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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014


Living In Washington Magazine: A conversation with Kim Malinky

Friday, July 30th, 2010

A conversation with Kim Malinky

By Karen Mansfield

Kim Malinky has spent 27 years at Canonsburg Hospital: in hospital rooms as a nurse and in the boardroom as president and chief executive officer since 2003. In her nearly three decades of service, the hospital has undergone several expansions, and under her guidance the growth continues. Here's a conversation with ... Kim Malinky.

Q. You have served at Canonsburg Hospital both as a nurse and as an administrator. How has your nursing experience helped in your role as hospital CEO?

A. It's given me an advantage. I was a bedside nurse for many, many years. From a patient perspective, I'm keenly aware of what patient needs are, and from the caregiver perspective, I know what it takes to get a patient through from illness to health. Now, as kind of the steward of the hospital with regard to distribution of resources and decision-making about what direction we're taking the hospital in, I can take all that into account. My guiding principle has always been, throughout my management career, that if you make decisions that are in the best interest of the patient, you really can't go wrong.

Q. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of women who have assumed the position of hospital president. To what do you attribute that?

A. Nursing can take you anywhere. The foundation of nursing is critical thinking and decision-making and leadership because you need to guide your patient through the process; it's kind of a natural progression in the process. I think women can make a decision to do anything they want today.

Q. When you are not at the hospital, how do you enjoy spending your time?

A. Spending time with my granddaughter, who is 7, and my new grandson, who is 2 months old. That's what occupies my free time. And not a lot of people know my husband and I own a restaurant called the Station Grille in Wellsburg, W.Va., where we live, so on the weekends you can probably find me down there for a few hours.

Q. The rise in obesity is a concern. How can parents help overweight children?

A. I think how we teach our children is to lead by example and to instill in them at an early age some good habits. The one thing that may have come along with more women working is the convenience factors that women out there will all take advantage of, such as fast-food. The family meal time is becoming somewhat disrupted because of everybody's busy schedules. It takes considerably more effort to plan a meal and have meal time, to sit down at the dinner table together. But the kids don't decide what's for dinner, parents decide, so you do have control over that to some degree. It's not easy.

Q. What impact do you believe health care reform will have on patients?

A. In health care reform, a lot is yet to be determined. I hesitate just a bit; I have mixed feelings about where it's taking us because when you look at it from a provider aspect of being a hospital, more people should be insured, which is a good thing. But the impact of all the reform could potentially lead to dramatic changes in reimbursement. I think there's so much more to be learned about it.

Q. What is your favorite hospital snack shop food?

A. They have great everything. Their milkshakes are pretty good.

Q. Canonsburg Hospital has been serving the community since 1904 and continues to expand health care services. What new facilities and services are planned?

A. We're getting ready to open our Canonsburg Center for Women's Health, which will focus on women's health care issues. Also, we are expanding outside the four walls to an ambulatory site at Peters Township. In assessing the market, we feel we need to reach out to the community and bring health care services to them. We've made quite an investment in the community's health care needs utilizing state-of-the-art technology.

Q. You have a strong working relationship with your staff. Technology has improved health care, but you maintain it is the employees who are ultimately responsible for a hospital's success.

A. It's not the bricks and mortar or the services or the technology, it's the people who work here. They're truly the ones who come to work every day ready to do the very best they can for patients. It is my belief that it is the employees of this hospital who make this hospital.

Q. To what extent do you consider yourself a role model for girls and women?

A. I would hope that I could be; I don't know that I am.

Q. Do you miss the hands-on aspects of nursing?

A. Sure. I will always be a nurse, but I feel that I've gotten to a point in my life where I can best serve patients by performing the role that I perform now.

Q. Great advancements have been made in medicine. When will we see a redesign of the hospital gown?

A. It is becoming more creative with the use of snaps and not so many ties. It's an issue of function.

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