Leslie Ferrell has been selected to join Southeastern Illinois College’s Distinguished Alumni roster for 2019 and gave the keynote speech at SIC commencement exercises Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m.
Ferrell has more than 18 years of experience in health care and is currently the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Harrisburg Medical Center (HMC). She oversees departments that are implementing major changes and upgrades to benefit health care to surrounding communities. In this role, she manages day-to-day hospital and clinic operations. She assists in development of operational and capital budgets, has assisted in development of an accountable care organization, and development of policy and procedures related to patient care and evidence-based patient care protocols. Ferrell is credited with improving quality of care at the hospital through process improvement initiatives, shared governance and actively displaying servant leadership.
A 1997 graduate of Gallatin County High School, Ferrell completed her Associate Degree in Nursing at Southeastern Illinois College. From there, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, and finished her Master of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky, in 2008.

At Herrin Hospital, Ferrell worked as a nurse manager, patient care coordinator and registered nurse. In 2008, she took a job at Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During that time, she started a family practice clinic in Galatia. While there, Ferrell dedicated many hours in delivery of health care to members of the Amish community within the confines of their religious beliefs and cultural preferences. She established trusting and lasting relationships with rural Amish families that enhanced the overall health of their local population and provided quality medical care to members of that community without regard for their ability to provide payment.

From 2011 – 2014, Ferrell worked at Southern Illinois Healthcare as a Family Nurse Practitioner providing medical care to patients in the emergency department at Herrin Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

In addition, Ferrell has provided adjunct ADN instruction for SIC’s nursing programs, attended community health courses as a guest speaker, and participated in a professional nursing continuing education event as a keynote speaker. She is an active member of the nursing and allied health community advisory board and maintains an ongoing interest in SIC’s policies and initiatives.

Ferrell was awarded the Illinois Rural Health Practitioner of the Year in 2011 and was also named to the Frontier Nursing University honor society. She is currently active in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Illinois Society for Advance Practice Nurses, American Nurses Association, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.


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