Thrive by IU Health

April 27, 2024

Philanthropy supports statewide nurse excellence at IU Health

Philanthropy supports statewide nurse excellence at IU Health

Talking with Monika Lam-Chi, MHA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, is like talking to a great football coach. She clearly sees all the positions and understands how to get the most out of those roles to work cohesively to achieve something bigger. Except Lam-Chi, program director, System Nursing, isn’t leading a 55-man roster. Her role supports all 9,000+ nurses at IU Health—that's nearly one in four IU Health team members. And her goal is to improve the experiences and outcomes of every patient and team member at IU Health.

“I work closely with chief nursing officers (CNOs) and associate CNOs to develop strategic processes and structures,” Lam-Chi said of her role. “My focus is ensuring compliance with the nursing scope of practice, fostering professional excellence, enhancing professional development opportunities, and ultimately, improving patient outcomes across IU Health.”

One of the initiatives Lam-Chi has spearheaded over the last few years is the philanthropy-funded Nursing Mini Leadership Development Institute (LDI), a twice-a-year, single-day conference that convenes nurses from across the health system.

Funding for the nursing LDI was made possible thanks to a generous gift from IU Health’s former executive vice president and chief operating officer, Michelle Janney, PhD, RN. Her gift established the Michelle A. Janney Center for Nursing Excellence – a workforce development hub striving to advance nursing professionalism and nursing practice by investing in professional development and continuing education opportunities for IU Health nurses statewide. The nursing LDI effort is central to those efforts.

“A fundamental principle that underpins the programming of our initiatives is that leadership is an action everyone can undertake, regardless of their position,” Chi said.

This belief is integral to all the programs Lam-Chi oversees, aiming to “create a collaborative environment where nurses at all levels are encouraged to share knowledge, support each other, and engage in continuous learning and professional growth.”

Programming at the nursing LDI is driven by feedback from nursing teams and alignment with the nursing strategic plan and IU Health priorities. Lam-Chi and her advisory team, comprised of nurse leaders from across the system, focus on aligning the speakers and topics for the day with those priorities. Attendees must be nominated by their CNO.

Lam-Chi passionately believes and promotes the idea that "leadership is a verb," emphasizing that leadership involves active participation and behaviors that all nurses can embody in their daily roles to deliver exemplary care. This philosophy reinforces a culture where every nurse is seen as a leader, equipped to make a significant impact on the healthcare landscape at IU Health.

“Each of us is called to lead within our roles,” she said. “This commitment enables us to fulfill our promise to our communities: the Best Care Designed for You.”

To support the advancement of IU Health nurses, make a gift to the IU Health Statewide Nurse Excellence Fund today.