AUSTIN, Texas—Heart Hospital of Austin has named Candice Fonke, R.N., M.B.A., as its new chief nursing officer. In this role, she is responsible for leading the nursing team at Heart Hospital of Austin, as well as overseeing compliance with regulatory agencies and customer satisfaction. Fonke assumed this position on Oct. 24, 2012.
“Candice has a wealth of knowledge in the field of nursing as it relates to cardiology, and I am confident she will maintain the exceptional level of care that our patients have come to expect,” David Laird, chief executive officer of Heart Hospital of Austin, said. “She will serve as a valuable member of our leadership team.”
Previously, Fonke served as the vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer at Brazosport Regional Health System in Lake Jackson, Texas, which was named a Top 100 Hospital by Thomson Reuters in 2008. Fonke was responsible for numerous patient care services within the 175-bed acute care, community-based hospital. During her time at Brazosport Regional Health System, she developed and implemented a Joint Center of Excellence and achieved a HealthGrades five-star ranking for Joint Replacement in 2010. Fonke also developed and launched a comprehensive cardiovascular-thoracic surgery program, including construction of a cardiothoracic operating room.
Fonke led a hospital-wide improvement initiative to improve patient satisfaction, increasing the hospital’s scores from 8 percent to 70 percent, as well as increasing the patient satisfaction scores in the emergency department from 4 percent to 50 percent over a two-year span. Additionally, she increased new graduate nurse retention from 50 percent to 85 percent by implementing a nurse mentor program.
Prior to her role at Brazosport Regional Health System, Fonke served as an assistant administrator at Corpus Christi Medical Center in Corpus Christi, Texas; the director of cardiology and interim executive director of the Heart Center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md.; the director of cardiology at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, Texas; the manager of invasive cardiology, non-invasive cardiology and cardiac rehab, as well as a staff nurse, clinical educator and assistant manager of the cardiac catheterization lab at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas; and a nurse supervisor, assistant head nurse of the emergency room and intensive care unit staff nurse at Memorial Hospital in Houston.
Fonke earned her Associate of Science degree in nursing from Marymount University in Arlington, Va., and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in management from Park University in El Paso. She received her Master of Business Administration degree from Salisbury University.
Fonke is a member of the American Academy of Hospital Administrators and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She has also served as the board president of the Brazoria chapter of Habitat for Humanity and is currently a member of Women Building Community.
Heart Hospital of Austin
Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, Heart Hospital of Austin is a shared vision of local cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. Working with hospital leadership, the physicians created an atmosphere of quality, resulting in the leading cardiac program in Texas for six consecutive years as ranked by HealthGrades®—a leading independent health ratings organization. In July 2009, a study funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed that Heart Hospital of Austin was the leading hospital in the United States for treatment of a heart attack. Heart Hospital of Austin has also been named one of the top cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters for six years, and it was also recently named to the list of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in 2013 by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) in conjunction with its parent campus, St. David’s Medical Center. In addition to providing a full range of cardiovascular services and an advanced Executive Wellness Program, Heart Hospital of Austin has a comprehensive 24-hour emergency department. Heart Hospital of Austin is a St. David’s Medical Center facility. For more information, please visit HeartHospitalofAustin.com.