President | Northern Dutchess Hospital; Senior Vice President | Health Quest
Photography by Michael Nelson
Denise George has many causes to celebrate: In nearly a decade under her leadership as president, Northern Dutchess Hospital is keeping pace with patient volume with a $1.7 million expansion to its emergency department and a $47 million patient pavilion, and continues to build on its reputation for excellent care. And new emergency care services and amenities — cardiac testing, high-tech operating suite, spacious private rooms — have enhanced patient outcomes. George’s open-door management style reaps employee satisfaction rewards as well: Physician engagement is high and staff turnover is low, evidenced by 58 employees with more than 20 years at NDH’s annual Service Dinner.
Her clinical background in her first job — as staff nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC — combined with obtaining her master’s degree in public administration, gave George “a great launch pad and opened incredible doors for me.” So does networking and volunteering in the community: George serves on the Hudson Valley Mental Health Board of Directors, and the hospital is active with many local organizations and community events. “Nowadays, networking is more pivotal than ever,” she says. “It’s a career-long endeavor.”
George credits her colleague and mentor at a job she held in 1985 with putting her on her career path. “She tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I’d ever thought about becoming a manager, a more broad-based administrative role. I hadn’t. She encouraged me to go after a leadership role.”
What is your advice for the next generation of women in business?
“It’s great to be focused on STEM fields; become a subject matter expert and then think broadly. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn about your professional self, and network early and often. What can you do with your talents?”