Operations manager dedicated to medicinePublished 5:01pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011
By Michael Hansberry
Being a member of the medical community is something James Whitt takes seriously.
With more than 20 years in the medical field, he is bringing his talents to Madison Hospital this February as the clinical operations manager. He will be in charge of managing the intensive care unit, medical unit, surgical unit and physical therapy unit.
He is leaving his position at Huntsville Hospital as the neural intensive care night charge nurse.
There, he was responsible for 17 neural and neural trauma patients and seven to 10 nurses on every shift. “It was part of what prepared me for this position,” Whitt said.
“It helped me understand the hospital and the hospital system.”
Whitt has also worked as a paramedic, both in the field and as a supervisor. He played an integral part in setting up EMS sites in both Decatur and Gadsden. He also has 28 years experience in the Navy Reserves, where he worked in the healthcare sector.
He is currently the executive office of his unit. Initially, Whitt planned to attend medical school. Because of a lack of funds, he decided to enroll in the Reserves with plans to allow that program to pay for his education. He became a Corpsman, which is the equivalent of an Army medic.
He eventually became a paramedic. “I loved the paramedic program,” he said. “As I got older, I wanted to know my patients on a long term basis as opposed to only a few minutes or an hour. I really wanted to know what happened after they left us.”
This natural desire led him to his role at the hospital. “I find it very interesting to watch patients come in very sick and be involved with helping them get better over the next few weeks,” he said.
A “military brat,” Whitt said he attended 13 different schools before graduating high school. He’s from Idaho and has lived in Alabama since ’83. He currently resides in the Toney area. “I’m very excited to start at Madison hospital,” he said.
“I love being involved in starting things from the ground up. I really love the concept of being more community based.” The learning experience is what Whitt said he would value most about his new venture. “I’ll be exposed to things I have not been exposed to before,” he said. “I will problem solve and make things better for patients, families and nursing staff.”