Meet SVMC’s Maternal Child Health Department Interim Leaders

Elisa Fernandez, RN, Interim Clinical Manager of SVMC’s Labor and Delivery and Fidelita “Faye” Cortez, Interim Director of Sierra View Medical Center’s Maternal Child Health Department are two highly-skilled and adaptable, individuals that have proven they can quickly take on many projects with various moving parts.

“My goals for our department and organization are focused on quality of care, community support, and nurse’s satisfaction,” said Faye. “If we have happy, content nurses, we have happy, satisfied patients.”

Within Faye’s goals, she has taken Elisa under her wing and is mentoring her along her leadership journey and encouraging her towards fulfilling her own goals, and having fun while doing what she enjoys most. For Elisa, this includes being involved with providing her team with the most recent and relevant practices, in addition to providing education and updating policies to assure their department provides the safest care for patients possible.

Compassion is the Core Value

Compassion is the word that both Elisa and Faye use to describe the value that shines the brightest in their department. “Compassion is a key value in our department,” Elisa says. “Our team provides genuine compassionate care to all our mom's, babies, birthing families and to each other. This value comes to life everyday as we assist and accompany our families throughout their birthing experience to assure a safe and very gratifying experience.”

These leaders have much in common as far as their goals for the department, and they make an impactful difference which in itself, makes you want to jump on board and join forces with them! What makes them interesting and different from one another is their healthcare journeys that lead them to where they are today.

Faye’s Career Journey

As for Faye, who grew up in the Philippines and came to the U.S. at 29 years old, nursing has always been her calling. She explains it as a profession in which the services include love and care and it’s an occupation that does not discriminate.

“Back in the day, nurses wore white uniforms, with a cap on their head, looking very respectable,” Faye said, as she explained the impact the profession first made on her. “They have a healing touch, as I observed and I always told myself, I'd like to be one of them – where I too, would be able to heal and restore somebody's health. I was inspired with the thought that nursing is one profession that reaches to the core of the person at their most vulnerable time of being sick and having the privilege to assist and help them in recovering and restoring their health.”

Faye had the opportunity to work in a larger, more complex organization after managing a NICU-3, which had its own set of advantages, however she had a life altering event in 2018 that presented a chance for her to expand her horizon in a different way. She chose SVMC because she felt she would have more complex challenges, which she felt she needed. Faye feels working in a smaller facility offers several opportunities for improvement; aiming for optimum outcomes while also knowing that some resources need to be actively explored, which she believes enhances knowledge and skills.

“The most rewarding thing in my career here at SVMC, is the privilege to work with a team that I could share my work experience with, and having such a supportive senior team and their willingness to effectively make changes that reflect best practice,” Faye said.

Elisa’s Career Journey:

Elisa has always found it very rewarding to help others when they are in need of medical attention. She began her nursing career as a CNA at 18 years old, working at a nearby facility. She quickly realized she wanted something more to fulfill her personal desire to help others and to care for patients with a more holistic approach. She went on to receive her ADN before beginning at Sierra View and then her BSN and MSN while working at the organization.

"I chose SVMC because this is my ‘hometown’ hospital,” Elisa explains. “Sierra View serves the people in my community, and it offers great opportunities for nurses throughout all stages of the nursing profession - novice to expert. I enjoy working here in town because I know my work here makes a different within my own community.”

The most rewarding thing for Elisa is rising through the ranks, from new grad to charge nurse at SVMC, and recently into a leadership role as Interim Manager of SVMC’s Labor and Delivery Unit within the Maternal Child Care Department. To her, it’s rewarding to know that she can be of service to her colleagues, and simultaneously, it ties directly back to the patients. Her contributions come full circle in striving to achieve best patient outcomes.

“My leadership journey, in the midst of department changes has been quite challenging, but at the same time it has kept me on my toes and it’s peaked my interest in wanting to learn more for the better of our team and our patients,” Elisa explains. “It opens up an entire new horizon in my career in managing the day to day challenges, but I am lucky to have a mentor who has a wealth of knowledge and experience I could learn from. The best part is, it's all learning with fun!”

Sierra View is excited to see where these two go from here and are elated for the opportunity to share their current roles with the community and beyond.