2009 Public Health

griffin-awardDonna Griffin, Wyoming Public Health

Nominated By: Judy Stallman, Wyoming Public Health
Image: Steven Huerta, Donna Griffin and Karen Meyer

I have worked with Donna for 25 years watching leadership in action.

Donna was in the first RIHEL class in 1999 blazing the trail for the rest of us. As the Chief Nurse Executive for Wyoming Public Health Nursing, Donna “challenged the Public Health Workforce process” to carryout the mandated grant activities funded by grants in other division. She turned an adversarial, competitive relationship into a team effort with the ultimate outcome of improving patient care.

Collaboratively, Donna defined what required Public Health Services were and the parameters of optional county Public Health initiatives using the “Fifty Two Card Deck” principle of service delivery. When given a card (asked to provide additional services), the new card could only be received (new service provided) if another card (one of the old services) was given up. “Inspiring a Shared Vision” has allowed consistency throughout the state and empowered the nurse managers to say “yes and no” as they evaluate additional program requests.

Encourage the Heart. Donna implemented twice monthly conference calls for the Upper level management to communicate with the County Nurse Managers When she hears of successes on the front line, she not only acknowledges those efforts with a personal note but arranges to have upper level management acknowledge the accomplishments too.

Enable Others to Act Donnas’ often heard response when told “no” is “no is not an ending, it is the beginning of finding another way to get what is needed”! With limited future funding for leadership opportunities, Donna made arrangements to set money aside for future RIHEL scholarships. The majority upper level management are RIHEL alums. She has promoted the use of work groups to tackle issues, build consensus and find solutions.

Donna creates a standard of excellence and models the way. We all look forward to hearing about the “epiphinal aha moments” she has while on a snowmobile adventure or waiting patiently in the woods during a hunting trip develping her own “credo” of values that she shared at a yearly Nurse Manager meeting. She is creative and always positive in her approach inspiring solutions instead of discouragement. Donna Rocks!