Martin Gitonga

What is your current health care position?

Patient Care manager

What are your responsibilities in this position? 

Clinical, Operational and people Leader for nurses, Patient Care technicians, unit coordinators, nurse practitioners, and surgical technologies in Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, Spine and Robotics (Spine, Neuro and ACCS).

How do you feel you are able to make a difference in this position?

Empowering, supporting and being there for the team makes all the difference. The team knows we are all in this together and the focus is the patient. We take care of the patients while caring for each other.

Health care is a team sport. Tell us about your team and how they help you succeed.

We celebrate our wins, tackle our challenges together and, when we don’t get something quite right as we intended, we come together and strategize how to make it right

COVID-19 has disrupted all of our work and lives. How has it disrupted your work, and how are you adapting? 

The way we navigate and interact with each other at our workplace and in the community has changed. We are ensuring that we have the right protective equipment in use and taking care of the ourselves as we care for the patients.

Mentors are crucial to the development of a successful professional. Tell us about a mentor and how that person guided you. 

Roshi has been my mentor. Her approach to the workplace and approach to problem solving including her people skills, motivation, energy and empowerment encourages me to be a better manager every day.

Do you have a previous position that helped prepare you for this work? If so, tell us about that. 

The clinical background as a surgical technologist and nurse combined with leadership mentoring shapes how I support our team.

Tell us about your experiences as a student that prepared you for this work.

I am still a student to this day, always pushing my limit, growing my skills, ability and knowledge to ensure I show up as my best self.

Missouri voters have an opportunity to expand Medicaid with Amendment 2 on the August 4 ballot. Expand Medicaid in Missouri – yes or no? Why or why not? 

Absolutely. Expansion of Medicaid will allow over one quarter million Missourians at or below the federal poverty level to access health insurance. This insurance will allow them the capacity to seek medical care in a timely fashion. This will reduce the incidents where people wait until they are advanced in illness before they are forced to seek treatment often times in an emergent fashion. Just as important, this will enable Missouri to create more jobs while allowing for healthier Missourians.

Is there anything about your personal life that you would like to share with the public celebrating your award? 

Our past influences us. Our present decisions influence what we become in the future. We just have to find those that believe maybe more than we believe in ourselves.

Is there anything else you would like to add about health care or your work? 

In unprecedented times like this of COVID-19 and racial inequalities, our resiliency, compassion and passion paired by collective talent and love for one another will get us through the toughest of times.

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