January 9, 2012

WBRC LVN Completes VAPAHCS Emerging Leaders Development Program

Photo: Misty Blue Foster, WBRC LVN, poses with Lisa Freeman, VAPAHCS
Director at the celebration ceremony for completion of the Emerging
Leaders Development Program November 9th, 2011.

WBRC would like to congratulate Misty Blue Foster, WBRC LVN on her successful completion of the VAPAHCS Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP) in November of 2011. 

What is the Emerging Leaders Development Program?
VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s 2011 Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP) is a core component of the VA’s workforce development and succession planning strategic initiatives, and it is aligned with the High Performance Development Model and VHA leadership programs. Faculty includes key VAPAHCS leaders, staff and external consultants.  The focus is on developing a leadership skill foundation rather than management or supervisory skills.  The participants are competitively selected are limited to a total of 20 annually.  The program is six months in length with 11 formal classes and several projects including completion of a 180 Degree Assessment Tool, development and execution of a Personal Development Plan, a Group Presentation, and an individual Customer Service Project.  The purpose of the program is to provide leadership skills to individuals with recognized potential for higher-level leadership positions and to develop leaders who, through collective discovery and learning, will achieve the highest level of individual, team, and organizational performance.

An Interview with Misty Blue Foster, LVN

What were some of the core skills that you learned by participating in the ELDP?
I learned effective leadership skills, problem solving and conflict resolution, project management, team building, how to motivate others, how to inspire others, to create a vision, how to keep up morale, hiring techniques for success, success principles, setting life goals, educational goals, and career goals, and how to remain motivated to name a few things.

Did you have guidance or mentorship throughout the program?
I had an assigned mentor, Debbra Yamaguchi, Administrative Officer of Nursing, who worked with me to develop a PDP. A PDP is a personal development plan, and I had to make 2 goals each for each goal of the VA High-Development Core Competencies Model. The goals extend out for two years after completion of ELDP. I also received support from Deb Gitter, Chief of Rehab Nursing; Sandy Kemp, Supervisory HR Specialist; Richard Wing BSN, MSHCA, Nurse Manager for WBRC; and other participants in ELD.  It took a lot.  I was also in C.R.E.W (another staff training program) and full time in school while this was all going on. Very hectic!

What was your individual Customer Service Project?
I had 4 months to complete a customer service project. This was an independent project which needed to be broad-reaching and implementable. I decided to develop an all-electronic documentation plan for the WBRC nursing department.  I wanted to use technology to replace our paper charting methods in order to increase communication, streamline record keeping, and eliminate patient confidentiality breach risks.  This included creating an electronic Nursing Communication Log, launching a computerized Change of Shift Report Database, implementing a program to scan documents and electronically capture patient consent signatures into our computerized patient record system, and creating specialized report templates which were added to our computerized patient record system.  All of these changes and new technology such as the scanner and signature pad were introduced to the WBRC RN Staff in a formal project presentation.  My Chief of Staff and RN Manager endorsed the project and we are currently in the process of training all of the WBRC RN staff and launching the all-electronic documentation plan.        

What are some of the benefits of this all-electronic documentation plan?
Paper charting is a very outdated method which puts patient information at risk of confidentiality violations.  By changing to an all-electronic documentation process we eliminate any risk of patient confidentiality being compromised.  The patient information is protected by a verify code and password which are assigned to each staff member.  The new electronic systems we have implemented as a result of this project are user friendly.  It is simple to enter patient and shift information, to edit information, and all the information for each patient for each shift readily available in an easy to use and easy to read digital format.  Another benefit is that any documents from an outside provider can be scanned into the patient record, consolidating all of their records into one place, and making it accessible to their VA Providers.  This ensures patient confidentiality and increases the quality of medical services provided to our Veterans.


  1. Congradulations on this achivement Misty. We are very lucky to have you.