Crista F. Durand, Newport Hospital CEO and president

RESPONDING TO COVID-19: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Newport Hospital CEO and President Crista F. Durand helped expand the hospital that now has 29 beds, three triage bays, a consultation room, a results lounge and a four-bed dedicated behavioral health pod. 
COURTESY NEWPORT HOSPITAL
RESPONDING TO COVID-19: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Newport Hospital CEO and President Crista F. Durand helped expand the hospital that now has 29 beds, three triage bays, a consultation room, a results lounge and a four-bed dedicated behavioral health pod. 
COURTESY NEWPORT HOSPITAL

PBN Leaders & Achievers 2023
Crista F. Durand
Newport Hospital

CEO and president


COVID-19 AND A DISRUPTED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM presented Newport Hospital CEO and President Crista F. Durand with challenges and opportunities.

Calling herself the “chief cultural officer,” Durand held a deep-listening campaign with staff during the pandemic and then took action. “We added a state-of-the-art mindfulness center, a 24/7 cafe, renovated a gym to offer 24/7 access, and expanded our pet therapy program for staff and patients,” Durand said.

Before the pandemic, the hospital’s 17-bed emergency department was “bursting at the seams,” Durand recalled. Now it includes 29 beds, three triage bays, a consultation room, a results lounge and a four-bed dedicated behavioral health pod.

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“By using an integrated design project approach, the [expansion] came in on time and on budget, at $13.5 million,” Durand said.

The President’s Advisory Council and the Bright Ideas program started in 2021 and have been valuable assets at the hospital. The council, which included participation from dozens of employees, has fulfilled 100 recommendations, including input into designing and developing the employee mindfulness center. Approximately half of the more than 160 ideas submitted by employees to the Bright Ideas program have been implemented, including creating the Newport Hospital 150th Anniversary Employee Cookbook.

“Within 10 business days after an employee submits an idea, we render a response,” Durand said. “As a result, our employee engagement scores have gone up year over year.”

Durand also aims to move from transactional health care to transformative health care. One new initiative she is spearheading in partnership with Bradley Hospital will establish a behavioral health unit with eight beds for adolescents at Newport Hospital.

Durand also mentors both high school and college students, along with her management team. She provides her administrators with tools, resources and skills they need to get to the next level of professional growth and development, and sets them up for success.

“My mentors have taught me how to build teams, deliver results, get involved and give back,” she said, “and don’t apologize for having high expectations, because they’ll take you far.”

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