Spotlight on Amy Lussier, Health System Operations

Mar 21, 2016, 08:18 AM by KirstiAnn Clifford

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(Above) Amy with her son, Kyle; daughter, Brooke; and Dan Marsh. (Below) Amy with her daughter,
Maddie, in front of the Vatican during a trip to Italy.

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Amy Lussier joined UTMB in 2013 as director of Health System Special Projects, serving as a liaison between UTMB and the construction design teams for the League City Campus, Clinical Services Wing and Jennie Sealy Hospital. She recently began her new role as associate vice president of Health System Operations, where her areas of responsibility include the League City Hospital and Perioperative and Endoscopy Services, while continuing her work in the activation of the new facilities.

Lussier brings more than 20 years of experience in national program development, design and facilitation of new construction for health care facilities, change management, operation planning and implementation, patient experience and administrative management. She began her nursing career at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Galveston. Lussier earned a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UTMB.

What does the Road Ahead look like for you?
Since joining UTMB just over two years ago, I have been working with the project teams on the Clinical Services Wing, Jennie Sealy Hospital and League City Campus. As construction comes to an end, the road ahead for me will be to help with opening LCC as we begin to offer new services for our patients. I will also be working with our Perioperative Service teams in both Galveston and League City on strategic planning and systemizing processes to improve margins, efficiencies and workflows. Finally, I am excited to participate on the project involving our partnership with MD Anderson at LCC.

I am looking forward to returning to hospital operations and working with the teams to strategize, make the best use of our resources and develop new processes to reach goals. I truly enjoy working with frontline staff and believe they are the key to sustainable innovation and change. We have a remarkable team at UTMB and I am grateful to be apart of it in such exciting times.

As the liaison between UTMB and the construction teams for new facilities, how excited are you to see them come online?

I am beyond excited for our staff to be able to work and our patients to receive care in our new facilities. Many departments and staff devoted hours to the various stages of the design process to ensure our new facilities provide the tools they need where they need them so they are able deliver exceptional care to our patients.

You hold a BSN and MBA. How does your combined experience in nursing and business administration contribute to your success?
I believe that nurses are up for any challenge and are natural-born problem-solvers. Nursing is often like mission control as you coordinate care and communication among patients, caregivers, ancillary departments and patient families. I have had some unique roles since becoming a nurse and each one has been rewarding and educational. I never imagined this position while in nursing school, but honestly, I never imagined some of the others either. I was just always up for a new challenge and love change.

The position as a liaison provided an exciting opportunity to work closely with our partners in Business Operations and Facilities, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As a nurse, most of my experience was related to hospital operations, so the opportunity to work with and learn from colleagues in Design and Construction, Facilities, Finance, Information Systems, Environmental Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Portfolio Management, Logistics and all the others in Business and Finance has been invaluable.

The business degree was important for me personally because I wanted to increase my understanding of operations, finance and processes that aren’t directly clinical. I have only scratched the surface in this area and am always seeking new opportunities to learn and work with those well-versed in these fields. I believe the combination of the two degrees gives me an advantage and helps me see the big picture and understand a process from both viewpoints. I also think it helps me communicate more effectively. Those who know me would say I have no problem talking, but I do not speak finance or IT naturally, so I think the combination helped me understand what information they needed so that I could be better prepared.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Dan and I have five kids, ages 11–16, so the majority of our “free time” is spent at their practices or games. But when we are not at a field or court, I love spending time with them, family and friends, preferably with live music and laughing. We see a lot of concerts and I also love to travel. Last year, my 15-year-old daughter and I spent a week in Greece and Italy, which was incredible. I know I struck it rich with kids, family and friends, so I am open to doing pretty much anything when they’re involved. I have a group of nine friends from fourth grade that still get together regularly. We are also on a group text and“talk” every day. As I get older, I know more and more that the people we are lucky enough to love are the most important asset.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I want to go to Barcelona and Portugal. I traveled through Spain and loved the culture, art, food and people. I didn’t get to see Barcelona on that trip, so I’ve always wanted to go back, and Portugal has just always been a place I want to see. I am really not a picky traveler though and will go just about anywhere!