Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

January 2024



By Lois Thomson, South Florida Hospital News, for ACHE of South Florida

If you had to use one word to describe Haroula Norden, you couldn’t find a better one than “passionate.” As Chief Operating Officer of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Norden holds the type of position she dreamed about when she was young.

“I started in healthcare when I was 19, and when I was in school, getting my masters degree, I always thought I wanted a position like this. I wanted a position that could affect large groups of people – the patients we serve, the community, our employees – and give me the opportunity to make big decisions on a large scale. I always thought being in a role like this would be something I would enjoy doing, something I would be passionate about.”

In her position, Norden is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the hospital, including the centers of excellence, and overseeing the team that oversees the ancillary operations of the hospital. “I always liked that role,” she said. “When I was young, I would look up (at the COO) and think, “What a great job, that person has their hands in everything.”

She went on to say that healthcare is something you have to be passionate about, because it’s not an easy job, and you’re making a number of decisions that are extremely important – because you’re dealing with people’s lives. “You definitely have to have a passion for it, and to me, it’s always exciting, it’s always something I liked to do, and I liked learning about it.”

Along with the responsibilities themselves, Norden loves having the opportunity to work with what she calls the brilliant people in the healthcare field. “They’re smart and creative, I love being able to learn from and collaborate with people who are so smart and have the same kind of passion that I do; they’re here to provide good, quality, safe care for people.”

But if you think Norden is passionate about her work at Boca, let her tell you about being a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), for which she will serve as president in 2024. “ACHE is an organization that helps healthcare executives keep up with what’s going on. I’ve always been very active and involved in this organization. It’s the only professional organization that gives healthcare executives the opportunity to get board certified, showing their commitment to the healthcare field.”

She considers the important aspects to be the ACHE’s focus on lifelong learning, networking with colleagues, furthering education, and early career development for young professionals. “I think those things are so important for someone starting out their career – or in the middle of their career or at the end of their career. Healthcare is a field where you constantly have to be at the top of your game, you constantly have to know what’s going on because it changes so rapidly.” Norden pointed out that ACHE is a national organization with more than 48,000 members, so members can connect with people across the country, and learn from them and what they’re doing.

She has been a member of ACHE for nearly 15 years and has served on the board for seven years. This is her second turn at the presidency; the first was in 2020, during COVID, and she said that time gave the members an opportunity to rebrand the chapter.

Norden has now agreed to run again because, she said, “The message I want to get out, the theme of the second year is the importance of stepping up and getting involved. As much as you benefit from (ACHE), people benefit from your leadership and from your ideas, and from you stepping up and saying, hey, I want to do this because I want to take this organization further. If it’s important to you, you need to find the time and step into leadership, don’t stay on the sidelines.”

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