Health Care Hero: After 15 years in field, focus still on people

The Dayton Daily News is profiling the people who work hard every day to save lives and take care of us. Nominate a Health Care Hero by emailing

Name: Chase Collins

Hometown (where you live now): New Vienna (a small rural town just outside of Wilmington)

Job title: Nursing Manager

Where do you work: Mercy Health–Springfield Regional Medical Center Emergency Department


Describe what your day is like/what you do: My day can go many different directions. Ultimately, I am responsible for the daily operations of the Emergency Department. This includes managing everything from staffing to supplies, and everything in between. I am responsible for making sure that patient care is coordinated smoothly and will often get involved to make sure there is good collaboration between all departments that impact the patient experience in the ED. This includes radiology, laboratory, protective services, transportation services, respiratory therapy, case management and more. We focus heavily on patient throughput, experience of care, and of course clinical quality of care. Our goal is to produce the highest level of service in the shortest amount of time with the best team possible.

Health Care Hero: ‘I really love my job’

What inspired you to get into health care? I really did not decide on a health care career until I was a senior in high school. I was a home schooled kid who was very involved with my local church and outreach and have always had a passion for music. I really thought that I would pursue a music career, but after much consideration and direction from people I trusted, I applied for nursing school. I have always had a heart to serve others and spent much of my young adult life working with the homeless and underserved at a local coffee shop and street ministry. I think it was there that I realized health care would give me the opportunity to minister to some of the most vulnerable people during some of the toughest times of their lives. Over 15 years into my career, my focus is still on people, but I now have an incredible opportunity to support and empower others to deliver exceptional care. I very much enjoy having the opportunity to see others grow and reach for their full potential. We have an amazing group of employees who are truly selfless and who have a heart to serve their community, and I am so proud to be a part of this team.

Health Care Hero: ‘I became a nurse to make a difference’

What's a memorable experience you've had in health care? I think the most memorable experiences are sometimes just the simple connections we make with patients. I think back to when I was a nursing assistant on a neurology floor while in nursing school. I always made it a point when completing baths to offer to shave the men and to shampoo the women's hair. It seems like a really menial thing, but it was incredible what offering some simple decency would do to improve their spirits and ultimately their healing, in my opinion. One patient in particular was so happy to have her hair washed she about jumped out of the bed. For years after caring for her, I would run into her and her husband in the grocery store, or later on as an ED nurse, and she always remembered me and gave me a hug when she saw me. I have thought about this several times throughout my career when I have needed to refocus on what is truly important. Making that human connection and meeting patient's basic needs first is so important. We can have all the skill and knowledge in the world (and we should!), but we should never forget to listen and to understand what a patient's needs truly are.

What do you want readers to know about your job right now? I would want them to know that though there are so many pressures of the job, the joy of knowing that I am making an impact on both patients and the team that I am responsible for leading is worth all of it. We have some of the toughest regulations, some of the thinnest margins, some of the tightest targets, but the pride and joy that comes from delivering exceptional care to those who need us the most is what confirms to me that this is what I was made to do.