Asked if he still considered himself a nurse, Paul Minnick, now executive vice president and chief operating officer at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes as of Jan. 2013, didn’t hesitate. He said, “One hundred percent! Going to nursing school was the most unbelievably important decision I ever made.”
Citing other evidence of this, Minnick pointed to his employee Beebe name tag worn around his neck, stating NURSE, in addition to his current title.
Beebe Medical Center and its satellite operations now number almost 2,000 employees and Minnick, in his present role, is responsible for all clinical and other operational departments throughout the hospital, as well as all operations at outpatient facilities throughout the medical organization’s’ service area.
Minnick was born in Bermuda 50 years ago, and when he was 6 years old, his father and mother moved the family to Dover, where his father was a civilian employee at the Dover Air Force Base. “My parents wanted my sisters and I to have more educational opportunities,” he said. Once it was time for Minnick to decide on a career path, his father encouraged him to prepare for a position in the health field. “He thought that there were many opportunities to grow and move upwards in health careers. He was right.”
Minnick decided on nursing as an entry level career, getting a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Delaware where, unlike today, there were only four male graduates in his class of 300. He received his master’s degree in nursing administration from LaSalle University in Pennsylvania.
Asked if he ever considered becoming a doctor, he said, “No, I value the nurse/patient relationship too much. I feel that it’s a great honor in nursing to serve the needs of people this way.”
His earliest nursing experience was as a staff nurse and nurse coordinator at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Minnick brings to Beebe Medical Center more than 25 years of experience in the clinical nursing profession while working at leading medical teaching institutions. More than 20 of those years were in clinical leadership roles, most of which were in the University of Pennsylvania health system.
He believes in decentralized decision making where members of the clinical nursing staff, while held to the highest level of accountability, have the opportunity to make decisions that allow them to give the highest quality and safest patient care. This empowerment style of leadership already has led to several process improvements in Beebe patient care.
Minnick reports to President and CEO Jeffrey M. Fried who said, “As Beebe faces a new era of increasing demands from a growing population in the communities we serve and from health reform, we require a chief operating officer who is a medical professional with an in-depth knowledge of this complex environment and who has proven leadership skills within a healthcare organization to drive the changes necessary to provide the highest quality of patient care at the most efficient cost.”
Minnick has deep roots in the Cape Region, having rented and then owned a property in Lewes since 1986. “I’m close enough to hear the helicopters taking off and landing at the hospital,” he said. “When I hear it, I think that someone is being helped to get the best care possible.”
His parents, now deceased, were treated at Beebe Medical Center, so Minnick has a long history of observing Beebe care. He can speak of the kindness and skill of those who treated his parents.
“We want people to value the Beebe way,” Minnick said, “A superior quality of service. It’s been proven that a nurse in a senior position makes a difference in patient care.”