Heather Miller MSN, CPON, FACHE is the Oncology Service Line Director at Broward Health Medical Center (BHMC) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In this capacity, she is responsible for oversight and strategic planning of all oncology-related services and programs. Working closely with all hospital departments, physicians, managers, patients and the community, Heather’s major roles involve assessing oncology needs, strategic planning, monitoring quality, planning for improvements, assisting with implementation of new programs and services, educating professionals and patients, accreditation, community outreach, and new cancer center construction.
Heather became a CPON and has remained certified for the last 12 years. She has 14 years of oncology experience, including 9 years of oncology management experience. Heather has worked in a variety of settings which includes inpatient, outpatient, and bone marrow transplant. She is a member of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Association of Healthcare Executives, and Sigma Theta Tau. She has presented at a variety of conferences across the country. In 2007, in collaboration with her colleagues, she created the Palm Beach/ Broward APHON Chapter where she served, initially, as president elect from 2007-2010, and president from 2010-2014. Heather has been involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society from 2003-2014 with patient services and the Man and Women of the Year campaign. In addition, she was recently appointed to the Board of Directors at Gilda’s Club South Florida. Heather enjoys spending time with her two children, as well as marathon running
HAVE YOU MET QUESTIONS/ANSWERS!
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? In May of 2015 I was able to open a newly renovated cancer center with my team. This has particular meaning for me as I watched my mother journey through this process. The center always had such talented staff members but they never had an environment to support the spectacular care they provided. Later that same year we completed a physician cancer specialty center, and the renovation of radiation oncology. I’m constantly surrounded by staff and peers who make innovation in our work environment possible.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?- being able to make a difference. I have the privilage of leading teams that help support people through some of the most difficult phases of their lives.
Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input?- My career started in pediatric oncology. Some of you may pause and say.. “how do you do that, or how sad.” My first year as a nurse I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Camp Boggy Creek.. it’s there I met my dear friend and mentor Patricia Swasey. Pat was from Boston she had a special way of pronouncing everything.. but she was almost like a human encyclopedia. Our friendship developed over the years, we taught chemotherapy classes together, started a local APHON chapter for Palm Beach and Broward and she was always there to help guide me through whatever I was facing as a clinician and leader. Pat truly embraces the spirit of mentorship.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about?- Where do I start…. Patient and family advisory council for cancer care, new cancer patient orientation, cancer survivor’s day, look good feel better, and our advanced center for palliative care.
How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support?- I have generally volunteered my time with organizations that have a cancer focused mission. You have to be able to believe in the mission and ensure it reaches those it’s intended to. Some organizations change over time and unfortunately forget this. I am currently serving on the Board of Gilda’s Club South Florida. This is an organization that is true to the mission.
How have things changed for you through the years?- As you journey through different life events it helps you put people and priorities in place. Sometimes our most difficult journeys help us refocus and brings you back to being present.
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? Work ethic, drive, innovative thinking, collaborative nature, and dedication.
What is your greatest challenge at this time? - ensuring proper balance
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?- My mom taught me over her 25 year journey with cancer how to show love, appreciate life and be brave. I take that with me each and every day.
How do you relax?- lots of running, yoga, xtend classes, playing with Owen and Norah, and spending time with family and friends.
What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of? - sour candy!
Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others?
Robin Roberts “Everybody’s got something”- just finished reading this after my mother passed away. What a truly amazing women Robin Roberts is her life story is inspiring and again reminds you of the people in your life and the lessons that are so important.
What can make you laugh? Any day sitting around with my brothers and sisters we are all very well versed on roasting one another.
Is there a fond childhood memory you can share with us?- Jerry Springer had a Chicago based show that was very serious the first year. My mother, father, and brother Will and I were the first guests. I was an awkward looking 12 year old, my brother was so nervous he couldn’t stop stuttering and my father’s bald head was glistening with sweat from the lights on the stage. The program was about kids whose parent or parents had cancer. It is an experience that makes us all laugh to this day!
