Katie Radel, director of Marketing and Public Relations at TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, discusses her passion for healthcare marketing, the honor of being named a 2017 Nashville Emerging Leaders Awards (NELAs) finalist and the best piece of professional advice she ever received.
What led you to pursue marketing and public relations as a career?
Marketing and public relations is a natural fit for my personality and skill set, and I have served in various roles in the field for more than 15 years. Before joining TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, I had an event planning, marketing and public relations company.
Five years ago, my predecessor at TriStar Southern Hills was leaving for a promotion and asked if I would be interested in the marketing and public relations director role. I knew I wanted to join the team, but I didn’t have healthcare experience. They took a chance on me, and here I am five years later.
I am passionate about healthcare and feel incredibly fortunate to work for TriStar Health. I love having the opportunity to tell patient stories and to work with such an amazing healthcare team.
What role does the director of marketing and public relations play in the day-today life of TriStar Southern Hills?
The director of marketing and public relations at TriStar Southern Hills – and at all other HCA facilities – is a storyteller, protector of the facility image and brand, coordinator of all marketing collateral needs, problem solver, community connector, and the spokesperson for the facility.
What qualities do you try to instill in your department?
I try to work hard and be nice each day. This is simple, but true.
What is the best piece of professional advice you ever received and how has it affected the way you approach your job?
Take the opportunity to learn from everyone and take advantage of any opportunity to grow. I love the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”
There is no lack of opportunity to learn in healthcare, and I’m always hungry to learn how a process works, or to understand the “why” behind what we do. There is always someone to learn from, whether it is a physician, mid-level or administrator. I’m fortunate to have access to many teachers!
A few years ago, I was encouraged by my colleagues to continue my education and complete a Master of Business Administration degree from Lipscomb University. Going back to school was an amazing opportunity for my professional growth and development, and I’m grateful I had support to go for it.
Describe your greatest success as director of marketing and public relations at TriStar Southern Hills.
One year ago, we partnered with the reputation management team from HCA to launch a reputation management program pilot at TriStar Southern Hills. Our leadership team was very supportive of this initiative, and our directors and managers bought in to the program from the beginning. The HCA team gave us the tools we need to increase our positive social media reviews, and through daily rounding and persistence, our Patient Feedback Score has increased by 45 percent in one year. I field positive social media reviews nearly every day and am proud to have helped implement this pilot.
Are you involved in community service? In which local initiatives do you participate?
Yes, I am a board member of Saddle Up!, a non-profit that provides equine therapy to children with disabilities. For the past two years, I have served as PR Chair for their largest fundraising event. I am on the Nashville Chamber South leadership committee and am a member of Crossings Nashville Action Partnership, in Antioch, Tennessee. I am also an active Nashville CABLE member – a women’s networking organization – and have served on their board and in various leadership roles for the past seven years.
What does being named a 2017 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards finalist mean to you?
I am honored to be a Nashville Emerging Leader finalist and am thankful for all of the opportunities that TriStar Health has given me to learn and grow professionally.