Camie Overton

Camie Overton
Episode 126

Join host Japhet De Oliviera for an insightful conversation with Camie Overton, Operations Executive at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge, as they discuss the beauty of the Columbia Gorge, developing future leaders, the impact Adventist Health has in the community and the power of hope.
Libsyn Podcast
"The community as a whole has so much more power than any one person. No matter the cause or the purpose. All together, we have strength, and we can accomplish wonderful things...A community together has a conscience, accountability, and responsibility."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. I'm delighted to be here at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge on site in a fantastic room where we both have bottles of water next to us, so we may take a sip as we continue this episode. If you're brand new podcast, we have 100 questions. Progressively they become more vulnerable, more open about stories and experiences that shape this person into the leader that they are today. So I'm going to begin with the first one, and I'll just ask, could you just you state your name and does anybody ever mispronounce it or misspell it?

Camie Overton: Frequently. Hi. My name is Camie Overton. I get Camie and Tammy and Carrie.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Camie Overton: And Connie. I think that's because the M looks like two Rs and I answer to all of them.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, You do?

Camie Overton: I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very generous of you. Well, I'm glad, Camie, I'm glad. I'm glad you handle it on all of that. That's good. What do you do for work?

Camie Overton: I am an operations executive here at Adventist Health, Columbia Gorge.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Have you done that long?

Camie Overton: I have been 35 years in healthcare.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Camie Overton: Executive leadership and have great admiration for the teams that I work with and the things that they accomplish, and it truly is a privilege.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's fantastic. Have you been in operations the entire time or moved around in different areas for healthcare or?

Camie Overton: Primarily operations. Service line development, as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay. All right. Hey, that's great. So in the morning when you get up, Camie, what do you drink? Do you drink coffee or tea, liquid green smoothie?

Camie Overton: Oh, coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: You're like, oh, coffee.

Camie Overton: Coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: Like black coffee or with cream or?

Camie Overton: Almond milk.

Japhet De Oliveira: Almond milk. Very nice. Very nice. That's good. All right, that's good. Where were you born?

Camie Overton: I was born in the Panhandle of Texas in a small community called Muleshoe.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Camie Overton: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. And did you grow up there for a few years?

Camie Overton: A few years, not too many. I was still in elementary school when we moved to Arizona and I grew up most of my life in the southeast corner of Arizona in a farming community called Wilcox.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice. And when you were a child, what did you imagine you would grow up to be?

Camie Overton: I always thought it would be something in healthcare.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Camie Overton: Really.

Japhet De Oliveira: How did that happen?

Camie Overton: I don't know. It was just an interest and I was a candy striper in high school.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Camie Overton: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really great. That's really great. I like that a lot. Personality. Would people describe you as an extrovert, introvert? And would you agree with that description?

Camie Overton: I am an introvert, more than comfortable in an environment of multiple people, but I recharge from within.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey. Oh, I like that sentence. Recharge from within.

Camie Overton: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. And then habits, are you an early riser or a late night owl?

Camie Overton: I am an early riser.

Japhet De Oliveira: And what's early for you?

Camie Overton: 4:00 A.M.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah, that's early. That's early, okay.

Camie Overton: But I do turn my brain off by 8:00 P.M. so I'm not going to have an incredibly intellectual discussion after that.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fair enough. That's fair enough. This morning when you woke up at 4:00 A.M., first thought that went through your mind.

Camie Overton: I don't remember. Get my coffee, feed the cat, because the cat's usually there to remind me that he would like to be fed.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I was going to say, do you have to remember? No, they'll remind you.

Camie Overton: Oh, they will.

Japhet De Oliveira: They will. They will. How old is your cat?

Camie Overton: He's 12, 13.

Japhet De Oliveira: Had him for a while.

Camie Overton: Yes, and he's a 30 pound cat.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. He's not a cat.

Camie Overton: He's a very large cat.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very large cat.

Camie Overton: He thinks he's svelte, but he's probably not.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. All right. Leadership question. Are you a backseat driver?

Camie Overton: No. I feel like my job on a daily basis is to remove barriers so that my leaders can be successful. They accomplish amazing things and that's really our role, is to help them figure out what the barriers are and for me to help remove those barriers so that they can move forward with the goals because those goals are designed on the patients and how we can meet their needs.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. All right. The floor is open. Which number would you like to go first?

Camie Overton: Let's go to 16.

Japhet De Oliveira: 16. All right. Tell us about one of the places you've traveled and why you want to go back.

