Since 1997, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 221-bed community hospital Fayetteville, Georgia, south of Atlanta, has provided award-winning care to its patients. The hospital is staffed by more than 1,600 employees and a medical staff of over 500 physicians. Piedmont Fayette has been named one of “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” by Healthgrades the last three years. It has also been recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the nation’s “Top Hospitals” five times.
Overseeing the servicing of a hospital’s imaging equipment could prove to be a challenge. The hospital’s imaging service director did not even go to college, initially, to pursue imaging service, but she did begin to hone customer service skills back then.
Her first stop was to obtain a human resources degree, which indicated a real interest in people and that translates into being customer-focused. It would be a good beginning for anybody who provides a service in a hospital that customers and patients depend on.
It is the path that Kari Prince-Adams, MHA, CRA, CNMT, senior director of imaging services at Piedmont Fayette, took and it has served her well.
“In 1992, I graduated from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. After many attempts at finding a job in the field, I decided to go back to school to study more science and apply to physical therapy school,” Prince-Adams says. “A random advertisement, regarding nuclear medicine students needed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, piqued my interest, so I applied and was accepted.”
While the human resources degree may have fizzled in the career department, nuclear medicine proved to be a more useful degree in 1999 when Prince-Adams graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine.
“After graduating with a bachelor’s of nuclear medicine, I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to work at Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge,” Prince-Adams says. “This led me to a small community 80-bed hospital in Plaquemine, Louisiana, River West Medical Center, as the lead nuclear medicine technologist, to begin a cardiology program under Dean Valdez, M.D.”
“During my time there, I became the director of the department and was mentored by the CEO Scott Smith [and] I finished my master’s in health administration. I knew little of the other modalities in radiology, so it was a wonderful opportunity to learn and be involved with many facets of the hospital,” Prince-Adams says.
Although she has a degree in nuclear medicine, Prince-Adam’s sights were set on leadership and that is where her training and background led her within the imaging services field.
“The specialty starting my career was nuclear medicine, but I always felt like I was born to be a leader,” she says. “As the only child of a salesman and a teacher/director of public television it seemed an obvious path. I’ve worked in the complaint/camera department at a drug store, waited tables at Outback Steakhouse, rising to management levels and several other odd jobs in a hospital. Customer service, in all respects, is definitely in my wheelhouse.”
In any job, there can be challenges and those challenges can be intimidating or exciting. They can also prove to be a learning experience.
“My first challenge at Piedmont Fayette Hospital was adding a new radiologists group. Piedmont South Imaging was a superb addition to Fayette. The group also interprets for Piedmont Newnan, creating a special bond between the director, Randy Haynes, and myself,” Prince-Adams says.
“The directors of the system have also worked on a STARS team to organize a systematic approach to imaging under the direction of Executive Director of Imaging Randy Sprinkle. What an incredible growth experience for me to have a built-in support system in imaging,” she adds.
When Not on the Job
Prince-Adams’ interests away from work include travel, underwater adventures and helping the disabled. She and her husband, Peter, also have three children between them.
“My husband and I love to travel and are both certified divers,” she adds. “We have also started training a service animal for the blind; a black lab named Claire.”
Prince-Adams and her husband have traveled to Grand Cayman – their favorite place – and spent time diving in St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
“I have enjoyed every minute of the hospital and system. The vision and purpose of this organization is truly fulfilling. Every challenge and struggle I’ve had was to make sure I was prepared for this opportunity.”
Prince-Adams’ time in her current position has been a time for career growth and opportunities.
“While working at Piedmont Fayette, I have completed the Certified Radiology Administrators exam, Black Belt QPI training and been named Radiology Leader of the Quarter, July-September 2016,” she says.
“Currently, I’m enrolled in a High Impact Leadership class; thanks to Piedmont Healthcare for my continuing education,” she adds.
She is a member of the AHRA: Association for Medical Imaging Management and she maintains her status as a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist.
What would Prince-Adams like readers to know about her?
“I have enjoyed every minute of the hospital and system. The vision and purpose of this organization is truly fulfilling. Every challenge and struggle I’ve had was to make sure I was prepared for this opportunity,” she says.