Celebrating Women’s History Month 2024

Mar 25, 2024 | Team Member Spotlights

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March marks the celebration of Women’s History Month, a time to honor the remarkable achievements and contributions of women throughout history.

This year’s national theme, “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” resonates deeply within our organization. Women play an invaluable role in shaping our success and make up the majority of our workforce. Here we shine a spotlight on a few of those extraordinary women who inspire us through their leadership in our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts.

Charla Johnson, DNP, RN, NI-BC, ONC, FNAON

Director Nursing Informatics

Charla Johnson, DNP, RN, is the director of nursing informatics at our health system. She is inspired by her mother, the first nurse in her life, who has a gift for hospitality and ministers to women and the elderly. Johnson sees mentorship and public recognition as ways to empower and support women in the workplace. “Mentorship and guidance help women achieve their goals and feel a sense of accomplishment,” she says.

Johnson serves as a volunteer on the board of directors at Movement is Life, a not-for-profit organization aimed at reducing musculoskeletal disparities in women living in underserved communities. She has volunteered with the organization for more than 10 years.

Kellie Barton

VP, Chief Talent Management Officer

Kellie Barton is the vice president and chief talent management officer at our health system. As a leader in our organization, she strives to highlight the talent and diversity that each team member brings to this ministry, especially within the teams she leads. “I remind them that they don’t have to mimic anyone on the team – they need to be their true authentic selves,” Barton says.

Barton sees consistent feedback as one way to empower women in the workplace. Her advice to young women is to find their identities and passions, view mistakes as opportunities to learn, and prioritize their mental health.

Nicole Hidalgo

VP, Communications

Nicole Hidalgo, vice president of communications, has been with the health system for 23 years. When asked what she admires about the women in her life, she answered that she is extremely blessed with an extraordinary group of women friends and colleagues. “They serve as my own personal ‘board of directors’ and each one brings unique perspective and special gifts,” she says.

Hidalgo is inspired by this Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” It is important to Hidalgo to advocate for women to have a place at the table and honor the sacrifices of the women who came before her. She remains open and curious to learn from others with perspectives and experiences different from hers and invites others on that journey with her every chance she gets.

Kayla Johnson, RN, MSN

VP, Patient Care Services
St. Francis Medical Center

Kayla Johnson, RN, MSN, is the vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at St. Francis Medical Center. As a leader in our organization, she believes that confidence and self-awareness are two of the most important qualities to have in life. “Confidence can mean being very gentle in spirit with humility, it can mean being fun-loving or it can mean being assertive,” Johnson says.

Her advice to young women is to pursue education, experience and a relationship with the Lord. “Use your potential to be the best you can be, whatever that may be, whether it’s the CEO of a company or a nurse tech while in nursing school. Be the best you can be,” she says. She knows that difficult conversations are necessary for empowerment, and she is proud of the close relationships among team members at St. Francis.

Tanya Williams

Manager of Human Resources
St. Dominic’s

Tanya Williams is the manager of human resources at St. Dominic Hospital. She admires the women in her life for having emotional strength, courage and perseverance. Her advice to young women is to know their worth: “Do not compare yourself to other people and know that there is a space for everyone, including you!”

Williams partners with our health system’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council to support initiatives for a more inclusive work environment. She believes verbal support empowers women in the workplace. “Celebrate other women’s accomplishments and speak up on any achievements that are overlooked,” Williams says.

Tippy Ventress, MSN, RN

Director of Nursing
Our Lady of the Lake

Tippy Ventress, MSN, RN, is the director of nursing at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. She is inspired by her grandmother, who instilled in her the importance of education. Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is important to her. “I think it’s my responsibility along with others to try to be that change maker,” Ventress says.

Her advice to young women is to be bold but humble. “When women come together, they can share ideas, foster relationships, share their perspectives and skills, and achieve higher outcomes than they may achieve alone,” Ventress says. She thinks women should be confident and stop second-guessing themselves when they’ve already proven their abilities.

Tren Garbo, RN, MN

VP, Chief Nursing Officer
Our Lady of the Angels

Elizabeth “Tren” Garbo, RN, MN, is the VP, chief nursing officer at Our Lady of the Angels Health. She works to empower other women in her life by helping them fully grasp their potential. “When we speak into the lives of other women, calling out their gifts and talents, encouraging them to grow beyond their current territory, we can help propel them forward,” she says. 

Garbo advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion by embracing the diverse array of backgrounds among her team members. “I believe this approach can ignite creativity, inspire collaboration and drive innovation, all of which lead to more significant achievements and success for our organization as a whole,” she says. 

Lucille Woodard, MSN, MA, RN-BC

Nursing Supervisor
Our Lady of Lourdes

Lucille Woodard MSN, MA, RN-BC, is a nursing supervisor at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. If she could give one piece of advice to young women today it would be to allow your steps to be guided by faith and remember you have the strength, talent and capability to do whatever you can imagine.

Woodard aims to empower women by being an example of strength. “I make it a point to encourage women to trust in their abilities,” she says. She believes that seeing the value of women in the workforce is a steppingstone to a better future. 

Our DEI Commitment  

Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Women’s History Month.

Interested in joining the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System team? Learn more here.

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