Looking back on the career of Sue Ehinger

This month, after more than 25 years of service, Sue Ehinger, Chief Experience Officer, will retire from Parkview Health. While there is no way to measure her impact on our healthcare system, or count up all of her contributions, we can confidently say that her dedication and advocacy for innovation will be greatly missed.

Just weeks before Sue’s final day at Parkview, Curtis Smith, director, Community Outreach, shared a few of his thoughts about his current manager.
 

Sue Ehinger is the Chief Experience Officer at Parkview Health. She is my boss, so when she departs, I will enter a season of change. It will be the biggest adjustment I’ve gone through in my time at Parkview, and I anticipate the hardest part will simply be the absence of Sue’s presence in my daily life.

I think anyone who’s worked with her will agree, Sue is a remarkable leader, and that rare breed of boss who is both brilliant and compassionate. She has a brain and a heart. Being frustrated by and making fun of your manager have long been clichés, but those things are foreign to me. Sue has been the perfect boss. That doesn’t mean it’s always been easy and fun. She pushes and challenges me. She knew I was making a drastic career change 2 ½ years ago, and she threw me into the deep end and dared me to swim. She has given me new assignments and, even as she prepares to leave, continues to set me up for success. She is quite simply the best leader I’ve ever had, and I have been enormously blessed to work for her.

Sue’s journey has been remarkable. In high school, her guidance counselor told her she “wasn’t college material”. Never one to be told what to do, she now has 4 college degrees, including a Ph.D. She’s worked in healthcare for more than 40 years and ascended to the role of hospital president for Parkview. In that role, she not only led the entire team at our Parkview Hospital Randallia campus, she led the team that built the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus. 

Recently, Mike Packnett, our President and CEO, looked back at that time and marveled at Sue’s ability to do both of those things simultaneously. After building a hospital and serving as President, when many people would have coasted to retirement, Sue decided to spend the last several years of her career as the Chief Experience Officer, investing in people, both inside and outside of the health system.

The impact she has had on, not only Parkview, but all of northeast Indiana, is hard to put into words. She has improved the lives of thousands and thousands of people. Her leadership will continue to be a big part of my life. I know I speak for her longtime assistant, Janet Hartman, and my colleagues, Jill McAllister, Carmen Moore, Kara Etzler, Diana Jackson-Davis, Sarah GiaQuinta and Chris Brenneman, when I say she will be sorely missed, but her legacy will continue for many years to come.

Thank you, Sue!

 

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