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Meet our Project Manager – Patricia Little talks about her way to the Żywiec New Hospital Project

Patricia has a unique combination of nursing and administrative skills and experience gained during 35 years in the Acute Health care in Canada, Kenya, Pakistan, British Virgin Islands, Saudi Arabia and the United States. In the past 10 years she has held numerous leadership and senior nursing management positions and her responsibilities included strategic direction, policy development, and operational management. Most recently she was instrumental in opening two acute care facilities from bubble to fully operational and accredited.

Patricia received her nursing education at the Misericordia School of Nursing in Canada and is nearing completion of her Degree in Healthcare Administration through the Athabasca University. She is a current member of the Arizona Nursing Association and the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. She has been a member of the emergency Nurses Association for over 20 years and initiated a chapter in Kenya which is now recognized worldwide. She holds professional certificates in Emergency Nursing, Trauma Nursing and Tropical and Travel Medicine.


Patricia Little Zywiec Project Manager
Patricia Little, Żywiec New Hospital Project Manager

What’s your work experience?

I have been very fortunate to have had an amazing career filled with a great diversity of experience over my 35 working years. My clinical nursing experience, practiced in the US and Canada focused on emergency medicine. For the past 20 years, I have worked in management and development of new hospital projects. I have managed Emergency Departments and worked as Nursing Director in locations as varied as Nairobi, Kenya and Phoenix, Arizona. My travels with my husband, a US Foreign Service Doctor, have led me to nursing and management positions in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kenya, and Peru. I worked with InterHealth Canada in opening a new hospital in Turks and Caicos, and a large and busy Emergency Department in Sharjah, UAE. I also spent several years managing an Emergency Department and helping to design and build a new hospital in Vernon, BC, Canada. Coincidentally, this was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) as is this project in Żywiec and the other InterHealth Canada projects in Turks and Caicos and Sharjah.

What were the most challenging work places in your career and why?

One of my most challenging jobs was as the manager of a busy Emergency Department in Nairobi, Kenya. The hospital had a great shortage of equipment, supplies, and adequately trained personnel. It was in the height of the AIDS crisis in Africa with few treatment options for both infected staff, and most of our patients. I also worked in Liberia for 15 months during the peak of the Ebola crisis. I helped to develop an Ebola response unit for International SOS, when everyone, especially health care workers, felt threatened and vulnerable to becoming infected. Many hospitals and clinics closed during that time after losing staff who had become infected, which added to the challenge.

What made you lead the project of new hospital in Żywiec?

My previous work with InterHealth Canada led to this opportunity to provide a much needed new hospital in Żywiec. While never having visited Poland, I’ve been very happy to have met a well-trained, hard-working, and highly motivated group of professionals. This has not always been the case in other countries, and it makes my job here a pleasure.

What’s the biggest challenge concerning this Project?

The biggest challenge with this project has been the language barrier. We have navigated this difficulty by hiring an incredibly talented group of translators. Each one of them has become both a personal friend, and a motivated professional with administrative skills that go far beyond their primary purpose of translation. Of course, as with all new hospital projects, challenges abound in areas such as budget shortfalls, construction issues, and fitting the functions of the clinical units into the design. However, I have seen great progress. Our entire team is committed to providing a well-deserved modern new hospital to the citizens and the health professionals of Żywiec.

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