Jessica Barkley honored for exemplary leadership at Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics

CARLINVILLE, IL – The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) announced its “4 Under 40” Hospital Leadership winners including Jessica Barkley, RN, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Quality Officer, Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics (CAH+C), during its Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony, held November 18 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign.

Jessica is joined by Katie Clark-White, Nurse Practitioner, Lawrence County Memorial Hospital; Kevin Goss, Vice President of Operations, Jersey Community Hospital; and Allison Sours, Vice President of Quality, Graham Hospital.

Jessica has been a fixture at CAH+C since she was hired as a night shift medical and surgical nurse in May 2010. During that time, she was first promoted to Quality/Infection Prevention Director and assigned to create those departments. Her scope later expanded to include Risk Management and Compliance Officer responsibilities after she pursued and received certification in compliance.

For several years, Jessica has been a part of a succession plan to the CNO role and received that promotion toward the end of 2020. Because of her success in developing a robust quality program at CAH+C, Jessica has remained in the CQO role and is serving in both the CNO/CQO capacities.

“Jessica is the epitome of leadership, especially clinical nurse leadership,” said Brian Burnside, CAH+C President/CEO. “She has a ‘can-do’ attitude that is infectious and overcomes even the greatest of challenges.”

In addition to everything she has provided to the clinical departments of the hospital, Jessica is a wife, mother of three, and an active and well-known community member. She leads local efforts toward the Macoupin County Relay for Life, is an active leader of the Carlinville High School Soccer Booster Club, and she has even found time to coach youth soccer for many years. She has also volunteered as school nurse.

“It is not cliché to say that the number of projects Jessica has been involved in or led over the past 11 years in innumerable. Her leadership is literally woven into the fabric of CAH+C. She is constantly challenging departments to improve any number of aspects of care and operations,” said Burnside. “Through this, Jessica has led the CAH+C Emergency Department Patient Satisfaction to the top percentiles of Press Ganey. She has also served as the point person and as a clear leader of the CAH+C’s entire COVID response.”

Beyond all the above, Jessica led a multi-month program to prepare CAH+C to develop an orthopedic service that included Total Knee Replacement. She led a multi-specialty, multi-organization team consisting of 25 people that developed the plan, led the review and purchase of various equipment, conducted review/revision/implementation of various procedures, facilitated staff training sessions, and performed several real-life ‘practice’ total knee replacement surgeries. For the first time ever in March 2021, CAH+C performed its first Total Knee Replacement, and the services have grown rapidly from that point.

“I am delighted to support Jessica as one of ICAHN's ‘4 Leaders Under 40.’ Jessica assumed an ever-increasing role at Carlinville Area Hospital and Clinics,” said Mike Lieb, FACHE, Vice President, HealthTechS3. “Her strong leadership as CNO has helped propel CAH+C into one of the clinically strongest Critical Access Hospitals in Illinois. She has handled very complex and critical situations with grace, strength, and humor. We are lucky to have her on our team.”

ICAHN’s “4 Under 40” Hospital Leadership Award is open to new and emerging leaders aged 40 and under employed by an ICAHN member hospital or as a member of this hospital’s board for at least two years with a strong record of innovation and outstanding performance.


Located in Princeton, IL, ICAHN is a network of 57 small, rural hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its member hospitals through collaboration. The organization is composed of Illinois hospitals who have earned critical access hospital designation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is recognized nationally for its work with rural healthcare, administering several state, federal, and private healthcare programs.

Posted in News on Jan 12, 2022