73 years of combined nursing experience will help KVH transition to a new Chief Nursing Officer
After forty six years as a nurse, KVH Chief Nursing Officer Vicky Machorro has decided that come Spring 2023, it’s time to stop setting an alarm clock and start enjoying more free time with her family. The good news for KVH is that through an intentional succession planning strategy, there will be a smooth transition to a familiar face. Dede Utley, BSN, RN, CEN and Nursing Director of KVH Emergency Services since 2015, will become the next KVH CNO upon Vicky’s retirement in April.
Vicky has a long and storied career at KVH. Starting as a per diem ICU staff nurse, Vicky moved where the organization and her peers needed her most. From House Supervisor, to ICU and MedSurg Director, to ED/Urgent Care Supervisor and then finally, Chief Nursing Officer in 2016, Vicky never hesitated to face a new challenge and support her team. When looking back over the last forty-six years Vicky takes great pride in starting and ending her career at KVH.
While Vicky began contemplating retirement, Dede was looking for ways to advance her career. Deeply invested in Kittitas County through her work on The Kittitas County Board of Health, Kittitas County Behavioral Health and Recovery Advisory Board, Kittitas County Health Network and Kittitas County Court Advocates for Children, Dede wanted to remain in Ellensburg and approached Vicky asking what she could do to further her growth opportunities at KVH. Soon, Dede made the decision to return to school and pursue her Masters in Nursing Administration. Additionally, Dede participated in a mentorship through the Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders where she was paired with a nurse leader out of Portland to work together on improving leadership skills and supporting her staff. It became clear to KVH leadership that not only would Dede’s skills and professional goals fill the future need for a CNO, she had the same vision and goals for the organization and her staff. There was no need to look elsewhere for the next CNO.
As Vicky and Dede face the excitement and nervousness of this upcoming transition, they recognize the apprehension that staff may also be feeling and are committed to continuity and a smooth transition. “We are advocates for nursing and patient goals,” stated Vicky. “We want to assure the staff that we have shared goals that we don’t want to interrupt, we only want to enhance. That is why we chose to go this route. We’ve had DNS’s (Director of nursing services) come and go and come and go. This doesn’t change how you treat that patient at the bedside. You do what you are trained to do. Patient care is what it is all about.” Dede emphatically agreed.
Over the next few months the focus is on hiring the right person to fill Dede’s role as the nursing director in the emergency department. “We want to make sure the ED staff are taken care of,” stated Dede. We are looking for someone who loves Emergency nursing, understands rural healthcare and the importance of working with our partners, and someone who is committed to our staff and our community. Dede continued, “We need to find someone who will jump in and help at any level. They must be invested in our staff and our community.
The background behind Vicky’s retirement and Dede’s appointment is another example of KVH’s dedication to leadership development and succession planning. Dede’s advancement follows several other senior leaders (in addition to her predecessor) who were hired from within. Stacy Olea, Rhonda Holden, and Mandee Olsen all had established careers with KVH prior to taking on the responsibility of an executive position. “KVH is proud of the internal talent that we have and is dedicated to leadership development and succession planning through various goals and initiatives,” states Manda Scott, Chief Human Resources Officer. If you have been following our highlighted new leaders throughout the past year or so, you will also know that we have a large cohort of new leaders from within KVH who deserve a big congratulations for their promotions into new leadership roles including
There are many additional success stories across the organization and opportunities for continued career development. The Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program is now accepting applications we and are exploring opportunities to expand training into other specialties.
If you have questions about specific initiatives or opportunities at KVH, please contact Manda Scott, CHRO, your manager or anyone in HR.