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? A teacher
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life? Never ever give up.
What word best describes your life right now? – perfect
What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time? Gilda’s Club South Florida, American Cancer Society, and Broward Health’s Young Presidents Council.
What is your proudest achievement?- completing 3 marathons
What is your fondest childhood memory? - every moment with my family.
What is something your parents taught you that you will never forget?- the meaning of true unconditional love and devotion.
Who is your hero? - My mom!
How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful?- always do the right thing, honesty and integrity must always be a priority.
How do you stay so motivated and committed?- you have to have a passion and enthusiasm for what you are doing.
What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies? Running
What is your favorite sport?- Baseball (Go Cubs)
You are evidently a very capable and talented woman/man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? – Um… I cannot sing, and my artwork is not something to be desired J …. But I can dance.
- Over 8 years of management experience with a proven track record for successfully empowering teams through coaching, effective feedback, mentoring, multiple accreditations, quality outcomes, and financial success.
- Managed teams of various levels, including front-line representatives in a variety of settings within Broward Health Medical Center. (Radiation Oncology, Cancer Data Center, Medical Directors, Adult Infusion Center, Women’s Center, Pediatric, adult and cancer research, hospital affiliations, social services, palliative care, Accreditations, multiple committees).
- Proven track record of successful grant and philanthropic support to advance supportive care services, patient navigation, capital equipment, and physical plant renovations.
- Demonstrated success in patient experience with AVATAR, Press Ganey scores at or above the 90th percentile in cancer service line.
- Skilled in physician contracts, contracted services, execution of outsourcing of Radiation Oncology with 21st Century Oncology, Physician recruitment, accreditation for Breast, Palliative Care, Pediatric and Adult Cancer, QOPI (Quality Oncology Practice Initiative), Rapid Quality Reporting, Hospital Affiliations, Clinical Trials of industry and cooperative groups, and building and design.
FLORIDA RN LICENSE NUMBER RN 9191334
Jan 2008 - April 2010 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
MSN/ Nursing Administration
Jan 2005 - 2007 Florida International University Miami, FL
Bachelors of Science in Nursing
1999 - 2002 College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL
Associate Degree in Nursing and
Graduated with honors: GPA 3.85/4.0.
APHON Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Instructor and Provider Exp. 1/30/2017
Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse Exp. 12/31/15
ANCC-Pediatric (no longer hold) Exp. 11/2014
Institute of Patient Family Centered Care Training May 2008
ELNEC Training and Certification April 2004
Six Sigma Green Belt November 2012
Association Healthcare Executives (ACHE) July 2013 - present
Children’s Oncology Group Member, RI Nurse 2007 - 2013
APHON (President Local Chapter) 2002 - 2014
Sigma Theta Tau 2004 - present
ONS 2002 - present
January 2006 - Present Broward Health Medical Center Fort Lauderdale, FL
Regional Director Cancer Services (2010-present) Responsibilities include directing the strategic development and continued growth of BHMC's multidisciplinary cancer program, which is accredited by the American College of Surgeons, The Joint Commission Accredited Advanced Palliative Care Program, Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, and the American College of Radiology, National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers (NAPBC). Ensures collaborative relations between physician practice, contracted services, palliative care, research, cancer data registry, patient navigation, social services, infusion center, and ancillary services. Develops and expands services to meet the needs of the community and help ensure service line growth. Ensures compliance with quality reporting, quality outcomes, and clinical pathway adherence. Strives to ensure high value cancer care is delivered in a cost effective manner, and ensures revenue cycle enhancements are considered. Ensures financial performance as evidenced by meeting and exceeding budget and revenue targets.
Nurse Manager Pediatric Oncology and Sickle Cell Transition Program/ Pediatric Palliative care (April 2007-April 2012) Responsibilities include 24 hour oversight of unit operations, strategic planning, budget, productivity, staffing, staff development, oversight of quality management unit specific plan, & recruitment and retention.
