Chief Experience Officer Strives to Work Hard, Play Hard

CRH Chief Experience Officer Julie McGregor portait.

Julie McGregor’s “favorite leader,” whom she worked for in her first HR position at a job in college, taught her some key life skills she still applies today: the importance of “work hard, play hard” and that the most important thing a leader can do is care about people.

You could say Julie, who is Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at Columbus Regional Health, had already been applying the work hard, play hard mantra to her life in college: while at the University of Kentucky, she successfully walked on as a freshman to play Division-1 volleyball and then earned a scholarship to play her sophomore year.

Julie is always going, be it at work or at home with her husband and three daughters. “Whatever I’m doing is what I’m focusing on. If I’m doing something fun or relaxing, I’m all in on the fun and relaxing,” she said. And that fun includes hosting friends and family, playing volleyball, taking boat rides, and participating in other community activities. She and her family enjoyed their first experience of the Columbus Ethnic Expo in 2019 and look forward to its return next year.

Prior to joining CRH in May 2019, Julie spent 17 years in various HR/healthcare leadership roles, most recently as Chief Human Resources Officer of the Louisville market for KentuckyOne Health. In 2017, Catholic Health Initiatives, which owns KentuckyOne Health, decided to sell KentuckyOne healthcare facilities in Louisville, and Julie decided to look for other opportunities.

Her work had become very “corporate,” and she wanted a role that would put her back into a hospital, closer to the mission of an organization. She also wanted to be part of an independent, smaller organization, where she could help influence patient, workforce, and community outcomes. CRH fit that description, and with Columbus being just over an hour from Louisville, it was also close enough that her daughters could still live and attend school in Louisville.

But just because Julie maintains her house in Louisville, and also has a house in Columbus, doesn’t mean she’s not invested in the community – far from it.  Julie believes it is important to be a citizen in the community. She recently joined the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is also on the EcO Network Regional Guiding Team.

Since joining CRH in May 2019 as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development and then later assuming the Chief Human Resources Officer title, Julie has focused on supporting the personal and professional development of the executive team, directors, and managers to be effective leaders. She has also supported the retention and engagement of nurses and the transition to a new Chief Nursing Officer, Staci Glick.

In August 2020, Julie became Vice President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition to overseeing Human Resources, she gained responsibility for marketing/communications/public relations, provider recruitment and compensation, and patient experience, which encompasses the experience for anyone connected to Columbus Regional Health – patients, current and potential employees and providers, partners, and volunteers.

As someone who strives to live a healthy life, Julie enjoys working in healthcare because she wants to see others succeed in their own health and wellness. And that fits with what she learned early on about being a leader and the importance of caring about people. “I just really care about people. I want what’s best for them,” Julie said.  

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