Will Condon | UWF Graduate ’10 & ‘16
HOMETOWN KID MAKES GOOD.
By Mark Gause
Standing four or five inches over six-foot tall and dressed in white button-down shirt, UWF green tie and neatly tailored blue suit, Will Condon cheerfully takes a seat and settles into place on one of the injected-molded plastic sand dunes located in the playroom at Studer Family Children’s Hospital. Colors and creativity adorn the walls. The halls are abuzz with activity and a sense of purpose as Will reaches into his pocket and silences his phone.
Not a big surprise to a significant number of people who know him, Will is in a new role. He has taken on a new challenge. You see, Will’s career has been on a steep trajectory. In ten short years, he went from the Marketing Communications Department at Ascension Sacred Heart to President of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. But he didn’t do it alone. He is the first to acknowledge that his journey is rich with people who saw something in him, something he didn’t recognize. From family members and colleagues to classmates and professors at UWF, these folks helped to steer him in the right direction and to greater places for him and his family.
The smallest and most recent—but by no means less significant—influencer in his career was his newborn daughter. Her birth, a few short months prior to Will taking the helm of the Children’s Hospital, set the stage for Will’s new role and responsibility; both at home and at work. She was born a healthy baby girl. No complications. No medical scares. No feelings of helplessness. As a new father, she has given Will real perspective on the fragility of life and magnitude of caring for children who are sick and suffering. And just as important, the role he and his associates at Studer Family Children’s Hospital serve in comforting parents and family members.
Over the course of the next thirty minutes, and amidst the bustle and cacophony of children and families nearby, Will shares with me a bit about this past, his education, his life and his story.
Tell me about your background.
I’m a local guy. However, I started my undergraduate studies at University of Mississippi and then transferred from Ole Miss to UWF. Going back five generations, Pensacola is our family home and I wanted to get back. A big pull on me was the growth and exposure that UWF was building. I wanted to be part of it. Naturally, my family encouraged the move and was thrilled to have me back home. The UWF culture and community is close-knit and a perfect fit. It felt like home. Plus, you can call and text the professors for help pretty much anytime. In 2010, I graduated from UWF with a Bachelor’s in Communications.
It's 2010. You have your degree and all doors are open. What was your next move?
I’ve always had an interest in healthcare. I was hired as a Marketing Coordinator for the Marketing Department at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola. Two years later, I was promoted to Marketing Manager.
Let’s talk about people you met along the way. Was there anyone who helped set you on your path?
During my time as Marketing Manager, Susan Davis was the CEO. She noticed my interest in healthcare and encouraged me to get my Master’s in Healthcare Administration. I owe my current position to her and many other mentors in my life. I didn’t get here on my own. A number of people helped me along the way. My mentors gave me the ability to witness a variety of different meetings about different healthcare topics and issues.
After three years as a Marketing Manager, I was promoted to Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Ascension Sacred Heart. At the same time, I began working on my master’s degree through an online program from UWF. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened. I was working 40 hours a week. The UWF online master’s program allowed me to handle classwork late at night and especially on Sundays. In 2016, I earned my Master’s in Healthcare Administration from UWF.
What has impacted you most throughout your journey?
The opening of the Children’s Hospital was the most meaningful and transformative experience in my career. I had been named the President of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital and my first five months were focused on moving the patients, families and associates into the new facility. The Children’s Hospital was the vision of many pediatric physicians in the community and it was an honor and privilege to make it a reality. The most memorable and rewarding moment during the move was seeing 1.5 lbs. infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) transferred from a barrack style space into private rooms.
As you look to the future, what really drives you?
I want to bring better pediatric medical care to this region. My #1 goal is to elevate the bar for patients, patient’s families and our associates. Every decision is made only if it will make a positive impact on the children, parents, siblings and grandparents that come through our doors. I love making rounds every day and interacting with the associates to address their needs and solve challenges with them. The things they see are the things we can work together to fix or change. Walking the halls and working with our associates is how we’ll get there.