Interview with Cardiovascular Services Director, Deborah Rusert
What was your journey like to get where you are now?
I started in Cardiology as an Intern at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago. The only position open was as a scrub nurse in open heart surgery which turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my career. From there I continued on in Cardiology in the Intensive care unit, obtained my Masters and became and Open Heart Surgery Clinical Nurse Specialist. When we moved to California for my husband’s career I was fortunate to be able to open a new hospital as Critical Care Director which included ICU, ED, Respiratory Therapy and Cardiac Rehab. I stayed in the management track from that point and ended up as Chief Nursing Officer at St Joseph’s Hospital in Orange which was a great experience but not my passion. After my kids went on to college I landed back in Cardiology as the Service Line Director in the Memorial Care System in Southern California. My kids all attended the University of Colorado Boulder so when I was asked to consider taking the Cardiac Service Line Director for UC Health it was the best of both worlds.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Identifying leaders in your field and learning from them has always helped me. I do plan on achieving my Nurse Executive Certification within the year because it is something that I should have done but never took the time.
In one word, describe yourself.
What do you do in your spare time?
Physical fitness is an obsession, I got to my Third degree black belt in Taekwondo but due to work life balance needs I now golf and hike with my husband whenever possible outside of work hours.
What magazines and books have you read recently?
Embarrassingly, I have read all of the JD Robb murder mysteries and am waiting for her newest book in September.