CV Team Member Spotlight: Holly Cook, BSN, RN-BC

Each month, the CV Team Section newsletter highlights the achievements of one CV Team member. This month features Holly Cook, BSN, RN-BC, manager of the cardiovascular level one emergency programs and chest pain center coordinator at the Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Cook has been a member of the ACC since 2015.

How did you get started in health care?
I enrolled in a student nurse training program when I was a senior in high school. While working in the hospital that year, I saw and learned a lot, and I knew within a short time that I was meant to be a nurse.

Where did your career in cardiology begin?
I worked in my hometown hospital's six-bed cardiac care unit when I graduated from nursing school. It was a tiny, dark unit with no patient bathrooms and only one single hopper for cleaning bedpans right next to the desk and bank of monitors. In spite of the units' physical shortcomings, I loved the patients and learned how rapidly cardiology was changing and how very it was. I was hooked and have worked mostly in cardiovascular services ever since.

What cardiology specialty do you practice in and what patient population do you serve?
I work in a large academic medical center that is the central hub in a 16-facility hospital system. I serve as chest pain center coordinator and manager for four level one emergency programs for patients with life-threatening diagnoses. Additionally, I am responsible for leading cardiovascular accreditation initiatives at our hospital and serve as a resource for other hospitals in our system that are pursuing accreditation. Completion of multiple cycles of accreditation through various vendors has helped me gain considerable insight into what elements of accreditation add value to the organization and which ones offer less. One must physically complete an accreditation application and the work that goes with it in order to fully understand all that is involved.

While providing direct patient care is not a part of my job, I am able to observe first-hand the results of quality improvement initiatives our team has undertaken. This is done via our data-rich cardiovascular program which has aggressively measured and reported adherence to evidence-based therapies for many years. Quality improvement projects have developed organically as a result of that.

How are you involved with the ACC and CV Team Section?
I have attended countless ACC Scientific Sessions, NCDR National Meetings, and ACC Chapter meetings, and was recognized at NCDR 2015 with a quality improvement award.  As a member of the ACC CV Team, I work to raise awareness of the benefits of the ACC and opportunities for CV Team Section members within our organization to become involved.

What are your thoughts regarding the impact of the CV Team Section on the practice of cardiology?
CV Team Section members offer a perspective that may be very different but no less valuable than that of physicians. I believe CV Team Section members – as part of a multi-disciplinary collaborative – can be advocates for patients and play a key role in supporting efforts to improve heart health.

Do you have any recommendations on how other CV Team members can become more involved in the College?
Join the ACC, go to state and national meetings, take advantage of networking opportunities, and learn what is going on at other institutions.

This article was authored by Andrea L. Price, MS, CPHQ, RCIS, CCA, director of quality databases at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, IN.