Family and Friends
Julie W. Schaffner 1954-2010
Executive at Lutheran General in Park Ridge ‘could connect with everyone’
January 03, 2011
By Joan Giangrasse Kates, Special to the Tribune
Julie W. Schaffner combined Southern charm and her extensive training as a nurse in carrying out her duties as chief operating officer at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where colleagues said she created a nurturing environment for patients and staff.
“You’d see her talking one minute with one of our janitors and the next minute with a neurosurgeon,” said Bill Santulli, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Advocate Health Care, the hospital’s parent company. “She could connect with everyone.”
Mrs. Schaffner oversaw a staff of 3,700 full-time employees and was instrumental in helping Lutheran General achieve a “Magnet” designation, a top national honor bestowed on nursing organizations by the American Nurses Association in 2005 and again in 2010.
“Julie was the engine behind that designation,” Santulli said. “Under her leadership we were recognized for our dedication and high standards to nursing growth, development and standard of patient care.”
She served for many years as the hospital’s chief nurse executive and helped develop Success Through Excellence in Practice, a clinical ladder program to provide career mobility for registered nurses.
Mrs. Schaffner, 56, died of ovarian cancer Friday, Dec. 31, at Rainbow Hospice in Park Ridge. She was a longtime Wilmette resident.
In 2003, she co-wrote “Rx for the Nursing Shortage,” as well as a tutorial modeled on the book that is used by hospitals nationwide
“Her influence on advancements in nursing was felt well beyond the walls of Advocate,” Santulli said. “She was a true champion of transformational leadership. She possessed a rare ability to draw people to her causes … to serve together to generate remarkable achievements.”
Mrs. Schaffner was involved with several national nursing groups, serving on the American Organization of Nurse Executives Publications Committee, the Journal of Nursing Administration Editorial Board and as the nursing representative on Advocate Health Care’s Medical Clinical Affairs Committee.
After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June 2009, Mrs. Schaffner found herself a hospital patient.
“She still tried getting things done while lying in her hospital bed,” said Tom Schaffner, her husband of 26 years. “She’d talk on the phone and work on her laptop.”
Born and raised in Montezuma, Va., Mrs. Schaffner was proud of her southern roots.
“She’d lost a lot of her accent, but she was still a country girl at heart,” her husband said.
Last updated on: 01/10/2011
Real brain power on display. Thanks for that aswner!
Marnie Marnie – 01/24/2012
AFAICT you’ve coreevd all the bases with this answer!
Destiny Destiny – 01/24/2012