Madelyn “Maddy” Pearson joined BWH on June 2 as chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services. Heart & Science spoke with Pearson to help the Brigham family get to know her.
What inspired you to become a nurse?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurse. This may sound corny, but it was all about helping people. My mom was a driving force in my life and, by example, taught me to give to others as a core value. So, nursing was a natural career choice for me.
Initially, I wanted to be a midwife and was drawn to maternal and child health early in my career. I was then asked to take on a leadership position, and the rest, as they say, is history! I have been extremely fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career and hope to be able to mentor and develop others to achieve their personal and professional goals.
What attracted you to the Brigham?
Certainly the name and reputation of the Brigham attracted me to this role. I recall reading an article when I first graduated nursing school about the Brigham and, at that time, I said to myself, I want to be a nurse there someday (truly). When I learned more about the innovations, professional practice environment, quality outcomes and Magnet journey, I was further intrigued and interested. I then met some of the employees and providers, and the warmth and sense of family made this choice clear. I am honored and grateful to become part of the Brigham family.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I would say that my leadership style is open, inclusive and participative. I am committed to shared decision making, interprofessional collaboration and leadership development. “It takes a village” is how most successful teams work, and I believe in the power of the team. Recognition is a cornerstone to my practice – I love hearing about great catches and everyday hero stories. My door is open, and I am planning on rounding as much as I can to meet our patients and staff.
What are you most looking forward to in this role?
I’m so excited to meet as many people as possible and become embedded in the great work, initiatives and deep sense of community that exists at the Brigham. Key to this is our Magnet journey, which is all about quality care and a commitment to an excellent practice environment.
What is your vision for the Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services in the years ahead?
My vision is to help lead, coach and support all of us in creating an environment where we exceed our patients’ and their families’ expectations. Living the Magnet standards – which embody achieving and maintaining exceptional patient-centric quality outcomes, shared decision making and reaching one’s personal and professional potential – is the hallmark of a Magnet organization.
Based on your experience in leading hospitals through the Magnet journey, what guidance do you have for BWH?
From what I can see thus far, the Brigham has all the attributes of a Magnet facility – we now just need external validation from the appraisers! It is very likely that we will need to provide additional information and data as the appraisers review our application. This is standard in the process. We then prepare for our site visit. The site visit is truly a celebration of nursing, the care we provide and of the entire organization. Each of us needs to know how we meet the sources of evidence and be able to articulate this to the appraisers when they come on site. The on-site visit is intended to verify and amplify the information in the written documents, a great deal of which was written by our staff! The site visit is different from Joint Commission and CMS visits. Believe it or not, it’s actually fun. There will be more to come on this in the weeks and months ahead.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
My family and I are looking forward to learning all about Boston and the history of New England. We love dogs and hope to welcome two Irish Wolfhound puppies in the next several months. I’m completing my Doctorate of Nursing Practice as well. I also enjoy outdoor gardening and spending time with my family and friends.
More About Maddy
Last book you read: “As You Wish” by Cary Elwes (It’s about the making of the movie, “The Princess Bride.”)
Favorite musical artists: David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton
Favorite place you’ve traveled: Small fishing village in Cornwall, England, called Port Isaac
Family: Husband, Andy, who is retired and looks after our dogs and our home; son, Matt, 22, illustrator and screen printer; and daughter, Alex, 19, who is pursuing a creative writing and media major and just finished her freshman year.
Maddy’s First Two Weeks at BWH