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Sandra Manning, assistant vice president, Pharmacy and Clinical Operations of Home Health, says Cook Children's aim to care for the needs of patients and the community ultimately nudged her to take a leadership path here.
"Working in home health, I discovered there were so many things our organization was a part of in caring for the needs of our patients and community," she said. "It inspired me to want to be more involved in helping our vision and goals come to fruition."
Sandra began her career with the Cook Children's family as a new graduate in June 1988 and worked as a nurse and charge nurse in Hematology/Oncology and BMTU until 1993. She spent two years as a Sedation Transfer nurse from 1993 to 1996, before working in the Outpatient H/O Clinic from 1997 to 2000.
She transitioned into her current leadership role in Home Health in 2002.
"As a leader, my desire is to work with peers and staff, continue to educate and share knowledge learned throughout my journey, as well as learn from them to continue to succeed," she said.
Most of the obstacles Sandra faced when she moved into leadership had less to do with being a woman, and more to do with taking on a new role, she said. Like other individuals who take on new positions, Sandra dealt with acclimating to a new role, "establishing rapports, building trust with staff and peers, as well as allowing time for staff to adjust to the changes," she said.
She did recall one time when a staff member said "he would not report to a woman," a situation that turned into a learning experience, she said.
"As a woman with three brothers and no sisters, I was pretty comfortable with addressing our differences. We did have those hard, high-stake conversations, and for that, I am grateful," Sandra said. "I laugh about it now because we both really grew and gained much respect for each other and valued the knowledge and skills we each had."
She credits Cook Children's leadership for the positive outcome.
"While I may have been new in my role, my leaders made sure to set the tone for all of us on expectations, respect and value one another," she said. "This is why I love what I do and the people I work with."
Two women, in particular, played a significant part in influencing Sandra along her 33-year-long journey at Cook Children's. Her mother, who has an amazing work ethic and "at 76 still works as a scrub tech and loves it," always encouraged her to reach for her goals and taught her to follow her passion, no matter what Sandra pursued.
And the late Teresa Clark, who served as Hematology and Oncology unit director before becoming the chief nursing officer at Cook Children's, also played a role in guiding Sandra at Cook Children's.
"Teresa inspired me to seek to continue to grow in my career and was great at providing feedback for growth opportunities," Sandra said. "She was open and honest and helped me to believe that I could accomplish goals."