Qualenta Kivett and Wendi Goodson-Celerin of Tampa General Hospital Recognized as Black Healthcare Leaders to Know

Published: Jun 13, 2024

The academic health system’s executive vice president and chief people and talent officer, and senior vice president and chief nursing executive, respectively, are the region’s only leaders recognized by the leading industry trade publication for their impact on the delivery of quality care experiences and outcomes.


Tampa, FL (June 13, 2024)Tampa General Hospital (TGH)’s Executive Vice President and Chief People and Talent Officer, Qualenta Kivett, JD, and Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, Wendi Goodson-Celerin, DNP, APRN, NE-BC, are recognized on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2024 list of “231+ Black Healthcare Leaders to Know.” The list spotlights Black health care leaders who are helping to shape the health care industry. Kivett and Goodson-Celerin are the only two leaders in the region recognized on the list and are two of just 12 leaders recognized statewide.


"Our entire team at Tampa General is proud to have Qualenta and Wendi as two exceptional leaders who make a difference every day in cultivating world-class team member, provider and patient experiences,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. “Their shared and continuous pursuit of excellence, passion for driving innovation, and ability to inspire and influence our team to exceed expectations have been invaluable to propelling our growth and transformation journey as a leading academic health system.”


Kivett, who was recently recognized by Becker’s as one of its 2024 “CHROs and Chief People Officers to Know,” leads Tampa General’s People and Talent team, using evidence-based strategy to amplify the experiences and voices of the organization's most valuable assets – its people. Under Kivett's leadership, Tampa General has implemented next-generation strategies to engage, grow, retain and develop the academic health system's workforce. Kivett has played a pivotal role in the expansion of Tampa General’s market share growth, supporting and redesigning benefits program initiatives, which expanded team member access to free mental health support programs, employer-sponsored short-term disability benefits, and several education and development opportunities, all at no cost to team members. Kivett has led a multi-year, multi-million-dollar compensation redesign and market adjustment to ensure market alignment across all positions at all Tampa General locations. Kivett’s strategic interventions have directly contributed to Tampa General’s ability to lead the industry in vacancy and turnover rates of 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, both well below the national industry averages.

Kivett is leading the charge to cultivate a strong organizational culture that personifies Tampa General Hospital’s dedication to its people-first mentality, which is a strategic imperative that continues to increase in importance as the health system grows its team member and provider base and expands its footprint statewide. Currently, Kivett is driving a multi-year strategy to incorporate new TGH North team members, who joined the system during the acquisition of the Bravera Health network, into the broader organization, merging workplace cultures authentically and seamlessly.

"Our leadership team at Tampa General goes above and beyond to put our team members at the center of everything we do because we understand that we can deliver truly exceptional care to our patients and our community if we are taking exceptional care of our people,” Kivett said. “With the support of our fiercely dedicated People and Talent team and in close collaboration with leaders across our system, we’ve made meaningful strides in continuously improving our team member engagement. Industry data and performance indicators show this is not only essential to co-creating a workplace and culture we can be proud of but is also a driver for high-quality care and positive outcomes for patients.”


Goodson-Celerin, who was recognized by Becker’s as one of its 2023 “Hospital and Health System Chief Nursing Officers to Know,” leads nursing services across Tampa General, with a focus on further developing cross-functional collaboration among nursing teams throughout the hospital and systemwide. She spearheads compliance with accrediting bodies and regulatory groups systemwide, including the implementation of strategies to achieve or exceed quality and patient safety goals and the highest levels of accreditation through the continuation of the system’s prestigious Magnet Designation status.

Goodson-Celerin began her career with Tampa General as a registered nurse and has nurtured a strong culture of collaboration and innovation on her path to executive leadership. Under her leadership, Tampa General has successfully adopted systemwide best practices, including the Patient Experience Bundle (Purposeful Hourly Rounding, Bedside Shift Report and Nurse Leader Rounding) as well as policies, procedures and protocols to drive the development of nursing staff and the delivery of high-quality care. She was instrumental in driving initiatives to stabilize Tampa General’s nursing workforce, eliminating the use of agency nurses in the inpatient acute care settings while lowering the nurse vacancy rate below benchmarks.

Additionally, she leads the nursing shared governance councils to promote direct care nurses’ shared decision-making in the standardization of evidence-based practice changes, as well as the strategic redesign of the clinical education model for the nursing teams to ensure high-quality training and learning. As the academic health system continues to innovate, Goodson-Celerin is on the front lines of ongoing strategic quality and safety initiatives supporting the expansion of virtual nursing technology and solutions into Tampa General’s medical and surgical patient populations.

"Dedicating my nearly 40-year career to this organization and having the privilege to serve as a leader in an industry that I’ve always known I wanted to work in creates this deep sense of pride and accomplishment,” Goodson-Celerin said. “It is an honor to be recognized for this fulfilling and impactful work and, better yet, alongside one of my own colleagues at Tampa General. It really is a testament to the work of our collective team and the culture we have created in service of both our patients and our team members.”

Kivett and Goodson-Celerin are profiled alongside Becker’s Hospital Review’s complete list of “231+ Black Healthcare Leaders to Know” here.