Education and Research is one of our six core values at UofL Health. We hold a strong belief that further educating and helping develop the skills of our staff through an academic, research-driven approach to patient care is part of what makes our nurses, providers and team members some of the most exceptional caregivers. Mandi Walker, system executive director of Professional Practice, and her team of educators strive to provide the resources and educational opportunities for our team members to grow professionally.
Mandi is no stranger to UofL Health. Even though she is from a town just north of Lansing, Mich., Mandi has spent most of her life in Jefferson and Oldham counties. She’s been with the organization for 17 years and treasures the teamwork and family mentality our team members bring each day.
“I’ve worked with some of the same people for 17 years, and it’s great to see someone you haven’t see in a while in the hall, catch up and really reflect on how far we’ve all come,” said Mandi.
A part of her workforce are the 62 educators and professional development staff that work within our facilities to bring education to light.
“My team is responsible for ensuring we meet continuing education needs across the organization, including regulatory requirements,” said Mandi.
While many of us may associate continuing education or advanced degrees with nursing, her team also covers other disciplines for global education needs and new initiatives.
“I see my role as ensuring our staff has the education to deliver optimal patient care, and the opportunities to continue to grow and develop themselves professionally,” said Mandi.
Ultimately, Mandi wants to see UofL Health as a premier academic health system that others turn to guidance and an example of what professional development can be in today’s ever-changing health care environment.
One of the ways team members can help Mandi achieve her goal is through taking advantage of our educational opportunities and speaking up if you feel your education needs are lacking. To quote one of Mandi’s favorite lines from Colin Powell’s book, “My American Journey”:
“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
Another one of Mandi’s favorite quotes from Powell’s memoir is “…lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” This may also explain Mandi’s pet peeve of hesitant drivers, especially downtown Louisville.
If you’re ever bringing in breakfast, be sure to bring Mandi something savory, like an omelet with chorizo, peppers, cheese and avocado. Or, just bring her Mexican food – just as long as it has some sort of meat, beans and cheese (definitely don’t forget the cheese!).
Mandi holds education near and dear. As a graduate of South Oldham High School, Mandi pursued higher education and went on to obtain her bachelor’s of nursing from the University of Louisville. Mandi received her master’s of science in nursing (MSN) from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn., and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) from American Sentinel University.
If you see Mandi around, ask her about her latest whitewater rafting or sky diving trip, or where to find the best chimichangas in town. She would be happy to discuss and get to know you!