Vice president of clinical services and chief nurse executive,
Lakeland (Fla.) Regional Health
Novotny oversaw efforts to redesign patient throughput in the busy ED during pandemic, including the use of COVID pods and stepdown units and efficient use of ICU space. She also led efforts to implement televisits in patient rooms for family members to offer support and oversaw creation of COVID respiratory teams and care protocols to limit the need for intubation and mechanical ventilation. Under her leadership, the Florida Hospital Association recognized Lakeland for its laboratory program and for standing up six different testing systems. Novotny also oversaw efforts to team with the state health department and long-term care facilities to develop care protocols for COVID patients. She is credited with creating an environment where front-line nurses can bring forward innovative ideas. During COVID, that manifested itself in several ways, from efforts to conserve personal protective equipment to creating rapid-response units.