GREENVILLE — “Local girl makes good,” is certainly an accurate description of Kim Freeman’s professional journey. Now, she has another distinction to add to her already impressive list of accomplishments.
For the past nine years, Kim has served as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Wayne HealthCare. In addition to ensuring that the patient experience remains a top priority at Wayne, she’s also responsible for providing operational and strategic direction to the hospital’s clinical departments.
Recently, Kim, a lifelong resident of Arcanum, earned the distinction of becoming a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), which is the nation’s leading professional society of healthcare leaders. The designation represents achievement and professional development of the highest standard, and only a few thousand healthcare executives have earned the FACHE certification.
“Kim is a tremendous asset to Wayne HealthCare and our community,” said Wayne Deschambeau, President and CEO of Wayne HealthCare. “Kim joined Wayne HealthCare in 2001 as an RN and progressed rapidly to roles of increasing responsibility. In 2008, she was promoted to Director of Nursing before being named to the positions she holds today.”
Achieving FACHE credentialing isn’t easy and can be a long, slow process. “You’ve got to work very hard, fulfill multiple requirements and then pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination before earning a FACHE certification. But, Kim stayed the course, and her dedication demonstrates her commitment to providing high-quality care to our patients and the communities we serve,” added Deschambeau.
Kim is quick to point out that she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for the numerous individuals who mentored her, believed in her, and helped prepare her for her current responsibilities. Chief among those who she credits with helping her is Sharon Wright. Wright is now retired, but she was Kim’s advisor when Kim signed up to volunteer as a candy striper at Wayne HealthCare 25 years ago.
“You could say that’s when my career in healthcare began,” said Kim. “Sharon lit a fire in me and encouraged me and the other candy stripers to continue our education and come back to the hospital as healthcare professionals and serve our community. That struck a chord with me and all these years later, that’s exactly what I’m doing. So, thank you, Sharon, for believing in me and getting me started on my professional journey.”
Despite her extremely busy schedule, Kim sets aside time to mentor others, including some of her colleagues at Wayne HealthCare. She hopes that she and others like her will serve as inspiration to other girls and boys who, like she once did, dream of one day becoming doctors, nurses or other healthcare professionals.
“What advice would I give young people? Believe in yourself, work hard, find a mentor, and remember determination and perseverance will help you withstand whatever storms come your way,” added Kim. “Apart from that, I want to challenge them that when they graduate and are considering where to live and work to remember Darke County and Wayne HealthCare because there are a lot of tremendous opportunities right here in our community!”
Kim lives in Arcanum with her husband, Brad, and their three children.
Located in Greenville, Ohio, Wayne HealthCare is a nationally-ranked and recognized not-for-profit acute care hospital that provides inpatient and outpatient services to individuals from birth to geriatrics. In 2020, the hospital received a five-star quality rating, the highest ranking any hospital can receive, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and it received an ‘A’ grade for patient safety by the Leapfrog Group. For more information, please visit our website at www.waynehealthcare.org