Brenda Forrest Million
Vice president Women’s and Children’s Services
St. Bernards Medical Center
Education Bachelor’s degree in nursing, Arkansas State University; master’s degree in health care administration, Kennedy-Western University; American College of HealthCare Executives Fellow Certification — FACHE
What was your dream job and why?
My career in nursing has been a dream. I have experienced so many different aspects of healthcare and have been a part of so many changes to improve patient care. I love giving back to others and I have had the opportunity to do that in all of my jobs.
What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success?
I am highly motivated to succeed, dependable, thoughtful, good-natured, hard worker, a team player and a good listener.
How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with our family in Northwest Arkansas. Spending time with our granddaughter and watching her grow is very important to us. We love to go to the beach several times a year and have made many beautiful memories there as a family. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes from cookbooks that I have collected over the years. I love to be outdoors working with flowers, spending time at the lake and walking in the mornings.
I have had many fulfilling moments but opening our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Bernards has been very rewarding for our physicians, staff and our patients. It is so wonderful for families to be able to stay in our community versus traveling. The support from the community has been tremendous and continues to be. We love seeing our babies grow up and return for our annual NICU reunion celebration. It has been a great blessing to me personally.
What advice would you give young women who are at the beginning of their careers?
My advice for any young woman would be to strive for what you enjoy and what you can make a difference in. Continue to chase your dream job, work hard, be honest and be the best that you can be.
Can you share how COVID impacted your business or organization?
COVID changed the healthcare world significantly and continues to have an impact. The number of patients that required hospitalization and the number of staff needed to care for them increased beyond the capacity of most hospitals. The focus shifted to the majority of our time being spent on COVID related care and how to secure supplies needed for that care. The devastating loss of patients, friends and employees changed the lives of families forever.
If you have a bucket list, what are the top three things on it?
Purchase a home in Northwest Arkansas to be close to family, write a children’s book and go to Disney World with our granddaughter.
What’s the last good book you read?
“Reality-Based Leadership,” by Cy Wakeman. A great book that everyone needs to read to focus on personal changes that need to take place in the workplace.
What’s your favorite app at the moment?
Pinterest. I love to search Pinterest for new ideas for decorating homes, new recipes and ideas for my current projects.
Who have been mentors who’ve influenced your professional career?
My mother was my main mentor in my life in so many ways but especially for my becoming a nurse. She was a nurse and I grew up watching her as she came to the hospital after the tornado to help the victims, work with behavioral health patients and practice as our school nurse in elementary school. My friends would come to her privately to seek advice because they knew she would listen and assist them.
My current St. Bernards CEO, Chris Barber, has also influenced my professional career. He is a great role model for continuous learning and giving back to our community. He is always very encouraging providing direction when needed. He is very respected by all who know him. His example has influenced many of my professional decisions.