If you had asked Ramona Cheek as a young girl what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was a clear one: an international spy.
In fact, it wasn’t until she graduated high school and found herself interviewing for nursing school that Ramona realized her true calling was to be a nurse instead.
“I never pretended to be a nurse as a kid. There are no nurses in my family and I’d never been in a hospital until that point – nursing chose me and I’m so glad it did,” Ramona shares. “I’ve been a nurse for a long time. I’ve been able to learn and do such a variety of things to help my patients and, to me, that’s the greatest thing about being a nurse.”
Ramona’s love of nursing has even inspired three of her close family members to also choose a career in this field – her sister is now a nursing professor, her niece graduated from nursing school last year and a second niece is a senior nursing student.
Even though Ramona is not dabbling in international espionage like she imagined when she was a young girl, she is still involved in very exciting work. As vice president of nursing transformation and innovation, Ramona is leading our ministry’s effort to reimagine how care is delivered in our hospitals for a better patient and team member experience. The initial focus is to reshape the care that nurses deliver in the hospital environment to implement solutions that will, in turn, empower nurses.
“I’m thrilled about the voice nurses have been given to impact the future of our profession,” Ramona says. “Their voices have really led us to this point – what we’ve learned and how to turn their voices into action. It’s a cool opportunity to help build your future.”
She first joined our ministry as a consultant before serving as chief nursing officer in Fairfield, part of our Cincinnati market. Although she held chief nursing officer roles prior to her time with us, she knew that to step back into a hospital setting after her time as a consultant an organization would need to have three things.
“It was important to me that the organization I joined had a strong leadership team that viewed themselves as a team, was a faith-based organization and supported me with flexibility I needed at the time to take care of my family,” Ramona explains. “For me, Mercy Health hit the mark on all three.”
Now, as a ministry leader, she values learning new things and not being afraid to express vulnerability in doing so. And, of course, having fun with those around her.
“I truly believe that there is so much natural synergy and energy you get from working in a team environment that prioritizes continuous learning,” Ramona expresses. “I think that is the key to future success – learning new things and having fun while you do it.”
Learn about the health care services we offer at Mercy Health.