CLEARFIELD – Texas native Rhonda Halstead is leading Penn Highlands Clearfield into a promising future.
Since taking on the role of president in June, Halstead has been working toward her goals of making Penn Highlands a top-notch rural hospital.
Halstead, formerly of Del Rio, Texas, had been employed at Val Verde Regional Medical Center as chief operations officer as well as ethics and compliance officer since 2015.
She has also served as vice president and assistant administrator, and administrative director at Rideout Regional Medical Center in Marysville, Calif.
She also has had leadership roles at HCA Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, Fla.; Therapeutic Health Center in Destin, Fla.; and Vencore Hospital in Tampa, Fla.
Halstead received her Associate’s degree in respiratory care from Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla; her Bachelor’s degree in social sciences from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.; and her Master’s degree in management, health administration from Troy University in Troy, Ala.; and Major Field Test Master’s in business administration from Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. She attended an American College of Healthcare Executive Development program in 2012.
She is a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care, the California Society of Respiratory Care and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
She is a certified College of American Pathology Inspector and is licensed in several states as a licensed respiratory therapist. She was awarded the 2005 North Florida Division Certificate of Excellence for her contribution in Ethics, Compliance and Corporate Responsibility.
“I always knew I wanted a career in the health care field,” Halstead said. “When I was a child, I’d go to my doctor and I’d always ask the other patients ‘what’s wrong with you?’ I always wanted to keep moving up in the medical field.”
While Clearfield is her first rural hospital, she saw how important the local hospital is to the community.
“One thing Penn Highlands Clearfield has going is the amount of support this hospital has, by being a member of the Penn Highlands family,” Halstead said. “It can be very hard for small hospitals to survive financially.
“Clearfield is fortunate to have specialists, opportunities for education of the staff, an orthopedic surgeon, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and great outcomes for the patients.”
Halstead said her goal is for the community to understand that they can get exceptional care in their local hospital.
“We can take care of you right here,” Halstead said. “It’s so much easier for a person who is ill to stay close to home and get their care locally. It’s less of a burden on both the patient and their family and care-givers.
“Bigger is not always better. We have a very friendly, caring staff. You’ll see the same people who are taking care of you out in the community, out at the grocery store. The staff here are your friends and neighbors and that’s not something you’re going to find everywhere.”
Halstead said the biggest challenge she is facing is keeping the community support for the hospital. Since taking her position, she has been doing her best to visit all the patients and to have an open-door policy for all her employees.
She said she has had some very good feedback about the kindness and caring of the employees under her supervision.
“We’re here for you, but we need our patients to use Penn Highlands and to support us. We really need the community to believe in us again,” Halstead said.