Camie Overton: Well, if anybody hasn't come to Oregon and experienced the Columbia River Gorge, I would strongly recommend that. It is stunningly beautiful, very diverse. We get 20 inches of rain less per year than Hood River, which is about 20 miles away from us.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Camie Overton: The river itself is amazing. The hiking, the wildflowers are something that... you hear people talk about wildflowers, but until you're in an entire field or a hillside of them, you just can't comprehend what that is. We've only been in Oregon for three years, so we are still exploring quite a bit.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's great.

Camie Overton: It is amazing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, how about that? That's fantastic. So you're traveling to the place that you're in.

Camie Overton: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that. All right. Where next?

Camie Overton: Oh, let's see. Let's go to 28.

Japhet De Oliveira: 28. All right. If you had to give an impromptu 30-minute presentation, what would the topic be?

Camie Overton: I would love to give a 30-minute impromptu presentation on developing our future leaders.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, all right. Do you have a principle that would be underlying that?

Camie Overton: I believe in skill sets and developing skill sets, identifying our strengths and weaknesses, not as faults, but as opportunities, and partnering with the person to create an avenue for them to grow.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's interesting. I like that a lot. Let me ask you this, and this is clearly not one of the questions, but I'm curious, your view on resiliency. Is that something that people are born with or something you teach them?

Camie Overton: A little bit of both really. I mean, there is definitely a circumstantial component of that, but a little of both. I mean, I do think people learn to strengthen their resiliency, but I think there's some that they're born with or that they acquire in their very early years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Would you apply that same idea to leadership?

Camie Overton: Some. I mean, we've all been around a five-year-old and you're like, "Oh, that person's going to be a leader."

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, yes.

Camie Overton: But I've also worked with people that are kind of sleepers, if you will, and if you help them understand skills and start to develop the right skills, you can just see some amazing blossoming talent.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that. That's good. Good. Thank you for the bonus. All right. Where next?

Camie Overton: Oh, another. Let's go with... my daughter's 37. Let's go with 37.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. What do you like most about your family? Let me think of my daughter. What do you like most about your family?

Camie Overton: Gosh, she's amazing and makes me smile and makes me laugh and totally gets me. And we can communicate with but a few words.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's magical.

Camie Overton: I enjoy watching her and her husband because they are really that couple that finishes each other's sentences. And my husband is just a wonderful person and he's my golf partner.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Okay.

Camie Overton: And he's retired, have a lot of enjoyment spending time with him, as well. Our extended family, we have a fairly large extended family, in California and in Georgia. People that make you smile and can send you a single word in a text and you can laugh for 10 minutes because you know exactly where they're going and what they mean.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. The inside language of inner workings of great families.

Camie Overton: That's true.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's good. All right, where next then? That was 37. Do you want to go up or down?

Camie Overton: No, we'll go up.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right.

Camie Overton: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, sure. Okay.

Camie Overton: Let's go to 43.

Japhet De Oliveira: 43. Oh, tell us about the best gift that you've ever received.

Camie Overton: In one of my professional careers, I was the executive over some significant development for the organization, building out some additional beds, but one of the biggest projects was to build a cancer center, and the architect that I worked with very closely... and this was over about a two-year period... when I left that organization, he gave me... it was a piece of sandstone that had these footprints in it from obviously an animal from long ago, and wrote me this card about, quite frankly, the steps we leave as we go through life. And that just really spoke to me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's really beautiful. Yeah, that's a great gift.

Camie Overton: It is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I like that. All right, that was 43. Where next?

Camie Overton: Let's go to 54.

Japhet De Oliveira: 54. Okay. If your life were a book, what would this chapter be called?

Camie Overton: This chapter would be called Reflections.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like that. Yeah, yeah. Do you feel like... and why? Now going to ask why?

Camie Overton: I think it's where I'm at in my career and literally physically relocating, reflecting on the fact that the world is big and we've seen so little of it. Any one of us, no matter how much you travel, we've seen so little of it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's true. Just a fraction.

Camie Overton: Yeah. I would call it Reflections. Appreciation for the people that I have had the opportunity to either work with or interface with. Gratitude. I think gratitude grows with reflection.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. I like that. Thank you. All right, where next?

Camie Overton: Let's go to 56.

Japhet De Oliveira: 56. All right. Oh, share an activity that makes you just lose all track of time.

Camie Overton: Oh, all track of time. Conversation with a good friend.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Camie Overton: That's the kind of thing that you can just blink and find that the whole evening is gone or, conversation.

Japhet De Oliveira: A good conversation just can go by.

Camie Overton: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it does. Very quickly. All right, where next after that, then. That was 56.

