ONC Welcomes New Chief Nursing Officer

Melinda (Mindy) Kidder | March 7, 2024

Mindy recently joined ONC as the new chief nursing officer (CNO). She brings more than 30 years of experience in patient care, nursing management, informatics, and complex project management in diverse healthcare organizations. As ONC’s new CNO, Mindy will be responsible for a wide range of projects and policy efforts that use her expertise and diverse skills to continue to advance ONC’s mission while contributing the perspective of the nursing profession to that work.

1. How did you decide to move from clinical care to nursing leadership? And in particular, informatics?

Although I cherished my experiences in critical care, the recovery room, and surgery, I recognized the potential to extend my impact beyond individual patients. Transitioning into a nurse leadership role enabled me to influence the care provided across my units and throughout the hospital. As I progressed in nurse leadership, I developed a deeper appreciation for the role of data and analytics in healthcare. This motivated me to seek ways to provide essential information to fellow nurse leaders and enhance patient safety and care quality. As a lifetime learner, I began to research programs available to progress my love of technology and nursing.  Upon discovering a nursing informatics program, I knew this was what I needed to do. Completion of my degree marked a pivotal moment in my career, as it aligns with my passion for leveraging technology to optimize patient care.

2. Tell us about your experience as a chief nursing officer that led you to your career here at ONC?

As the vice president of nursing informatics at HCA Healthcare, I collaborated closely with leadership at all levels and the IT department to oversee applications and workflows. This broad scope of responsibility provided me with valuable insights into how these technologies directly affect both patients and staff. It also allowed me to refine my project management skills in leading initiatives aimed at delivering the highest standards of care. Combining this experience with my background as a staff nurse and nurse leader has equipped me with the expertise to contribute effectively to the ONC team and communicate proficiently with external stakeholders.

3. How will you help advance ONC’s mission?

As ONC’s chief nursing officer, I will play a pivotal role by providing invaluable insights and expertise from a nursing perspective. Drawing upon my extensive clinical experience and understanding of healthcare workflows, I will contribute to the development and implementation of ONC initiatives with a primary focus on optimizing patient care. Advocating for the integration of nursing perspectives into health IT policies and projects, I will ensure that the voice of nurses is effectively represented and that solutions align with the needs of frontline healthcare providers. Additionally, I will foster collaboration between ONC and nursing communities to raise awareness of ONC initiatives to drive continuous improvement in healthcare technology. Through my leadership and strategic guidance, I will reinforce ONC’s mission to advance health IT innovation and enhance healthcare delivery for all.

4. What are some of the projects or initiatives that you will lead at ONC and what do you hope to accomplish in your time here?

I will establish effective communication with stakeholders to better understand their needs and educate them on ONC programs and policies. Additionally, I will facilitate feedback loops for ONC projects and ensure that the voice of nurses is represented in our project work.

5. How would you characterize ONC’s success?

ONC’s success is evident in its commitment to advance healthcare through technology. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders and implementing initiatives that address key challenges, ONC has played a pivotal role in enhancing patient care and improving healthcare outcomes. Through its efforts in promoting interoperability, data exchange, and the adoption of health IT, ONC continues to drive innovation and facilitate the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care across the healthcare ecosystem.

6. What core values do you bring to ONC that are important to you and your ONC work?

I am dedicated to patient-centered care, collaboration, and innovation. As a nurse leader, I prioritize the well-being and outcomes of patients above all else. Keeping the patient first will help ensure that ONC initiatives align with the goal of improving healthcare delivery and enhancing patient experiences.

Collaboration is essential to my approach.  I believe that bringing together diverse perspectives leads to more effective solutions. I value open communication, mutual respect, and teamwork in fostering meaningful partnerships both within ONC and with external stakeholders. Furthermore, I am committed to driving innovation in healthcare technology, constantly seeking new opportunities to leverage advancements in IT to address challenges and foster positive change. These core values will guide my work at ONC, shape my contributions and ensure that our efforts remain focused on making a tangible difference in healthcare.