Published on March 30th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff3
L. Michelle Logan-Owens; “A Look in the Mirror”
By L. Michelle Logan-Owens, DHA, RN.
Named first African- American female CEO of acute-care hospital in the state of South Carolina.
In 2015, Dr. Logan-Owens was named CEO of Tuomey Healthcare. After the partnership of Tuomey Healthcare and Palmetto Health, she was named COO of Palmetto Health Tuomey.
She is a graduate of The University of South Carolina; receiving the following degrees:
Doctor of Healthcare Administration, MUSC, Charleston, SC; Master of Healthcare Administration, MUSC, Charleston, SC; Bachelor of Science in Nursing, USC, Columbia, SC; and Associate Degree in Arts, USC, Sumter, SC.
She is a native of Pinewood, SC.
“A Look in the Mirror”
“Stand in front of me,” says the mirror. “Let me tell you what I see. Look at you, standing there: strong, tall, confident and successful. You have come a long way. You were raised by hard-working, loving parents; the same devoted parents who once sat at the kitchen table pondering which bill was going to go unpaid so they could afford to take you to the emergency department for a nose bleed that would not stop. Now you are responsible for that very same emergency department.
“Look at you. Over 30 years ago you watched with great wonder as nurses and doctors took incredible care of your grandfather during his arduous battle with cancer. Now you write policies and procedures that guide the care of similar professionals in your hospital.
“Look at you. Only a few short years ago, you knelt at your grandmother’s side doing all you knew to try to resuscitate her. Now you are dressed in your best business suit, ready to take on the world after trading in your starched, white nursing uniform.
“Look at you. You were once a young, rambunctious girl with long flowing pigtails who enjoyed living in the moment. Now you stand poised, having been named the first African-American female CEO of an acute-care hospital in the great state of South Carolina.
“Look at you. Not long ago, you, along with committed board members and a strong legal team, deliberated on the best strategies and partnerships to lead your healthcare organization into the future. Today, you are the chief operating officer of a hospital in the largest healthcare system in the state of South Carolina. And to think, it all began 45 years ago on a cold December evening in this very same hospital. As your parents stared lovingly at their new baby girl, they did not know what the future would hold for you. But God did; it is written in Jeremiah 29:11(NIV), ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope’.”
Today, as I step away from the mirror, I think of what an incredible journey this has been. I count it among my blessings to serve the community in which so many contributed to the person that I am today. I never take for granted that I stand on the shoulders of giants, and that every opportunity I have been blessed to experience has been made possible by others who surround me. Some were pioneers I will never have the chance to know, who paved the way for women and minorities to have the opportunity to achieve great success.
While I don’t know what is next for me, I can walk confidently toward the future because I know that God already does. Recently I looked back at an affirmation that I wrote to myself in 2011 during my doctoral program regarding my vision for my life: To live my life in such a way that it brings honor to God and my family. I cannot think of any better words to choose today. While this vision may seem vague and non-committal on the surface, those words convey a tremendous responsibility as they represent the journey to authentic leadership. The vision (purpose) is to bring honor to God and family; it is impossible to do that without having core values, heart, self-discipline and relationships. In honoring God, there is a much larger audience than just those living with me. The world is watching. My integrity, values and beliefs are constantly being judged. Just like with team members, the world is gauging my actions against my words.
The poet/author Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived: This is to have succeeded.” This is my “True North.” I stumbled on this piece of literary work when I was much younger, but these last two sentences have resonated with me all these many years. I have made it my life’s work to have my purpose, actions and motives center on making the next breath a person takes just a little bit easier because I was there. Mother Teresa reminds us, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” This mission does not require that I carry a certain level of position or possess any special skills. It only requires that I have a willingness to look beyond myself, see the needs of others, and respond using the best of my abilities. This is my challenge to you: Never take for granted those who have helped you, and never shy away from your responsibility to do the same.
It is my hope that when I stand before the mirror in five to 10 years that it will reflect a life of servanthood, one in which I have gone out of my way to meet the needs of others and taken care of my community. I hope that my girls will carry themselves like young ladies, well-mannered, educated and articulate. I hope that I will be seen as a loving and supportive wife, working diligently to meet the physical and emotional needs of my family. Most importantly, I hope that the mirror will see that I have lived my life in a manner that has brought honor to God and my family
When you stand before the mirror, what image will you reflect?