Shelby native to focus on empowering staff, connecting with community
FREMONT, Mich., July 2, 2020 – Nick Strait’s first day as chief nursing officer at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial on Monday, June 29, was a flurry of meetings – some in-person, most virtually – with his new colleagues, absorbing new information and learning about operations.
Mostly, Strait spent his day thinking about ways to help further personalize and simplify patient care. As chief nursing officer, Strait oversees Gerber Memorial’s nursing staff of more than 170 people, one-quarter of all employees at the 102-year old hospital. As CNO, Strait is also a member of Gerber Memorial’s senior executive leadership.
“I had the pleasure of meeting many people, learning about Gerber Memorial and seeing all the great things we do here to better serve our community,” Strait said. “What was clear to me immediately is how inter-connected Gerber Memorial is to the community and how focused we are ensuring patients get the care they need when they need it. We’re striving to achieve this every day, 24/7, knowing that healthcare is a complex field and that most people want their health care to be simpler – all while a global pandemic continues to put many people at risk. Gerber Memorial can make a tremendous positive impact by walking together with our community through this unprecedented time and supporting families so they can be healthier and more resilient.”
Strait said his goal as Gerber Memorial’s chief nursing officer is to build relationships based on trust with each person at Gerber Memorial. A related goal he’s set for himself is cultivating an environment where caring nurses and health professionals feel supported to grow.
“We’re excited to have Nick join us at Gerber Memorial and share his passion for health care with our team so we can better serve our community,” said Shelly Johnson, Gerber Memorial’s interim regional market leader and COO. “As a leader, Nick has the technical expertise to guide operational planning and execution. At the same time, he also has the ability of a good leader to connect and empathize with the people he works with so the entire team can grow and excel.”
Before coming to Gerber Memorial, Strait was director of clinical consolidation and EPIC activation champion at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon. He has been a registered nurse since 2004. He received his bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Detroit Mercy, his master’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix and is in the process of receiving his PhD from the University of Michigan. He also has an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Strait is a member of several organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the Muskegon Community College Foundation board and the United Way of the Lakeshore.
Strait grew up in nearby Shelby, and said he is drawn to rural communities. He still has relatives and friends who live in Newaygo County. Strait follows in his mother’s footsteps in a profession he loves, nursing. He is also one half of a health care household: His wife Sara is a nurse practitioner in the Muskegon area, where they live with their four children.