by Bobby Anderson, RN – staff writer/photographer
What a difference a year makes.
Almost 10 months ago, Ryan Cooper, RN, BSN was leading staff at Integris Health Edmond – perfectly happy with where he was.
A clinical nurse manager at the time, Cooper was browsing the internal job site to make sure one of his positions had posted. Lo and behold there was a clinical director position available in Yukon.
He knew the previous clinical director who spoke very highly of the job and the Yukon facility.
He told his director that he planned on reaching out and possibly interviewing for the position. The plan was always for Cooper to one day become a director.
It was a similar size hospital, a similar suburban feel and the opportunity was there.
Cooper has been with Integris for five years now and loves the mobility that’s always been there for his career.
Cooper made the move before this past summer.
“I got over and got familiar with the facility. They were just really nice people here and very laid back feeling but in a good way,” he said.
Staff will tell you Cooper is good to work for. He goes to bat for his employees and won’t ask something he’s not willing to do himself.
Late July was when Cooper made the move. Process improvements, efficiencies and new supplies were a top priority.
“We’ve essentially been trying to figure out what the floors need so I can cater to that to the best of my ability,” said Cooper, who oversees in the neighborhood of 75 employees on the second and third floor.
His wife, Brittany, also works for Integris as a respiratory therapist.
She’s helped add his personality to his new office, which was originally a supply room. Before that it had all the trappings of a patient room with a sink, shower and his own bathroom.
He added his own dachshund themed shower curtain just to complete the transformation.
The Enid grad studied at Northwestern Oklahoma State University before receiving his master’s in health administration.
Helping make the transition smoother was his clinical nurse manager, Sarah Ager, RN.
“I can’t preach enough about Sara and how incredibly helpful and the necessity that is Sarah,” Cooper said. “She’s been helping me get my feet wet with everything, getting to know a lot of the staff and contact points.”
The similarities between the hospitals in Edmond and Yukon are noticeable.
“I feel like in healthcare in general if you’re hoping to keep the doors open you have to have momentum,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of these outlier hospitals that are getting closed down because they’ve stagnated. That forward momentum and growth are the things that keep the doors open.”
“Jumping into that it almost felt like it was an incredibly easy transition from Edmond because that was also the mindset there.”
“Jumping into a moving boat,” Cooper says he always felt supported every step of the way.
In Yukon, Cooper and Integris Canadian Valley are uniquely situated.
“It definitely feels like we are seeing everyone south and west of this facility,” he said. “We get a lot of El Reno, Kingfisher and Lawton. It’s nice to see a different side of healthcare. Working in Edmond or at Baptist you see the metro population, you don’t get to see the rural or Native American populations as much.”
He stresses that his door is always open.
“For my folks, I’d like for them to feel like they are always supported in any possible way,” he said. “If we’re low on staffing or have supplies that aren’t working or they have a better idea … my primary goal is to make sure they all feel like they have exactly what they need to do their job to the best of their ability.”
“If you don’t have happy staff you don’t have happy patients and if you do it’s just a coincidence.”