Not All Healthcare Heroes Wear Scrubs
July 30, 2021
Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations
MOUNT OLIVE –Not all healthcare heroes wear scrubs. Brandie Johnson is a prime example.
Johnson is a Service Access Manager with Duke Health. Her title, however, does not define her role. She manages three clinics with Duke Health, two of which are residency clinics. She supports 77 resident medical doctors (MDs), as well as attending physicians. In addition, she manages 23 direct reports.
Johnson wears many hats including human resources specialist, IT analyst, social worker, and patient advocate. To best sum it up, she interacts with all aspects of clinic operations to assure patients are taken care of and operations run smoothly. However, it is her most recent work with a COVID-19 vaccination clinic that has people sitting up and taking notice.
“COVID-19 brought about many challenges,” Johnson said. “My first challenge was helping to set up the first testing site for the health system which was based in a large tent with multiple drive through lanes.”
Johnson faced many organizational and logistical challenges with a project of such magnitude, including heating and cooling the tent, as well as setting up power, equipment, computer systems, and internet in a location that did not have infrastructure. Staffing also proved to be quiet the arduous task.
Once vaccinations became available, Johnson was selected for the management team of the new vaccination clinic. At times, patient volumes reached as high as 1,400 per day. “To make both the testing and the vaccination clinics work efficiently took a great deal of teamwork,” she said.
Johnson found being on the front lines of the pandemic to be both exhausting and rewarding. In addition to the physical labor, she also coped with the emotional toll experienced by many of her direct reports. Minor setbacks were overshadowed by daily triumphs “It has been rewarding to watch teams of dedicated people pull together to help others,” she said. “Many rose to the occasion without hesitation.”
Amidst everything going on in her professional career, Johnson has steadily been chipping away at her own personal goal of obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management. “When I began my journey into healthcare many years ago, I wanted to be a nurse,” she recalled. “Unfortunately, at the time, nursing schools did not have a flexible curriculum that would allow me to reach this goal.”
Johnson, therefore, began her healthcare career in medical billing. To move into a clinical pathway, she worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In 2005, she began working in the Admissions Department of Duke Health. In the sixteen years since, she has gained experience in Admissions, Emergency Department, the Cancer Center, and Residency Clinics. “I have also worked as an IT Analyst and trained at Epic Systems headquarters in Wisconsin,” she shared. “My varied experiences have helped me in my current management role. However, one of the obstacles to reaching my career goals was my lack of a bachelor’s degree.”
Always putting others before herself, the 47-year old allowed life’s many obligations and responsibilities to take a priority over her higher education. However, in August, after years of night classes, online lectures, papers, and reading assignments, Johnson will earn the degree that will help her open even more doors professionally.
“I have accepted a position as a director at another healthcare system upon graduation,” she said. “My next educational goal is to complete my Masters of Business/Masters of Healthcare degree.” She will start that journey in the fall.
“UMO has given me knowledge that will help me in higher levels of management,” she said. “The experience of obtaining my bachelor’s degree has transformed my capabilities in my job and income earning potential. Most importantly, I consider graduation a personal achievement that has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.”
Johnson and her husband, Harry Creekmuir, are parents to six children Brooklyn Scarlett (28), Lauren Brooks (24), Nicholas Beam (21), Halie Johnson (18), Eric Johnson (16) and Autumn Creekmuir (9). The couple reside in Hurdle Mills, NC.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.