A PAIR OF CLOSE-UP medical experiences helped shape a young Misty Holland into a medical professional who is set to make a difference in Polk County health care.
Holland, who was appointed as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for the Polk region in July, oversees nursing operations for Bartow Regional Medical Center, Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. The position is the latest in a threedecade career in health care that has taken her around the country, a career that got its seed planted in the young daughter of an Air Force air-traffic controller.
When Holland was 14, she saw her father experience his first heart attack — though they didn’t know it at the time. He was pitching in a softball game on base when he came off the field complaining of pain in his left arm and his chest. After the game, Holland drove her dad to the base hospital, where his true condition was overlooked.
“When we walked in, they saw a healthy, active, 40-year-old male and diagnosed him with a pulled muscle and sent us home,” she says. “After about two weeks of not being able to even walk without assistance, he returned to work.”
About 18 months later, after her father’s retirement, he had his second heart attack, this time while golfing. He went back to the base hospital, but this time, there were different results.
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