Meet the Leaders: Get to know hospital CEO Tracie Watkins

Our people

Meet Tracie Watkins, chief executive officer at the future Shannon Rehabilitation Hospital an affiliate of Encompass Health. Located in San Angelo, Texas, Encompass Health’s newest rehabilitation hospital is set to open its doors March 2021. As the hospital gets closer to opening Tracie and the rest of her leadership team have been hard at work preparing to treat patients. In opening a brand new hospital from the ground up, there is a unique and exciting opportunity to build a culture among staff that stems from Encompass Health’s core values, and Tracie and her team plan to do just that.

Despite the busyness that comes in the months prior to opening, I had the opportunity to chat with Tracie about her plans for Shannon Rehabilitation Hospital. Read as Tracie shares her past experiences as a clinician, what excites her about the future of Encompass Health as well as advice she has for other women who wish to gain experience in leadership.

Tell me a little bit about your background and how that lead you to Encompass Health.

As a young woman, I struggled with finding my path. I knew I was drawn to helping people and loved science so I chose nursing. After moving into a charge role and then a Nurse Manager position, I was promoted to director and then CNO. My first leadership position with Encompass Health was in Midland, TX. As the CNO, I began to learn about the organizational aspects that not only related to nursing, but to other areas- therapy, marketing, and financial outcomes. I was fortunate to be mentored by caring leaders and encouraged to grow as a professional. Encompass Health allowed me to develop and provided me opportunities to move out of the nursing realm and into the CEO role.

What fuels your passion for working in healthcare?

Those who work in healthcare are called to serve and that service should extend to those we are charged with caring for- as a clinician or as a leader.

I find that my passion is fueled by others’ accomplishments- patients, families, team members and watching good people do well. Knowing that I may have played a small role in someone’s success provides fulfillment and keeps me moving forward.

How was the recruitment experience with Encompass Health?

 I felt like part of the family almost immediately. From the recruiter to the hospital team, everyone made me feel welcomed and valued as a team member. Each time I interviewed, the experience was effortless.

Can you share a little bit about the vision you have for your Encompass Health hospital?

We are focused on providing the very best care and establishing an exceptional culture. How we treat those we are privileged to care for speaks to our character and values. Focusing on patient care and team dynamics leads to the best outcomes, which is why we are here.

Do you have any advice for women who are seeking a leadership role?

Don’t be afraid to be who you are. People respond to heartfelt communication and a steadfast commitment to success. Your presence, visibility, and availability shows others that you are in the game and care about who they are and what they do. Never forget that any success you might enjoy is earned because others have chosen to work hard and apply themselves to serve.

Encompass Health is currently recruiting for leadership roles within our inpatient rehabilitation hospitals just like Tracie’s. If you are interested in exploring these opportunities from CNO to CEO and everything in between, you may browse our leadership openings here. If you are interested in learning more, click here to contact a recruiter.