With a vibrant smile and calm demeanor, Mary Blankson stepped out of the elevator and into the rooftop conference room. I had been looking forward to our conversation all day. I had heard nothing but wonderful things about her and I wanted to know more.
She began by telling me she was once a pre-med student at Tufts University in Boston. During her junior year, however, she decided pre-med wasn’t for her. After meeting with an advisor and researching some other opportunities, she realized becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner was what really stood out to her.
Upon the completion of her undergrad at Tufts, Mary was accepted into Yale University’s Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty Nursing Program on the Family Nurse Practitioner Track. When the time came to apply for nursing jobs, a classmate shared she was going to be applying to Community Health Center, Inc. in Connecticut and suggested Mary do the same. Taking the advice of her friend, Mary applied and received a phone call for an interview here at CHC. She recalls being nervous during the interview but she was ultimately hired as a nurse for CHC’s New London site.
Mary shared that when she was hired in 2005, Ingrid Feder, the Onsite Medical Director (OSMD) for her site, was very supportive and played a significant role in Mary’s success at CHC. Mary loved working in the clinical practice and felt the experience made her a well-rounded clinician.
Mary’s hard work and dedication paid off, and in 2012 she became the OSMD for CHC’s Groton and New London sites. Mary shared she loved being the OSMD because she said she truly enjoyed advocating for not only her patients but also her staff.
In 2014, while Mary was pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at Johns Hopkins University, she received a phone call from the chief nursing officer who told Mary she was going to be leaving CHC and thought Mary should apply for the position. On July 1, 2014 Mary started as chief nursing officer. She made sure to attribute her success to all of those who helped her along the way.
During her career, Mary has served CHC in a number of ways: she was a Nurse Practitioner (NP) Residency leader and preceptor in New London, where she provides guidance to residents during their time at CHC; she was a Microsystems team leader; she served as the VP of Medical Staff, where she was responsible for providing assistance to the Chief Medical Officer; and she spent some time as a family NP in a school-based setting at the ISAAC school, where she was able to see a different side of the services provided by CHC.
When I asked Mary her favorite part of working at CHC, she said she loves working with her teams because of how important they are. She loves being a mentor and supporter to anyone who crosses her path. There is never a day without a challenge and she appreciates having the opportunity to think and learn from different situations. Mary ended by sharing that she has a passion for teaching and helping to make others better.
CHC is lucky to have such a kind and compassionate employee taking care of patients and guiding our nurses and medical assistants.