The Seven Women Who Have Most Inspired Tennille

Mar 24 2023

Last October, Tennille Rushing, BSN, celebrated working at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital for 20 years! She currently serves as chief operating officer for our physicians in our Kentucky market and started her career with us as a patient care assistant as well as a health unit coordinator.

“I was mentored and encouraged to pursue my nursing license by two of the best nurses I have ever had the pleasure of working with: Ms. Frankie Harbison and Ms. Viola Belmont,” Tennille shares. “Both women retired after 30-plus-year nursing careers with Mercy Health. I have been blessed to have ‘grown up’ in an organization that has supported me and my passion to evolve and grow.”

Throughout the years, Tennille has been an ortho/neuro staff nurse, charge nurse, floor supervisor, ambulatory director of operations and director of clinical quality before reaching the C-Suite.

While Tennille recognizes how far she has come in the last two decades, she also would like to take the opportunity to reflect on others who have influenced her career.

Tennille acknowledges there have been so many women who have encouraged her to live our ministry’s Mission as well as utilize her gifts and talents in her role every day. Each woman had their own strengths and methods but were all very powerful in their impact on Tennille.

Ms. Anita Mattingly, RN, system director of clinical services of our medical group

“Also very affectionately known as, the ‘other half of my brain.’ Anita and I have been through and seen many changes in health care over the years, but I credit Anita’s stamina and faith that kept us both looking forward to the next challenge with optimism and confidence.”

The late Ms. Zana Renfro, former director of operations for our Kentucky physicians

“Sadly, we lost Zana late last year, but I can still hear her voice encouraging me. ‘Come on T, you know you already know HOW to do it, now you just got to make it happen.’ Thanks, Z!”

Ms. Kelly Nicholls, vice president physician and provider relations for our ministry

“Kelly is the ultimate motivator. I used to invite myself to her meetings just so I could absorb her knowledge and skill set like a sponge. She has this supernatural ability to convince an entire board room audience that not only is her message captivating, but that they are a large part of the solution to whatever the problem is. And then she gets total buy-in to resolve it! Genius!”

Ms. Theresa Jett, an interior decorator and home builder at Jett Construction (also Tennille’s mother)  

“My mom is the TRUE reason I am PASSIONATE about health care and will continue to devote my life to this mission. My mom is a lifelong patient and survivor and a testament to the majesty of faithful, collaborative care. She encourages me DAILY with her drive and courage.”

Miss Natalie Besaw, a pre-med honors student at the University of Louisville (also Tennille’s daughter)  

“Natalie is my strength and continued purpose. She is the future of health care and why I strive to leave this landscape better than I found it every day. I have been a health care advocate and nurse her entire life. She has learned the value of helping others through my ‘after-work’ stories, and when she a little girl she used to ask me ‘mom, who did you inspire today?’ My prayer was ALWAYS that I was inspiring my children as much as anyone else.”

Read more stories celebrating our team members during Women’s History Month.

Also, learn more about the health care services we offer at Mercy Health.

Related Posts

Please review our Terms of Use before commenting.