Ashleigh Kinney presents at hospital conference.

Jul 11, 2018 / Spotlight

Get to Know our SRH Staff: Ashleigh Kinney, Director of Patient Experience

Meet Ashleigh - a licensed social worker who has been working at the hospital for the past four years in a director level position. Ashleigh’s involvement with Family Services, Child Life and the Family Resource Center gives her a unique patient and family perspective. She has a passion for the patient experience and recently received her certification in this area. Through SRH University, a hospital staff development program, she has taken on some additional responsibilities regarding the patient experience and the hospital’s CARE RITE values. To better capture the collaboration of all her departments and these added responsibilities we have transitioned her to the title of Director of Patient Experience. Learn more about her in our staff spotlight below:

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love my colleagues and the patients/families we serve together. 

What’s your favorite thing about the hospital?
Our mission. It truly is core to everything we do here. 

Describe a typical day. Does anyone have a typical day?
It really depends on the day and the tasks at hand, but several mornings a week begin with meetings to discuss various topics, including operations, departmental items or different initiatives. From there, the day continues with lots of great discussions and contact with the members of the departments I support (Family Services, Child Life, Family Resource Center and the Medical Library). I make every effort to attend the hospital’s daily operations huddle on the Inpatient Unit, too. In addition, I might have several conversations with colleagues across the organization - I love collaborating to create new ideas and implementation plans. In between face to face interactions, I spend time checking email, working on projects at my desk and responding to any variety of patient or family needs that might arise in the day. All sprinkled in between with intentional moments of humor and snacks.

How did you find out about the hospital?
My husband actually found the posting and sent it to me. He said, “this is your kind of place!” - he was right!

What made you want to work here?
The interview process really solidified the decision for me. I had the opportunity to meet so many people and every single person shared their unique perspective and love for this hospital. I remember thinking, “I want to be a part of that.” I believed in our work from the moment I stepped on campus. 

What skills do you need for your job?
My formal training is as a clinical social worker. The experience I have as a social worker and therapist has certainly come in handy. I find myself drawing upon empathy, patience, interpersonal relations and honesty on a daily basis.

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?
I was a singing hostess at Macaroni Grill! It was super fun – my main tasks were greeting/seating people, singing “Happy Birthday” in Italian…and standing on a chair and singing when the wait time would get too long. The path is a fun story. My undergraduate degree is in Music – Vocal Performance. I went to school on a singing scholarship. After undergrad, I moved to New York City and was an actress/singer. I needed a flexible “day job,” that would allow me to run back and forth to auditions as my manager would call. I was lucky to obtain a temporary position at a large cancer non-profit center in the city, that provided that flexibility. The office did not have much of a break space, so I would venture upstairs to the free lodging facility for cancer patients and their families visiting New York for treatment. I started organizing music nights with my musician friends to bring some of the arts in New York to these visitors that could not go to the theater. I loved the connection of music and people’s experiences – and it was really an “a-ha” moment for me. I ended up returning to school and getting my Masters in Social Work, and trained in direct practice, as well as administration. 

What is your favorite…
  • Hospital event: Treasure Street
  • Food in the cafeteria: Any of the desserts. Dangerous! 
  • Place in the hospital: The sky bridge – I feel so much pride coming and going. 
What’s your favorite…
  • Place to travel: Anyone that knows me, knows I love Disney World! I also love exploring new places with my family. 
  • Type of food: Pizza! 
  • TV show: I loved Mad Men…and Full House. Very different shows!
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Seeing into the future.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a musical theater performer or a Disney princess. 

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I’d say our move to Texas was pretty adventurous – I was offered a job with a start date one week after the offer. We literally packed everything, drove a U-Haul and Toyota Yaris across the country and moved into an apartment we never even saw beforehand…all over July Fourth weekend. Totally worth it!

What’s the last book you read?
Since I’m too embarrassed to tell you the last book I read, I’ll just share that the next book on my list is “Girl, Wash Your Face.”

What kind of animal would you be?
Definitely a dog!

How long is your commute? What do you do on the drive?
32 miles each way. Right now, it’s a mix of listing to Hamilton the Musical, NPR and Michael Buble. 

What is something people don’t know about you?
I used to work for Dolly Parton – I even did a photo shoot with her. I had to sit on the floor because I towered over her.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Defying Gravity from Wicked 

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