EMHS

April Giard, APN

Chief Nursing Information Officer

Function

EMHS established the position of chief nursing information officer in 2014 as national health reform models continue to point to increasing use of integrated technology to improve patient care. It has become more critical than ever to have leadership with both technical and clinical understanding in a hospital environment, so that the link between analytics, care delivery, and community needs best serves patients.
 

The road to here

April has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and has held numerous leadership positions, including vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer at Acadia Hospital. Prior to her promotion to chief nursing officer, she served as EMHS’ system director of Information Systems Applications and Nursing Informatics.
 
She has a master’s degree in nursing, is an active nurse practitioner, and maintains three national certifications in healthcare leadership. She understands the critical need for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional practice.
 

Guiding principle

When April talks about her guiding principles, she emphasizes her desire to lead by example with professional will and personal humility. It’s important to have a purpose and passion for what you do, and believe that you can make a difference. As a caregiver and a leader, she values honesty, decency and trustworthiness, following through with your word, and being honorable in all your actions.
 

Proudest accomplishments

As with many successful leaders, April’s proudest accomplishments are both in professional and personal fulfillments. She has published and developed programs and can recall leading many “first.” But she said having the opportunity to lead and be trusted by a nursing workforce in providing care to mental health patients and their families was a special honor.  She also is proud of the teamwork, innovation, perseverance and discipline it took to develop structures and processes that led to her hospital being re-designated as a Magnet facility, an attainment that only five percent of hospitals worldwide achieve. 
 
A more personal accomplishment relates to her family: Having her son live his life free of cancer, not letting the experience of the diagnosis and treatment define his life, but instead be a part of his life experience.
 

What she is trying to do:

“My role is critical to linking care delivery and community needs with the increasing needs of business and technology,” April said.  “Over the next several months, I will be working with others to develop a variety of strategic and operational clinical leadership activities to assure that high quality patient care is the foundation upon which all health information technology initiatives are built.” She said her focus is to leverage EMHS’ deep clinical talent to provide input into all decisions related to the development, deployment, re-engineering, optimization and integration of health IT assets. 
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