Gerber Memorial Hospital
Gerber Memorial welcomes new chief nursing officer
Shelby native to focus on empowering staff, connecting with community
July 2, 2020
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.
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan with more than 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.