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Ferrell Named SIC Distinguished Alumna



HARRISBURG, Ill. (April 30, 2019) – Leslie Ferrell has been selected to join Southeastern Illinois College’s Distinguished Alumni roster for 2019 and will give the keynote speech at SIC commencement exercises Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m.

“Leslie Ferrell is a most deserving recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award at Southeastern Illinois College,” said Dr. Jonah Rice, SIC President.  “She has proven herself to be more than a successful professional but a successful humanitarian. We also appreciate her continued participation in nursing activities and advising here at the college.”


Ferrell has more than 18 years of experience in health care and is currently the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Harrisburg Medical Center (HMC). She oversees departments that are implementing major changes and upgrades to benefit health care to surrounding communities. In this role, she manages day-to-day hospital and clinic operations. She assists in development of operational and capital budgets, has assisted in development of an accountable care organization, and development of policy and procedures related to patient care and evidence-based patient care protocols. Ferrell is credited with improving quality of care at the hospital through process improvement initiatives, shared governance and actively displaying servant leadership.


“Leslie is a respected, inspiring individual that leads by example,” said Neil Atkins, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Services at HMC. “My privilege to work alongside Leslie has taught me compassion, self-development, and continuously seeking to develop those around me. Her compassion to serve others starts with the framework of servant leadership, which sometimes brings about sacrificing the needs and wants of herself for the needs and desires of those she leads. Leslie deserves this award as she is distinguished among the rest, whether it be alumni, nursing, or business leaders. She is a true standout in whatever capacity she is expected to be in, and it is my honor to serve and lead alongside her.”


A 1997 graduate of Gallatin County High School, Ferrell completed her Associate Degree in Nursing at Southeastern Illinois College. From there, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, and finished her Master of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky, in 2008.

“I chose to attend SIC because it was close to home and provided a degree that I knew had the potential to help me become successful,” said Ferrell. “My fondest memories of SIC are of the relationships that I developed while I was a student.”