Sharon McGrail’s nurturing personality and drive to care for people has honed her skills both as a nurse and a leader. McGrail, who is the Manger, Population Health at Fisher-Titus, has served for 23 years with the Medical Center in a variety of areas including registered nurse in the Central Nursing Unit, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pain Management and was the first Chronic Care Navigator in Population Health at Fisher-Titus.
Recently, McGrail was selected as Fisher-Titus Health’s nominee for the Ohio Hospital Association’s 2018 Albert E. Dykes Health Care Worker of the Year Award. McGrail is one of 62 outstanding health care professionals nominated for this prestigious award. All nominees will be celebrated at the Ohio Hospital Association’s Recognition Dinner on Tuesday, June 5 in Columbus and one ultimate recipient will receive the award.
McGrail was nominated for this award because of her dedication to her staff and her patients. “It is my goal when I get up each morning to have a positive impact on my patients and staff,” said McGrail. This philosophy has guided her throughout her 31-year health care career.
Most recently, McGrail developed the care coordination services, was promoted to Manager of Population Health in 2017 and now manages a 10-person team. McGrail oversees chronic care, transition of care, clinical triage and annual Medicare Wellness Visits.
“Her team touches 100 percent of the Medicare population within the employed physician practices discharged from acute care. Since 2016, there has been a 50 percent reduction of readmissions of patients participating in the care coordination program,” said Cherie Spragg, Senior Vice President, Population Health.
McGrail looks at things in a positive way and empowers her staff to do the same by working side by side with them to get tasks accomplished. In her role, McGrail constantly looks for ways to improve the program and increase patient reach.
“I like a challenge,” she said. “If I am given a certain goal to achieve, I am going to do everything I can to achieve it.”
McGrail is a great motivator and forms strong bonds with her patients. She empowers them to achieve their goals.
“You meet the patients in their darkest hours and you are with them until you get them to the other side,” McGrail said. “You meet them right where they are in life, help them, educate them, engage them and get them over the hump.”
Christine Kowalski worked with McGrail for 10 years in Cardiac Rehabilitation. When Kowalski took on a new role as Director of Pain Management at Fisher-Titus in 2009, McGrail left her position in Cardiac Rehab and joined Kowalski as a staff nurse. Kowalski recalls McGrail’s dedication and how as a two-person team they would work together even during 13- to 14-hour days.
“We called the patients, prepped the charts and assisted the physician with all the procedures in the Operating Room,” Kowalski explained. “Without Sharon assisting with patient care, I would not have been able to build or grow the program.”
McGrail’s goal is to improve patients’ lives by individualizing each treatment plan to obtain a reachable goal. Dr. Gregory Grant, Chief Medical Officer of Fisher-Titus Medical Care, believes Sharon is an Integral part of our Population Health endeavors.
“She is one of our biggest champions and hardest workers,” said Dr. Grant. “Sharon’s main focus is improving patients’ lives which she achieves daily.”
As a part of growing Population Health, McGrail and her staff work with a variety of community resources to help patients. By forming relationships with community resource agencies, McGrail and her team can aid patients in improving their health outcomes. For example, so many patients can’t afford their medications and don’t know where to go.
“We help to connect them with the right resources such as our Prescription Assistance program or other assistance programs,” said McGrail.
In her personal life, McGrail also gives back to the community. She and her husband, Garth, are members of the Foundation Church in Norwalk. The couple is active in the church’s community events and outreach. McGrail also served on the women’s ministry team at the church.
McGrail and her husband have been married for 30 years and have three sons, who are 21, 23 and 25. A 23-year New London resident, Sharon has served as a school board member, little league president, volunteer EMT and Cub Scout leader.