Specializing in administration telehealth, Judith E. Hicks, RN, became involved in nursing because of an aunt who was a nurse and had gone to a baccalaureate program. She was really impressed with her and was her favorite person growing up. Once Ms. Hicks got into nursing, she was doing bedside nursing and found a number of HUD nurses who really made a difference in terms of what kind of care was given at bedside. She was attracted to the leadership role and pursued that almost immediately, and ever since, she has loved working with staff.
Ms. Hicks began her professional career as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital in Chicago in 1969, remaining in this position for one year before moving up the ranks to nursing supervisor from 1970 to 1973. She then consulted in continuing education for the Illinois Nurses Association from 1974 to 1975 and directed the obstetrics-gynecology nursing department at Prentice Women’s Hospital/Northwestern Memorial Hospital from 1975 to 1981. Following this, she was the vice president of nursing at the Children’s Memorial Hospital from 1981 to 1986, and president of Children’s Memorial Home Health, Inc., and Children’s Memorial Nursing Services from 1986 to 2001. Currently, Ms. Hicks serves as the chief executive officer of Beechwood Health Solutions, LLC since 2009.
In addition to this tenure, Ms. Hicks worked with the Allied & Children’s Home Health and Nursing Services in 1988, CM Healthcare Resources, Inc., from 1988 to 2001 and the Pediatrics Plus, Inc., from 1994 to 2001. She was also the founder, CEO and president of Focused Health Solutions, Inc., from 2000 to 2007, and directed the Near North Health Corp. from 1982 to 1985 and the Children’s Memorial Medical Center from 1985 to 2007. Furthermore, Ms. Hicks has served in numerous positions with the School of Nursing at the University of Illinois, the School of Public Health at Harvard University, the National Breast Cancer Association, the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago and the Pediatrics Excellence Program Service.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Hicks pursued a formal education at St. Xavier University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1969. She then matriculated at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she attained a Master of Science in Nursing in 1971. Since graduating, Ms. Hicks served on the board of trustees of St. Xavier University from 2005 to 2011, and has served on the board of trustees for the Autism Home Support Services since 2011.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Hicks chaired the council on nursing of the Illinois Hospital Association from 1982 to 1983 and was active with the Women’s Health Executive Network from 1984 to 1985. Likewise, she has maintained involvement with other organizations related to her field such as the American Society of Nursing Administrators and the Institute of Medicine of the Economic Club of Chicago.
In light of her many achievements, Ms. Hicks received the Jonas Salk Leadership Award from the March of Dimes in 1998, the Ernst and the Young Outstanding Illinois Nurse Leader Award in 1999. Some years later, she was a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Midwest region of Ernst and Young in 2004, eventually winning in 2006, and was awarded the Nursing Alumni of the Year Award by her alma mater in 2007. More recently, Ms. Hicks was given the Esperanza Award by La Cata Norte, Prevention of Homeless Children in 2017 and the George Kennedy Distinguished Service Award by the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in 2018. She was also selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Nursing, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
Ms. Hicks always tried to encourage new ideas and people who had new ideas, and tried to listen to people who were struggling or stuck. She was fairly approachable and was interested in what people were spending their energy on. She felt comfortable enough in the health care system to have some confidence, and she knew how to make some changes. Ms. Hicks had that experience, so she wanted to see others have the same opportunity as well. Moreover, she is excited about what she will learn and where it is coming from.