Elizabeth Good ’01, is seldom far from the wise counsel of an Eastern Mennonite University professor, though separated by many miles and years since graduation. “Ann Hershberger was, and still is, a tremendous influence on my life and career as a nurse,” says Good. “I still email her with questions and we sometimes talk on the phone. She continues to challenge me to think differently about my career and education. She encourages me to keep challenging myself.”
During her early years as a nurse at several hospitals, Good’s leadership abilities were quickly noticed. She chose a challenging program at Case Western Reserve University, and in 2007, received dual master’s degrees in business administration and nursing. “EMU helped me develop all the essential skills for my time in graduate school,” she says. “The nursing school curriculum was very rigorous and required us to develop strong study schedules, to work hard, to be organized and prepared.”
Several years ago, Good was promoted to director of the 150-employee emergency department at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, which cared for 90,000 patients a year. She led her team to win the prestigious Lantern Award presented by the Emergency Nurses Association.
Good is now director of corporate education at Aultman. As she moves into leadership positions and away from frontline patient care, she still draws on the philosophy of whole-patient care she learned at EMU. “Consistently, throughout the curriculum, we were reminded that we weren’t just caring for a specific disease or injury.
“The patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual health were all part of the disease and healing process,” says Good. “In my present role, I can’t just focus on the financials or the more business-related aspects of the job. In order to be most successful, I must make room for the heart.”
Her caring heart has led Good to participate in service trips to Liberia and Puerto Rico. “I went to Liberia as a result of attending the EMU homecoming weekend a few years ago when Leymah Gbowee was recognized. I attended about every event where she was present or spoke. I was so inspired. A few months later, when I learned a group from Kidron Mennonite was planning a trip to Liberia, I asked to go. Learning to know the girls at Bridges of Hope School was a wonderful mentoring experience.”
Good is a sponsor of her church’s youth group and traveled with them to Puerto Rico on a mission trip. “The biggest takeaway I had from that trip was how amazing our youth are,” she says. “We hear a lot about the youth in our country and how bad they can be. But we really should be thankful for and proud of our youth and how they represent the Mennonite church.”
Good serves on the board of the Domestic Violence Shelter of Stark County, Ohio, volunteers for Meals on Wheels and has served as a mentor in the Big Brother, Big Sister program, to name just a few of her civic activities.
“My EMU semester to the Middle East changed my life forever,” says Good. “I just can’t sit still anymore! While on cross-cultural, we moved about every two weeks to a different city or town. A fellow student commented, ‘What are we going to do when we get back to the States, and we aren’t moving every two weeks?’ I feel like I haven’t stopped moving since!”
Published Sept. 2014.