Hometown Hero

Juli Johnson uses her passion for her community to improve patient experience at Parkview Huntington Hospital.
May 1, 2016
Tammy Davis
Jeffrey Crane

Growing up in Huntington County, Juli Johnson always knew she would end up in the medical field. Her biggest role model, her mother, worked as a medical assistant and Johnson credits her with being a strong influence. Johnson set her sights on nursing and graduated with honors from the Indiana University School of Nursing in Bloomington. Her career path, however, turned out to be anything but typical. 

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a nurse,” says Johnson. “What I didn’t envision was this.” 

Johnson’s comment refers to her role as president of Parkview Huntington Hospital, a position she has held since November 2014. She’s passionate not only about the hospital and her team but also about making a difference in people’s lives.

“I love this job,” says Johnson. “In my early years of nursing, I didn’t think I’d ever leave the bedside, but now I’m helping people in a different capacity. I love seeing the difference we’re making in the community not only as a healthcare provider but also as a partner in wellbeing.”

At the start of Johnson’s career, the power of community was only just beginning to take root for her. She completed the clinical portion of her education at IU Medical Center in Indianapolis where she was attracted to the excitement of a big hospital environment. Although she had moved back to Huntington with her husband, Johnson thought she would eventually make her way to a large metropolitan hospital. Her plans took a turn, however, when her toddler daughter became seriously ill with pneumonia.

“Although I was a nurse and knew what to expect, I was nervous,” remembers Johnson. “But the caregivers at Parkview Huntington reassured me and explained my daughter’s plan of care, including what the next few hours would bring. They took time to sit with my family and that made all the difference in the world. That’s when I decided I wanted to focus on delivering that kind of compassionate, high quality care in an environment that felt like home. I knew I wanted to be part of this wonderful organization.”

Following her daughter’s experience, Johnson went to work at the hospital in 2004 as an obstetrics nurse. Her commitment to improving the patient experience, her attention to detail and her collaborative nature made her a top candidate for management roles with increasing responsibility. She served as house supervisor, inpatient manager and vice president of patient care services before being chosen as hospital president. 

“My main focus has always been quality care,” says Johnson, “and the patient experience plays a significant role. Even though we have the technology, skilled team members and great physicians to consistently deliver world class care, what each patient really remembers is how we made them feel—by listening to them, respecting their needs and involving their families in their care plan. That emotional aspect of care is so important to healing.”

Those efforts are working. Parkview Huntington consistently receives excellent patient satisfaction scores, often in the top 10 percent of nationwide responses. In addition, Parkview Huntington was recently ranked among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics™, based on an independent review of data from nearly 3,000 U.S. hospitals. It’s the third consecutive year (and fourth overall) that the hospital has received this honor.

Johnson describes her management style as team oriented and hands on. She sets clear expectations and empowers her staff to meet them. “I trust my team to give their best every day,” she says. “And if I’m doing my job, I’m bringing along others the same way I’ve been fortunate enough to have been mentored by several hospital and health system leaders.”   

As president, Johnson intends to continue to expand the services and value that Parkview Huntington offers. The hospital, she says, is fortunate to be part of an innovative, community-owned nonprofit system and she hopes to fully utilize the resources offered by Parkview Health to deliver an even broader scope of health and wellness services to local residents. 

The hometown girl who once thought her career would unfold in a large, urban hospital has indeed made it big—right back where she started. In fact, there is no place Johnson would rather be today than in Huntington, watching her son and daughter thrive in the same sports she enjoyed and making a difference in the lives of her friends and neighbors. “There’s just something special about serving a community of people you know, who will always be there for you,” says Johnson. “The community becomes your family.”

Parkview Huntington Hospital

Address: 2001 Stults Road Huntington, Indiana 46750

Phone: (260) 355-3000 or (800) 533-2252

Website: parkview.com

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