New executive director for HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital and Women’s Services

By Scott Faingold

Allison Paul always felt the call to serve others.

“My father is a dentist and my mother is a dental assistant,” she explains. “They have their own private practice and so I grew up spending a lot of time there, helping out doing different things. That’s not directly related to nursing or health care but it’s still providing service and direct patient care.” She started volunteering at an early age at one of the local hospitals and found that she truly enjoyed helping others. “At a relatively young age, I knew that I wanted to go into nursing, so that’s really where my career started.”

Paul grew up in the small town of Oreana outside of Decatur and graduated from Argenta-Oreana High School. From there she went to Illinois Wesleyan University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, finding work at Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. “I was there for almost 12 years,” she recalls. “I worked as a nurse and completed my master’s of science at St. Francis College of Nursing.”

In 2013 she completed her doctorate of nursing in leadership. “Through nursing, I have some performance improvement background and management background in pediatrics and patient care units.” Most recently, Paul served as patient care director over both inpatient and outpatient pediatric care areas. Her new position as executive director of Children’s Hospital and Women’s Services gives her oversight of operations in these areas along with strategic planning and services.

Paul began her new position on Feb. 16. “Right off the bat I’ll be doing a lot of listening,” she says, “starting to develop and establish relationships with different leaders and members of the team.” She and her husband currently live in Bloomington with their two children, but will be relocating to the Springfield area soon. “We have not spent a lot of time here in the past,” she admits.

“The one thing I really enjoy about moving from the bedside to more of a leadership role,” she explains, “is the ability to inspire and motivate and mentor other people as a leader.”