Woman’s Hospital’s Chief Nursing Executive receives statewide recognition

October 24, 2011

Woman’s Hospital’s Chief Nursing Executive (CNE) Jeanne Fortenberry, RN, BSN, MS, recently earned the designation of CNE of the Year for the Division 4-Mississippi Division of Health Management Associates. The title distinguishes an individual as being among the elite of nurse leaders in Health Management’s organization.

To earn the CNE of the Year award, an employee must meet high standards that incorporate a blend of work experience and education and exemplify superior job performance. Sherry Pitts, chief executive officer of Woman’s Hospital, said Fortenberry easily exceeded the requirements of the annual recognition program.

“Health Management Associates recognized what the physicians and staff at Woman’s Hospital already knew; Jeanne is an outstanding nurse leader who sets an example for other nurses throughout Mississippi and Health Management’s organization,” said Pitts. “We are very proud that Health Management recognized Jeanne’s unique abilities by selecting her for this elite award.”

As CNE, Fortenberry leads nursing operations at Woman’s Hospital. Prior to being named to the position, she most recently served as nurse manager of a medical-surgical unit at River Oaks Hospital.  Previous positions include Wound Care/Ostomy nurse and Director of Education for both River Oaks and Woman’s Hospitals.

Fortenberry, a 29-year-veteran of the nursing field, earned a master’s of science in health care administration from Capella University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a past recipient of River Oaks Hospital’s Nurse Manager of the Year Award.  She is also a member of Mississippi Organization of Nursing Executives, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, American College of Healthcare Executives and the Mississippi Hospital Association.

Fortenberry is responsible for the hospital’s busiest areas, including Labor and Delivery (L&D) and Surgery. Under her leadership, Woman’s Hospital operates with zero agency nurse use and in 2008 was awarded the Health Management Nursing Excellence Award.

In addition, Woman’s Hospital is a consistent leader in patient, Associate and physician satisfaction, ranking near the top among Health Management hospitals for patient and physician satisfaction results.

As part of the hospital’s administrative team, Fortenberry assisted Pitts in forming a breast task force to enhance breast services. Through this effort, a Breast Nurse Navigator position and a monthly breast tumor conference have been implemented.

Fortenberry has also overseen the renovation of Woman’s Hospital’s Newborn Division, including the NICU to meet the current developmental care guidelines.

Fortenberry is a member of numerous hospital teams and committees including: Medical Staff Service – Med-Surg/Perinatal Committee; Anesthesia, Infection Control, P&T, Ethics and MEC. She also serves on Quality Council, Core Measures Huddle, Medication Reconciliation – PARA (2011), EOC and multiple Getting 2Great Teams.  Fortenberry also helped develop the Leadership Academy for rising leaders in the hospital and has directed the program for 2010 and 2011.

Fortenberry sets an example for other nurses by her strong commitment to community and civic causes. She is a board member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and served as the Race for the Cure chair for 2009, 2010 and 2011.  She is a past board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi and continues to serve as chair of the Wish Granting Committee and chairs Woman’s Hospital’s annual fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Peace, Love and Wishes.  She also led the area March of Dimes Walk for Babies in both 2006 and 2007.