Assistant Nurse Manager Pediatric Hematology Oncology/Sickle Cell Transition Unit (December 2006-April 2007) Responsibilities include day-to-day operations of all units, scheduling, staffing, payroll, performance appraisals, statistics, PMR’s, and education.
Pediatric Cancer Center Staff RN level 4 (January 2006-December 2006) Responsibilities include administration of chemotherapy, blood products, and routine care for patients such as peripheral IV insertion, and, medi-port access. Multi disciplinary care including collaboration with pediatric palliative care. Mentoring to peers in the pediatric cancer center.
2002–January 2006 Miami Children’s Hospital Miami, FL
Level III RN
Hematology/Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Responsibilities include administering chemotherapy, stem cells, blood products, working with various central lines, providing family-centered care, palliative care, and often assuming relief charge nurse.
Emergency Department/Trauma Team (Level 1Trauma Center)
Responsibilities included serving as general staff member in triage department, rapid care center, performing conscious sedation, and working during trauma.
Float as needed to other specialty units such as PICU, NICU, and medical surgical units.
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society back to School Program an overview of childhood cancers March 2007, and April 2009.
- Family Centered Care the Journey Lecture August 2009, & October 2009
- Broward General Nursing Internship training lectured on Pediatric Hematology disorders February 2007, and October 2007, & 2008.
- Instructed APHON chemotherapy and biotherapy course @ CECH March 2008, August 2008, and January 2009, September 2009, January 2010, September 2010, January 2011, August 2011, January 2012, August 2012, & February 2013.
- Complications of Sickle cell Disease Lecture @ CECH January 2007, and October 2007.
- Florida Association Pediatric Tumor Programs, Nursing Director Program, and Presenter Childhood Cancer Overview November 2009.
- APHON National Conference 2012 Poster Presentation: “Sepsis Safari, Antibiotic Delivery to Febrile Neutropenia Patients through the Pediatric Emergency Department.”
- Quality Expo Winner 3rd place 2011 “Sepsis Safari,” Broward Health
- Quality Expo 2013 “Chemo Café – Improving Chemotherapy TAT through Adult Infusion Center.”
Broward Health Committees: Administrator of Pediatric and Adult Cancer Committee, Chair Palliative Care Committee, Breast Program Leadership, Co-Chair Cancer Quality Subcommittee, Co-chair Chemotherapy Utilization and Financial Oversight Committee, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Regional Lab Improvement Committee, Regional Quality Council, Leadership and Accreditation Oversight Committee, Chair of Research Development Committee Broward Health System, Research Oversight Committee, Member Physician Oncology Utilization and Peer Review, Grants Committee Member, Chair System Wide Oncology Task Force, Term Architect, and Young Presidents Council Member.
- Gilda’s Club Board of Directors April 2015
- President APHON Broward Palm Beach Chapter 2009- 2014
- American Cancer Society Board of Directors 2011- present
- LLS Man and Women of Year 2011- 2014
- Sibling Day Leukemia and Lymphoma society August 2007
- Boggy Creek Gang Camp, Orlando, FL. July 2002-2006
- Miami Children’s Hospital Research Committee August 2002-Dec. 2006
- Miami Children’s Hospital Magnet Steering Committee March 2003- Dec 2006
- January 2015 Healthcare Hero Award – Broward Health Foundation
- 2014 Awarded Healthcare Design Magazine’s Winner for Best Ambulatory Care Build and Design.
- 1st hospital in Florida to be awarded Advanced Palliative February 2013
- LLS Man and Women of the Year Candidate June 2012
- SFONE Award Recipient Nursing Leadership October 2009
- NURSING EXCELLENCE AWARD May 2006
Named Nurse of the Year for the Cancer Center at
Broward Health Medical Center
- NURSING EXCELLENCE AWARD May 2003
Named Nurse-of-the-Year for Hematology/Oncology/BMT Unit
at Miami Children’s Hospital. Selected by peers and management
to receive award during my first year as a registered nurse.