
administrator from the Roxborough School of Nursing brought
the senior nursing students along, and not long afterwards,
President Simcox received yet another call asking if she'd
like to teach at the Roxborough School of Nursing, a post
she accepted in 1979. She remained at the School for nearly
20 years, eventually serving as the Director of the School of
Nursing until she received that fateful phone call that brought
her to PA College.

President Simcox distributes
PA College giveaways
following the name
change and rebranding
of the College.

President Simcox practices her swing dancing
skills with her son and dance partner in
advance of the College's Dancing for Dreams
fundraising event.

President Simcox tours the
job site during an expansion at
the 410 N. Lime St. Building.
4 inPractice | SUMMER 2017



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