By John Wallace
It all started with a classified ad in the local newspaper for Kimlyn N. Queen-Weis, MS, MBA, CRA, FAHRA RT (R) CT MR, director of operations, patient logistics and telehealth services at OhioHealth. After passing out, she still wanted to pursue an imaging career.
“You may think I am joking but technically that is how my amazing 30-plus year career all started,” Queen-Weis says. “Growing up I excelled in school. I loved math, science and I have always had a passion for helping others; unfortunately, college was not something my parents could afford so we never really talked about it or planned for it. One day, in early spring 1989, my mom was reading our local newspaper and the Marion General Hospital School of Radiology had an ad in the classified section. They were accepting applicants for their next session that started in August 1989. I was graduating that summer so I scheduled an appointment to shadow for a day, passed out wearing a heavy lead apron while observing a pneumoarthrogram of a knee and fell in love with the patient care side and the technology/scientific side of imaging and the rest is history.”
Queen-Weis loves her job.
“What’s not to love? The two most rewarding parts of my job are being able to support the growth and development of future leaders and helping to ensure my teams have the tools and resources they need to provide exceptional patient care and service for the patients, families and communities that we serve,” she says. “Another amazing part of working in health care and the field of imaging is the constant pace of change and technological advancements. It is exciting to watch the continuous evolution of how imaging technologies such as echocardiography, cardiac cath and CT combined with software technology advances, such as 3D reconstruction, can come together to help provide patients with less invasive alternative cardiac valve replacement procedures, such as TAVR, compared to the traditional open heart surgical valve replacement procedures.”
Queen-Weis’s many professional accomplishments are all second to what she says is her greatest accomplishment – being a mom.
“I am incredibly proud of my son Ryan Queen, 25. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2017 from Bowling Green State University. He is a Logistics Coordinator II with Total Quality Logistics in Columbus, Ohio,” she says.
Her other accomplishments include being with the same amazing organization for over 30 years.
“I am proud to be a CRA and AHRA member since 2004 and AHRA Fellow since 2012,” she adds. “I am humbled and honored to have been voted president-elect of the AHRA for 2020-2021 and to have the opportunity to serve as president of the AHRA in 2021-2022.”
On the job, Queen-Weis stresses the importance of each professional fulfilling their duties, roles and responsibilities.
“Transformational, inclusive, coach/mentor,” are the three words Queen-Weis uses to describe her leadership style. “I am a servant leader and I have a strong passion for developing others. I enjoy helping others reach their goals. I am committed to working with my leaders and team members on their individual development plans to help support their personal, professional and career development goals. I actively look for learning opportunities and stretch projects to help support individual development and future succession planning for my teams and the organization.”
“I also believe it is important for team members to feel empowered to be able to make decisions, solve problems and initiate process improvements at the frontlines. Every member of the team is important, and everyone has an equal voice,” she adds.
Mentors have helped her achieve many of her goals.
“I have had a variety of mentors over the years, from middle school to current day, and they have all had a hand in helping me become the person, mother, wife, leader, and friend that I am today. I was blessed to have had each of them in my life, even if only for a moment, and am forever grateful for the lessons they left behind,” Queen-Weis says.
She says among the many lessons she has learned through the years is that everybody needs a helping hand from time to time.
“It is OK to be vulnerable at times and ask for help. Sometimes the words “I don’t know” can actually be very powerful. Although we may think as leaders, we have to have all of the answers, all of the time, the truth is we really don’t and no one expects us to. Being a leader does not mean we have to be the expert. As leaders, we need to know how to build teams and how to bring the right experts to the table at the right time,” she explains. “And, above all else, I have learned the value and importance of pausing to develop/deepen relationships and establish trust (especially when working with new teams) before jumping in to focus on gaining buy-in and implementing change. Investing time to make connections with your team members, understand their strengths and weaknesses and getting to know your key stakeholders helps pave the way for you to lead with influence, gain buy-in and implement change. This is even more important when working with remote teams and in times of crisis.”
Queen-Weis stresses the importance of family for herself and those she works with at OhioHealth.
“Family always comes first. This is my personal value and a value I also share with my team members,” she says. “I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my amazing wife Tina, my son Ryan and my entire family. Both of my parents passed away young (another reason imaging continues to be one of my greatest passions) and I have been blessed with family that has supported me throughout every milestone – big or small – over the years. This also includes my work family and my AHRA family members.”
Queen-Weis said she will always have her eye on the imaging realm and plans to do her part to continue to develop future imaging and health care leaders in support of advancing patient care in all areas.“I believe as leaders in health care, we each have a responsibility to advance the development of professional leadership and to create a strategic vision/roadmap to proactively plan for industry changes, technology and patient care advancements, regulatory and reimbursement updates and social determinants of health,” she explains. “My long-term goal is to continue to expand my impact and influence in a health care system or hospital role that enables me to support the growth and development of future imaging and other health care leaders in alignment with these responsibilities.”