Switching gears — How ASC administrator Lisa Kelley translates her healthcare experience to piloting

Flying is a lot like healthcare — it's all about safety and regulations, which made Lisa Kelley, MBA, BSN, a perfect candidate to be a pilot. She serves as administrator of ASCOA's Adult and Children's Surgery Center of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers.

"The things that are extremely important [in both fields] are standard operating procedures and discipline," Ms. Kelley says.LisaKelley

With experience as an administrator and chief nursing officer, Ms. Kelley learned how to pinpoint safety issues. She put her industry skill set to work as she learned the basics of flying.

"Safety is not only important in healthcare, but safety is extremely important when flying an airplane, especially when you are flying other people," she says. Ms. Kelley obtained her private pilot's certification about 13 years ago, putting in 100 hours of flight time.

"[Learning to fly] was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my entire life, because there is so much to do, but once you learn it, it's something that you just love," says Ms. Kelley. The key to comfort while flying is knowing you can easily land the aircraft, she adds.

She now lives with her husband in an airpark, and flies her plane about once a week. "Instead of a garage, you have a hanger for your airplane," says Ms. Kelley.

She calls herself "a fair-weather private pilot," noting the early morning is the calmer and cooler time to fly. Occasionally, Ms. Kelley flies her plane to Key West, Fla., for her job as an ASCOA facility risk manager.

"It's a very finite time we have here on this earth, and you need to enjoy yourself and leave a positive mark," says Ms. Kelley. "It's [flying] very freeing."

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