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Celebrating Our People - Meet Natasha

Celebrating Our People – Meet Natasha

June 19, 2023 Posted in: Patients & Providers  3 minute read time

 

Natasha Reese says her career path was guided by a conversation she had with a colleague, who was studying for their infection control exam. Ever since that conversation, she became an infection interventionist and now serves as market director of infection control, leading the ministry’s efforts to keep patients and caregivers safe and healthy.

“We’re a team of five that oversees policy and guidelines across all facilities,” Natasha says. “We ensure we’re taking the most recent course of action in compliance with the law and standards, and we spend a lot of time mining data. We’re focused on providing the best care and making sure we take care of our patients.”

Path to Prevention

Natasha worked in a lab as a microbiologist for 10 years before she joined the team at Saint Joseph Hospital in 2016 as an infection preventionist. Before moving into her current role, she also served as the central sterile processing manager.

She says while she was studying at Eastern Kentucky University for her undergraduate degrees, she career-matched into two areas: nursing and laboratory sciences.

“I’ve always been a math and science person, and I didn’t want to be a nurse,” Natasha says. “I wanted to be behind the scenes helping patients. Knowing what’s going on with patients before the physician and being on the cutting edge of diagnoses is really cool. It’s the same with microbiology because I could see what’s going on with a patient by analyzing the contents of an agar plate.”

Moving into a compliance-heavy leadership role, saying what we’re doing and doing what we say is ingrained in Natasha, who grew up in a military family.

“Compliance comes easy for me,” Natasha says. “My father was in the army. I’ve always paid close attention to details and followed the rules.”

Natasha’s upbringing and later mentorship from Saint Joseph London infection control director Gladys Cornn guided her leadership philosophy. 

“I’ve learned a lot from her, especially how to give the team autonomy to implement best practices in the most effective way for their facility,” Natasha says. “The needs and processes for each hospital are different and flexibility is needed to adopt these practices for the benefit of our patients. My goal is to be supportive and open to feedback to make improvements.”

Work in Progress

Some recent initiatives Natasha’s team focused on include rolling out ministry-wide algorithms and tests to eliminate hospital-acquired C-diff infections. The current initiative is to mitigate and stop central line infections and increase hand hygiene.

Natasha says her passion for education and pursuing knowledge continues, as well. Her dream is to attend Johns Hopkins University to pursue a doctorate in epidemiology. Outside of work, she spends time with her kids, catches up on reading and is passionate about fast cars.

“I’m a car girl,” Natasha says. “I’m driving a 2017 Camaro SS, 480 horsepower, 6-speed manual transmission and a 6-2 engine and my everyday car is a Tahoe that has the same engine, but it’s not as fun as my Camaro.”

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