Siskin Hospital Board Member Honored By THA

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Siskin Hospital announces that Trudy A. Harper, board chair from 2016-2020, has been named the 2020 Trustee of Distinction by the Tennessee Hospital Association. The honor recognizes Ms. Harper’s "passion and direction to extend quality rehabilitation therapy services throughout Siskin Hospital’s service area while supporting the hospital’s internal objectives."

“The very existence of this award demonstrates THA’s commitment and appreciation for the volunteer directors that work to help make our hospitals in Tennessee better,” said Ms. Harper. “My journey with Siskin Hospital revealed the transformative experience it provides for our friends and neighbors who find themselves in its care. I’m humbled that an engineer who didn’t know anything about healthcare gets to be a part of this team.”

As board chair, Ms. Harper led growth at the main campus and satellite locations, contributing to Siskin Hospital’s designation as the largest acute rehab hospital in Tennessee, officials said. 

“Trudy’s stellar business acumen and leadership has positively impacted healthcare delivered in the region,” said Dr. Matthew A. Gibson, president and CEO. “She is passionate about Siskin Hospital and healthcare in general, spending considerable time educating herself about issues that affect Siskin Hospital. She truly embodies the commitment and qualities of a caring leader.”

Ms. Harper is the former president of Tenaska Power Services Co., the power marketing affiliate of Tenaska, one the nation’s largest non-regulated developers and owners of power plants. When she retired in 2012 to her hometown of Soddy Daisy, she became intrigued watching disabled waterskiing and desired to learn more about the sponsoring organization, SPARC (Sports, Arts and Recreation of Chattanooga). SPARC gives children and adults with disabilities the chance to ski or participate in water sports not normally available to them. 

It was her involvement with SPARC that subsequently led to Ms. Harper’s support of Siskin Hospital when she was invited to serve on the Siskin Hospital Board of Directors in 2015 and as board chair in 2016. 

Ms. Harper’s commitment to educating a new generation of therapists and nurses resulted in a new nurse residency program and the neurologic residency program at Siskin Hospital. The nurse residency program matches recent RN and LPN graduates to actual practice in a rehabilitation setting. The neurologic residency program offers advanced clinical training to new physical therapy graduates. 

"Both of these initiatives allow Siskin Hospital to continue to build on its reputation as a center for neurologic healthcare excellence," officials said.

Ms. Harper earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering with an electric power emphasis from Tennessee Technological University, and an MBA with a finance emphasis from Southern Methodist University.

The award was presented at the THA 2020 annual meeting.



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