Kathleen Bartholomew


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Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN

Kathleen was voted one of the "Top 20 Leaders in Healthcare" by Health Leaders Media because of her groundbreaking work in transforming the physician-nurse culture. An expert in conflict and confrontation, Kathleen takes down the role and department silos in organizations with the energy of Don Quixote, motivating her audiences with practical tools to form the barrier-less relationships which are the most critical foundation of Accountable Care Organizations.

More about this speaker:

Kathleen Bartholomew's programs include:

  • Innovative Leadership in the Face of Healthcare Reform
  • Leading a Patient-Centric Culture: Beyond Scores and Stats
  • Healing Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility & Creating Healthy Relationships
  • How Professionals Communicate
  • Nursing Leadership: "If Not Us, Then Who?"
  • Creating Collegil Interactive Physician-Nurse Relationships
  • Creating Community: The Key to Recruitment and Retention
  • Building the Patient-Safety case for Community at Work
  • A Passion for the Art of Nursing

Current Program Outlines

Before turning to healthcare as a career in 1994, Kathleen Bartholomew held positions in marketing, business, communications and teaching.  It was these experiences that allowed her to look at healthcare from a unique perspective and offer unprecedented insights to healthcare leaders. 

As the manager of a 57 bed surgical unit in Seattle, Kathleen quickly recognized that creating a culture where staff felt a sense of belonging was critical to retention.  During her tenure as manager, staff, physician and patient satisfaction reached the top marks in the nation as she implemented her down-to earth strategies for creating accountability in community. This work laid the foundation for her Master’s thesis on Physician-Nurse Communication and subsequent work on Peer to Peer Hostility. 

A well-known but often over-looked business mantra is “culture kills the best of strategies”.  Kathleen Bartholomew is an international expert and author of four books on healthcare relationships and culture.  A national speaker for eleven years, she motivates and educates leadership at every level to understand their culture and harness the maximum amount of power within their organizations in order to produce sustained cultural change. 

Kathleen has been a national speaker for the past eleven years and is an internationally recognized speaker in the healthcare culture. She speaks to the military, board members, physicians, hospital leadership and staff.   She is best recognized for her ability to craft a message specific to each of these groups and to engage all in a common vision. 

Kathleen consistently captures her audience with groundbreaking research and the power of story as her participant evaluations illustrate.  Healthcare leaders are intrigued by her research on perception vs. reality and the failures of group decision making.  She educates healthcare leaders & Boards on the role of power and culture in organizational health and enhances their skill and ability to build trust. As Jim Nathan, CEO of Lee Memorial said, “She unleashed a wave of information that had been traveling underground and things kept coming out of the woodwork for weeks.”  This underground ‘wave’ is the culture of an institution -  and the most monumental challenge to patient safety and leadership. 

Kathleen’s passion is infectious.  Participants consistently appreciate her practical tips and insights.  Her thoughtful presentations inter-laced with research reawaken every employee’s commitment to quality and safety. Everyone that hears her is transformed.

Client Reviews:

"Kathleen’s expertise in the field of peer to peer relationships, communication and leadership is extraordinary. The material she presents is always relevant to nurses – not only to those in formal leadership positions but to all nurses, including nurses who practice at the point of care. She offers practical tools that assist learners in taking communication to the next level".

Debra Pilling Hastings, PhD, RN-BC, CNOR(E)
Director, Continuing Nursing Education

"I wanted to tell you that you received rave reviews from the nurses attending the Symposium.  Everyone thought your session was one of the best, and most valuable of the two days. The intimate seating arrangement and interactive discussions, made each nurse feel they had a voice. Not only did you give the nurses exactly what we were striving for - you exceeded all expectations."

LCMC Health
August 2016 

"Your presentation offered attendees interesting and unexpected insights into work relationships in healthcare. Your perspective offered real life examples of situations that can potentially have an impact not only on the nurses’ levels of stress but also on patient safety."

Chief Innovation Officer
Allegheny Health Network
May 2016 

"Ms. Bartholomew,

I wanted to take a moment and personally thank you for speaking at the MUSC leadership retreat a few weeks back.  You are inspiring to all health care professionals but especially us nurses. Know that your work is appreciated and taken to heart.   People around here are still talking about you and your dynamic presentation.

Thank you, from this generation of nurses and the next…  We will make a difference!"

Mark D., RN
Pediatric Flight Nurse
Medical University of South Carolina


2013 ACHE Congress Reviews: 
Leading a Patient Safety Culture: Successful Strategies for Sustained Change

Session 1Session 2


This speaker in the news: 

"Extraordinary – (she) spoke to the heart of nursing care and the need to find common ground with physicians and others."

BEACON Collaborative

Click here to read Nebraska Hospital Association's recommendation letter.


For additional information regarding this speaker, please call (406) 586-8775.

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