Jill McDonald, APR
Function in the hospital
There are more than 3400 voices at Eastern Maine Medical Center and one of Jill’s jobs is to blend them into one voice for the purposes of communicating with the community. The community needs to feel confident in what EMMC stands for, and each encounter with us, with our staff in any location, needs to reinforce that confidence. Jill says this work is usually pretty easy because EMMC employees understand the mission of the hospital and their role in delivering it. It’s important that we all feel our job contributes to the patients’ confidence in their care. This gets at the other major component of Jill’s job, which is communicating with employees, and other internal audiences. EMMC’s general philosophy is to be as transparent as possible, so employees know the direction the hospital is going and why. There’s a large amount of information being communicated to a variety of audiences all time. That keeps Jill and her staff of six busy.
The road to here
Jill earned her BS in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University in 1982, and took her first broadcasting job at Cablevision of Connecticut in the fall of that year. She came to Maine to work at WLBZ-TV in 1984 and over the next nine years worked as a producer/anchor, general assignment reporter, investigative reporter, and then health reporter at both WLBZ-TV and its Portland sister station WCSH-TV. In 1993, Jill accepted a staff position in EMMC’s Community Relations Department, and in the following 14 years has held positions of manager and director of Community Relations working for both EMMC and its parent corporation, EMHS. She earned her Masters’ Degree in Communication from the University of Maine in 2000, and her Accreditation in Public Relations in 2002. In April of 2006, Jill accepted the position of Vice President for Communication and Market Development at EMMC.
If you love what you do and know it makes a difference, then the even hardest work is made easier. Communication is at the heart of most human challenges. Conduct your communication with integrity and respect. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t laugh when it’s appropriate.
Professionally, I have so many moments of pride, virtually every day, in fact. The day I received my Masters’ Degree was a day I will never forget, because it took me five years of personal sacrifice and determination to get there. Personally, there is no greater accomplishment than the raising of my two children and my ongoing wonderful relationship with them.
What she’s trying to do
On many occasions I have been overwhelmed by the passion, dedication, and intelligence of the people I work with at EMMC. What I try to do on a daily basis is to tell their story, whether it’s to the media, to fellow employees, or to anyone else who will listen. We are so lucky to have this body of experts in our community. If I’m doing my job well, the citizens of our community and our region know this and feel good about it.