Beth Tharp referred to 2012 as the year she’ll never forget and it’s certainly easy to see why. The Indiana State Board of Nursing selected Beth as the 2012 Nurse of the Year from nearly 900 nominations and she was appointed CEO and President of Community Hospital in Anderson, Ind. This year is the 50th anniversary of the hospital as well, where Tharp has been a part of for thirty-three years. At an early age, her father who was an anesthesiologist at Community went against his belief that children shouldn’t make rounds in the hospital with their parents and allowed Beth to walk with him on a few occasions. “I was so in awe of the hospital and I always knew healthcare would be it,” said Tharp. After she graduated from Anderson College in 1980 her father encouraged her to work at Community, which is where she has been ever since.
Beth started out as staff nurse in 1980 and set her eyes on her dream job at the time, to be on the cutting edge of nursing as the nursing supervisor. Improvement and advancement has always been an important attribute to Beth because as she has increased her responsibilities in new positions she also improved her education. While she was the Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Community, she went back to school to earn her Bachelors in Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University.
After several years, her role was expanded to Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, where she helped establish the Center for Advanced Wound Healing and Clinical Research Center. Beth decided she still wasn’t finished with school, this time she went for a MBA through Anderson University and graduated in 2005. Fast-forward to the summer of 2012, Beth was appointed CEO and President of Community Hospital Anderson.
Beth is passionate about the future of the hospital, its staff, and the community of Anderson. The transition into her role as CEO has been smooth because of her familiarity with the staff and overall hospital operations; however she anticipates a few bumps in the road along the way. Her ability to lead, though, will certainly get her through those obstacles. “To be a leader you have to know what the end result is and you have to focus on that, and sometimes it’s difficult. You have to be sensitive, but you can’t lose sight of your goal.”
Community Hospital Anderson is in good hands with Beth as CEO as they continue to innovate and implement new technologies, such as the da Vinci Surgical System. Having gone to Anderson High School, Anderson College, and receiving a MBA from Anderson University, the city of Anderson should be proud to celebrate her achievements.