Current Business & Job Title: Business Operations Manager at UVMHN-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
Hometown: Peru, New York
Age: 32
Education: Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Bachelor of Science, Business Administration: Management, RIT
Community Involvement: One role that I’ve assumed and maintained at CVPH for a few years is collaborating with the Clinton County Health Department to conduct a Community Health Assessment every couple of years.

It’s been said that our greatest success as a community lies in attracting young talent to stay and grow in our region. Kaitlyn Tentis, born and raised in the North Country, left to further her education and has returned to bring her passion for healthcare, management and leadership to one of our anchor institutions. Kaitlyn’s poise and determination set the stage for her future.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
By trying to show up every single day the same way to every person I encounter. You never know how much a simple smile and hello in the hall can mean to somebody. I also respectfully speak up when I witness things that don’t sit right with me. As an organization, CVPH really strives to make everyone feel included, heard, and valued.

What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
I make a strong effort to support community events, public spaces, etc., – especially those for young children and families. I think we often hear from younger generations that there is “nothing to do” here… I want to expose them to everything that there really is.

What is the single most important characteristic for success?
Desire. To make a difference, to change circumstance, to achieve goals. You have to want it first.

What is your biggest professional success?
The thing that comes to mind first is my recent experience being involved in the COVID-19 vaccination process at the hospital. The team that worked (and continues to work) on vaccinating our staff members and thousands of community members is one of the most functional groups I’ve ever worked with, and knowing the impact that was being made to work towards ending this pandemic has been extremely rewarding. It is proof that together we can accomplish anything.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Never to give up and to be mindful of how you show up, regardless if it is related to a personal goal, a project, or a relationship with a colleague. It won’t always be rainbows and butterflies but if you put your best foot forward and give it your all, you will have no regrets in the end, despite the outcome.

What is your dream job?
It is actually completely unrelated to what I am doing now, but I think if I could turn back time, I would have become a mid-wife or women’s health practitioner. Something about that line of work has always fascinated me, but especially so since becoming a mom.

How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally and personally? What are you doing differently?

When COVID happened, CVPH very quickly adapted to a more virtual work place. Some staff did work from home, but even those on site shifted from conversations/meetings being held in person to using Microsoft Teams. That and just the shift in some priorities due to COVID were an adjustment. In my personal life, it has allowed my husband to work from home and caused us to have to figure out a hybrid kindergarten model for our son which has been very challenging considering we both work full time.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
I was in a bad horse accident when I was a teenager and broke my tibia and fibula. To this day I have a titanium plate and several screws in my leg. During my recovery, my parents and I were shopping for a new show horse. I went to test ride a few with a full cast and walking boot. I did get a few funny looks from the sellers, but I also got affirmation that I had found my passion and realized that regardless of how hard the fall may have been (even when it is a literal fall), you can always dust yourself off and try again.

What is something that no one would guess about you?
I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth. I eat something chocolate every day and have ice cream a couple times a week year ‘round.

Write a note to your younger self…
“I know it may not always seem like it now, but everything will come together in the end. Your hard work will pay off – yes, even your Calculus homework. Your parents really only want the best for you. Teenage rules aren’t made to ruin our life. Go with your gut but don’t forget to listen to your heart. Never stop chasing your dreams.”

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Continue in the direction we are going! Over the last few years we have grown leaps and bounds as a community. Continue to ask for feedback from people who live here and make adjustments accordingly. Entertainment events, capitalizing on our geography, exposing out-of-town college students to the benefits of life in the North Country… it all makes a difference.