PA College Magazine - Fall 2021 - 19

PA COLLEGE / EVENTS & ALUMNI NEWS
In 1994, LGH consolidated all education
programs into one department, and
Hess was selected to lead DMS. Over
the next 17 years, the allied health
programs were paired with the existing
LGH nursing programs, evolving into
the PA College of Health Sciences.
" During this period of time, I was the
Program Director of the DMS program.
The program directors helped transform
the organization into an accredited
college, and each director was responsible
for developing the curriculum for an
accredited college-based program, "
Hess says. " This was a huge undertaking,
and at times it seemed to be an
Hess and Young use one of the first Ultrasound units
available in the 1970s.
impossible task. However, with
the support and guidance of the
administrative staff, we were able
to achieve these goals with amazing
success. "
ALUMNI PROFILE
Reflections from a Servant Leader
By Sarah Achenbach
If Dave Schmidt '98, MSN, RN,
NEA-BC, pitched the story of his
nursing career to Hollywood, a
director's interest might well be
piqued. The opening montage would
depict a South Jersey boy with a B.A.
in History from Millersville University
and passion for the pre-Revolutionary
War era discovering psychology
courses in his last year of college.
Cut to his first job as a mental health
technician at Holy Spirit Hospital in
Harrisburg and plans to earn a counseling
degree. Fade in on an advisor suggesting
that he go to nursing school instead,
and Schmidt, at age 25, enrolling
in Lancaster Institute for Health
Education (now Pennsylvania College
of Health Sciences), one of five or
so males in a class of 70. Cut to his
critical care rotation during senior year
at PA College and a shift from mental
health nursing.
His career since is both action and
mystery film. Schmidt has worked in
Penn Medicine Lancaster General
Hospital's intensive care unit, opened
a post-stent unit at a Richmond, Virginia,
hospital, and while a travel nurse,
commuted in a Blackhawk helicopter
to makeshift Red Cross medical
centers in Hurricane Floyd-ravaged
Greenville, North Carolina. For nearly
five years, while working full time as
a cardiac nurse, Schmidt was deputy
coroner for Lancaster County. In that
role, he pieced together causes of
death from scene investigation.
There's even a dramatic moment
made for cinema: He met his wife
Lesley Schmidt '91, BSN, RN, CCRN,
CPAN, over a bleeding heart in an
open-heart unit.
" Each place I have worked has been
a little different, but nursing is always
same, " Schmidt reflects. " I see myself
as a servant leader. I work to make
things better and to build teams and
culture. Every experience has to be
excellent every time - that's how you
build culture. "
Since 2011, Schmidt has had various
chief nursing officer positions in
Pennsylvania and is currently serving
at Suburban Community Hospital
in Norristown. " I look at my role as
being an advocate, " he says. " I get rid
of roadblocks for my nurses, so that
they can provide better, quicker care
and give the patients the care they
deserve. "
He oversees multiple departments
- nursing, the clinical lab, radiology,
respiratory therapy, wound care, case
management, and tobacco cessation -
to coordinate care, taking a 30,000foot
view that is necessary for both
Schmidt and his team to focus on the
details. " I see every patient as my
patient, and I need to work to make
sure any issue is fixed. "
That's a Hollywood ending, by any
measure. n
PA College / Fall 2021
19
Hess retired in 2011 but continued
to teach as an adjunct at PA College
for one more year. In his free time he
enjoys volunteering, genealogy, local
history, and participating in local
chorale groups. He and his wife, Judi,
have two daughters, Jennifer and
Emily, and four grandchildren, Luke,
19, Logan, 14, Leah, 7, and Anna, 4.
Read an extended profile about
Bob Hess' distinguished career:
www.pacollege.edu/alumni-award. n
http://www.pacollege.edu/alumni-award

PA College Magazine - Fall 2021

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