La Salle grad leads nursing department at Tampa General
August 16, 2021
Annmarie Chavarria, DNP, ’19, made both career and geographic moves during the pandemic.
After working at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health for more than 15 years, she joined Tampa General Hospital as Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. Today, Chavarria oversees nursing operations of the 1,000-bed academic medical center, which is viewed as one of the most comprehensive medical facilities in Florida.
Chavarria, a Northeast Philadelphia native, is taking advantage of the bountiful options for outdoor activities that exist near Florida’s gulf coast. “I am spending more time outdoors and doing more physical activities,” she said. “I am excited to have over 15 beaches within one hour of my home.”
You worked at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health for more than 15 years. Leaving for Tampa General Hospital must not have been an easy decision to make.
Chavarria: “Leaving was one of hardest decisions I ever made. I spent significant time building many meaningful relationships with the team members (at Jefferson Abington). It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to a team I loved like family. The team there helped me grow into the leader I am today, and I am forever grateful to everyone I had the honor of working with.”
You’ve been cited as being ahead of the curve in obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Abington staff early on during the pandemic. Would you talk about that process?
Chavarria: “The true leader for obtaining PPE for our teams was the supply chain. They really did an amazing job securing supplies throughout the pandemic. We were very fortunate. Nursing did work closely with supply chain to be sure we conserved supplies and educated staff on how to use replacement supplies. Nursing teams truly took on a leadership role communicating practices around PPE to all staff throughout the pandemic.”
How has your Lasallian education informed your career path and management philosophy?
Chavarria: “The DNP at La Salle had a strong focus on nurses as leaders and truly expanded my leadership knowledge and improved my confidence as a leader. The program was designed in a way that allowed me to use what I learned in real life applications at work. My education and work were closely linked, and this made the program valuable not only for me, but also for my institutions.”
What are your responsibilities and goals at Tampa General?
Chavarria: “Tampa General is a larger hospital, so I work with a larger nursing team and the senior leadership team. I do not have responsibilities outside of nursing presently, which allows me to focus more on our nursing practice. My goal is to help build employee engagement and interdisciplinary teams, and improve communication processes across this large, complex environment. We want to improve the safety and quality of all patients we serve and help Tampa General become the safest and most innovative academic medical center in the country.”