Our Director of Marketing was recently featured in a Women’s History Month newspaper feature in The True Citizen, which Celebrated Women in Media.
She talks about her career journey and what it’s like working at Burke Health. Read the full story below…
Lacey: Sharing the story of legendary growth
Editor’s note: The National Women’s History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women’s History Month. The 2023 theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” This theme recognizes “women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news and social media.” This is part 3 of a 4-part series featuring local women who work in media.
Lacey Hillis-Zorn earned a communications degree; however, on-the-job training paved her path into marketing.
“I got an amazing job, and I just flew with it,” she said.
The National Wild Turkey Federation, located in Edgefield, S.C., hired her first in advertising sales, but she quickly moved up into corporate marketing. The position required she travel throughout the United States, rubbing elbows with executives from large companies like Remington, Realtree, and Plano Synergy, who partnered up with NWTF in conservation efforts in exchange for brand marketing in their TV shows, magazine, digital media, and national auctions. Working with CEOs of huge corporations, Lacey felt no urgency to advance her education further.
However, family obligations forced her to step away from work for a while. Lacey admits that she is a workaholic. She said she needs work fulfillment to keep her driven and motivated. She looks forward to learning something new every day. The need to work led her to Plant Vogtle, where she was hired as a project engineer with Vulcan Industrial.
“It’s hard to find a job in marketing in Burke County,” she said. Eventually, networking led to her position as the Burke Health Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Community Outreach. The public relations side of her position allows her to tell the story of the hospital’s growth. “I think everyone in Burke County knows that the hospital struggled for a long time,” she said. “Many people were going to hospitals outside of Waynesboro for care.”
When Burke Hospital Company took over, its main goal was to change the community’s perspective of what Burke Health was bringing to the table. Lacey believes the best way to earn the community’s trust is through involvement, including presentations, clubs, press releases and articles, social media engagement, school visits, volunteerism, serving on local boards, and participating in community events.
“There has been so much growth, and there is so much more to come,” she said. With recent changes, patients are beginning to come from surrounding counties to Burke Health for their surgical needs. Lacey hears them complimenting what the hospital calls “The Burke Difference.”
“They make comments like, ‘this is Southern hospitality at its best,’ ‘they made us feel like family,’ ‘everybody was so nice and went above and beyond,’” she said. “That is the essence of this entire community, and it’s reflected in everything we do at Burke Health.”
The position with the hospital satisfies Lacey’s hunger for learning. She admits she knew nothing about healthcare before she began the position.
“The transition from conservation to healthcare was easy because our administration works so well with one another; however, it was challenging at first to navigate a multilateral environment because I was accustomed to marketing being its own wheelhouse. I am constantly learning new medical terminology and healthcare issues by working with multiple departments and clinical specialties,” she said.
It’s an industry that is no stranger to female employees. Traditionally women held the roles of nurses and office staff while males held the administrative and physician-type positions.
“It is definitely shifting,” Lacey said. “I’m proud to be able to say that we have numerous women working in managerial positions.”