Thrive-Health Guide Southern West Virginia August 2020 - Page 18

Lynn Legg receives a veteran’s appreciation award at the Beckley VA Hospital. SUBMITTED PHOTO She’s served in several positions — both clinical and administrative — in local health care facilities throughout her 44-year nursing career. Among those roles were jobs in rural home health care, long-term care facilities and as nurse manager for Plateau’s Intensive Care Unit. It’s from her most recent stop — 12 years at the Beckley VA — that Legg hung up her stethoscope on July 31, retiring as nurse executive, one of the four highest leadership positions in the hospital. Just like the conversation with her mother that led her to nursing all those years ago, it was a conversation with her daughter, that led her to the VA. “Around the time of 9/11, I thought about joining the military,” she says. “I discussed it with a recruiter and my daughter, but we decided the best thing for me was to not join the military but rather to try to get on at the VA and to take care of the veterans and not become one.” So, in 2008, Legg was hired as the designated learning officer at the Beckley VA, training all nursing staff for the hospital. Very quickly, however, the chief of geriatrics position opened up and, following the love for long-term care she had developed, she applied for and got that position. “I absolutely loved it,” she said, of the role that placed her in charge of, among other things, a 50-bed nursing home inside the hospital as well as the hospital’s home-based program. “There’s something about long-term care that kind of gets into your blood,” she said. “You get to see that the last years of their (patients) lives are happy.” Although Legg enjoyed her job as geriatrics chief, when the associate director for patient care (nurse executive) position opened up in 2011, she decided to take the leap. “I felt it was the best way I could have an impact on healthcare,” she said of the new role. As nurse executive, Legg was responsible for pro- 18 • THRIVE • AUGUST 2020