Meet Tammy McClanahan, 2019 Most Admired Woman — Healthcare
System Vice President, Cancer Service Line RN, BSN, OCN, MHA, FACHE
Family: Husband True; daughters Delaney and Tiernan
Area of town: Middletown
You might say Tammy McClanahan’s life has been influenced and directed by health care experiences. From a serious injury as a child to her stint as a candy striper that began at age 13 to now overseeing operations for all oncology services at Norton Healthcare, Tammy’s life has been shaped by being cared for or caring for others.
Did you have a seminal moment that led you to where you are or was it a series of happy accidents?
I would say by accident. When I went to nursing school, my intent was to take care of patients and to do nursing care for my career. About five years into inpatient nursing, my director of nursing told me she thought I needed to go into management. I didn’t really want to go into management, but she thought I would be good at it. I applied for my first inpatient nurse manager job, and I didn’t get it, and so I was then determined that I was going to go into management.
What do you miss about nursing and working daily with patients?
I miss the adrenaline of dealing with an emergency. I’m one of those people who can stay calm in an emergency situation. When there was a code or someone going into a medical crisis, I was the take-charge leader. I’m good at “directing.”
What is the best thing about your current position?
The best thing is getting to implement positive change in health care. If I hear of something we can improve upon, I can make that change happen. When you’re in a staff nurse role, you’re living with the environment that you’re working in. I’m in a role where I can make change based on where I see the opportunities or where patients have a need.
What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
Two things: making sure to get a consensus from leadership that change needs to happen and being able to figure out financially how to implement new programs.
What verb best describes you?
Do. At work, I’m the doer. Even though I’m in a leadership position, I’m the worker bee. A lot of doctors I work with call me the “get ‘er done girl.” At home, my husband says I always have to be doing something.
What places are on your travel bucket list?
Key West, Florida, the Maldives, and Iceland.
Are you a “doer” on vacation?
A little bit of my hesitation about the Maldives is that I’ve heard there’s not anything to do there. We’re big
Disney fans, and that’s a lot of doing. When we go, we’re always like “Yes, we got the best Fast Pass.” It’s a strategic, competitive vacation.
Did you have a childhood injury or illness that made an impact on you?
I was 10 years old playing kickball, running to first base, and somebody threw the ball at me. I tripped over the ball and came down on my left knee. I wasn’t sure what had happened except that I couldn’t get up or walk. I was taken in for emergency surgery. I shattered
my kneecap and tore all my tendons and ligaments in my knee. It required me to be in a cast for three months. I went to rehab and had to be homeschooled for three months. It was a long recovery. Even today I walk with a limp. It tends to get worse as I get tired.
What makes you lose track of time?
Shopping at T.J.Maxx and Ross. I’m a discount shopper. I don’t like to pay full price for anything. It’s competitive shopping. That’s why I love Black Friday shopping. Strategic competitive shopping; it’s really a sport.
Congratulate Tammy and the other winners in person at our 2019 Most Admired Woman event at The Olmsted on June 25. Purchase your tickets here.
P.S. Norton Cancer Institute (downtown location) will be adding an expanded clinic and treatment space and a new women’s cancer focused on breast and gynecologic cancers. It will open in January 2020.