Renee Matthews, RN, has been named the new administrator of Bluffton Hospital, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System.
Matthews, a Bluffton native, has worked for BVHS in various roles, beginning as an emergency department technician at Bluffton Hospital.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Anderson University (Anderson, Indiana), followed by her nursing degree from Rhodes State College (Lima, Ohio).
Matthews has been a nurse at BVHS since 2014, working at Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital in roles ranging from emergency department nurse to medical/surgical nursing supervisor. Most recently, she served as clinical manager of Blanchard Valley Obstetrics & Gynecology in both Findlay and Bluffton.
“I was just always drawn to helping others,” she said.
Even in high school, she had worked as a state-tested nurse’s aide and took post-secondary classes in psychology and sociology at Bluffton College (now Bluffton University).
“I explored hospital social work while pursuing my social work degree and quickly realized how much I loved the hospital setting,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting people where they were and connecting them to needed resources. It allowed me to feel like I was making a difference, and I have continued that commitment to forging connections and relationships throughout my career.”
Both Matthews and members of her immediate and extended family were born in Bluffton Hospital, and she gave birth to her youngest daughter there. Her late mother worked for 30 years as a housekeeper in the environmental services department and then as a volunteer after her retirement.
“I’m just really passionate about this place,” Matthews said. “Bluffton Hospital simply feels like part of who I am.”
Matthews also has long-standing connections to the Bluffton community. A 1998 Bluffton High School graduate, she lives in Bluffton and is committed to helping the hospital become even stronger to best serve that community.
Working in the emergency department helped her see how healthcare serves a community and how healthcare organizations and their communities are deeply intertwined.
“The emergency department doesn’t turn anyone away,” she noted. “In that setting, we cared for our community and got to know people from all walks of life. They would come in at their most vulnerable, and we were there to help.”
Along with serving the community, Matthews wants to prioritize associate engagement.
“People often say Bluffton Hospital is special. It’s because of the people and their ties to the community,” she said. “I want working here to feel like family.”
She has seen firsthand how associates support one another. Matthews was in her early thirties, with three young children, when she went back to school to pursue her registered nursing degree.
“It was a challenging time to be balancing all that at once. It wasn’t only my husband and family, but also all my Bluffton Hospital coworkers, who encouraged and supported me through it,” she said.” Everyone encouraged me to pursue nursing, from my supervisor to the nurses I worked alongside to the ER physicians. That kind of work environment is what Bluffton Hospital has always been for me, and I want to continue cultivating that going forward. “
She said that while healthcare constantly changes, that change goes more smoothly with strong relationships. “I love to get to know people and figure out how each of us can do our work better with one another’s support or collaboration.”
“I am pleased to announce that Renee Matthews, BSW, RN, has accepted the position as the administrator of Bluffton Hospital. Renee has been with Blanchard Valley Health System since 2007 and has worked in diverse roles, including front-line staff, supervisor, and management in the Findlay and Bluffton emergency departments, Bluffton maternity, Bluffton inpatient, and our women’s health physician practices,” said BJ Pasztor, chief operating officer, acute care services/chief nursing officer.
“She is a lifelong resident of Bluffton and is very committed to the community. Her knowledge of BVHS and the region makes her well-suited for this role. Renee’s new responsibilities will include oversight of the Bluffton Hospital campus, as well as
leadership for service excellence. Please join me in welcoming Renee to this position and back to Bluffton Hospital.”
Matthews said that she will be able to draw upon her experiences in various healthcare fields as a leader.
“It’s pretty amazing to realize just how many lives we touch in a given day,” she said. “And when you witness all the skills, labor, and collaboration involved, it’s impressive and humbling. All these people working together help provide truly quality care for their patients. I am excited and honored to get to lead Bluffton Hospital going forward.”
For more information about the services offered at Bluffton Hospital, please visit https://www.bvhealthsystem.org/locations/locations-details?practice=8