Camie Overton: Let's go to 60.

Japhet De Oliveira: 60. When in life have you felt most alone?

Camie Overton: I don't know that I can identify a time when I've felt alone. I am married 43 years, and my-

Japhet De Oliveira: Congratulations.

Camie Overton: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Yeah.

Camie Overton: We're proud of it, too.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really cool.

Camie Overton: But I really do feel like I have a life partner and I have a lot of gratitude for that, so I don't know that I have felt a time when I was alone.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey. That's okay. That's okay. That's good. I'm happy for you. It's different for everyone.

Camie Overton: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, where next then?

Camie Overton: 65.

Japhet De Oliveira: 65. All right. Oh, share one word that you could use to describe your entire past and then unpack that word.

Camie Overton: Growth. Professionally growth. Certainly from starting in a more of a coordinator position and then moving into management, and that was almost 40 years ago. And continuing to grow from that point and expanding my horizons, expanding my knowledge base, learning the power of developing the leaders around me and growing teams. Being able to celebrate their successes in more than one organization. Watching them grow, knowing when you're at one place and all of a sudden you get a text from somebody that you worked with 10 years ago and they say, "I just wanted to say thank you. I am where I am because of what you did." So growth. Growth for me as a professional, growth for me as a person, raising a child who's now a 37-year-old, and that happened overnight.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, didn't it?

Camie Overton: Growth professionally and personally.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I like it. That's a good word. It is nice when people do reach out and remind you, and especially when it's unexpected.

Camie Overton: And what does that do? That creates a desire to go help someone else.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do even more.

Camie Overton: Which is our job.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Camie Overton: Our job is to grow the next generation.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's really good. And the one after that. All right, good. All right. Where next?

Camie Overton: Wow, we're getting pretty high here.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, that's an interesting phrase in Oregon. Yeah.

Camie Overton: Let's go to 70.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. 70. So tell us about one thing that you are determined to accomplish.

Camie Overton: At this moment in time, I am determined to be of support in leading this organization further into its relationship with Adventist Health.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Camie Overton: That is a 20-month transition timeframe, and it's huge and positive for not only the organization but the communities that we serve. And it's a heavy lift and one that we have the privilege to do. So I feel very focused on that. On a personal level, I have an aging mother. She might argue with that, but she's 88, and on some levels she's doing great. And on some levels she's 88, and so I want to make sure that her remaining years... and there'll probably be a few... It's a very long-lived family... but I want to make sure that her remaining years are positive and rewarding.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. You value that you want to treasure them.

Camie Overton: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's good. Good. All right. That was 70. Where next?

Camie Overton: Oh, we're just going to go to 72.

Japhet De Oliveira: 72. Like Well, all right then. 72 it is. Tell us about what you want to do when you retire, and then explain to us why you're waiting.

Camie Overton: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Camie Overton: Actually, when I retire, well, for one thing, I will be playing golf.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, I was going to say, with your husband right?

Camie Overton: With my husband. We will be located fairly close to my mom and extended family there. And just being involved in all the family activities. I, at one point, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, and I would, to get back to that. We have a lot of those skill sets and that was something that was very rewarding. So I would anticipate us being very involved in that. And I don't know. I presume we would do some travel, as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. See a little piece of the world, right?

Camie Overton: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. All right, that was 72. Where next?

Camie Overton: Let's shake it up and go to 41.

Japhet De Oliveira: 41. Okay. 41 it is. What are you excited about in life right now?

Camie Overton: Professionally, I'm excited about the impact on this community with Adventist Health. It's very hard for small hospitals in rural settings to survive in this day and age, in the post-pandemic period of time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Absolutely. Even more so.

Camie Overton: Healthcare has become so challenging, and yet that is our job, is to find ways to be able to sustain that care for a community. And if you do that, then that's something to be proud of. Being able to establish that. That is what Adventist does for this organization here and for these communities that we serve. So I'm very proud of that relationship and what we are going to be able to provide. Within this organization. I'm very proud of, gosh, our staff, their resilience, their commitment. I don't know if you know about the Planetree philosophy, but that is our roots.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Unpack that a little bit.

Camie Overton: Planetree is person-centered care, and it's recognizing that your environment and everything in it impacts not only our patients, which is the core, but also our employees. And it's how we treat each other. It's how we look at each other's needs, and how we look at our responsibilities to those things. So ironically, the Planetree roots of this organization match quite beautifully with the values that are from Adventist, the Be statements. There's a very strong correlation there, and so it feels like an extension of that.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's very comfortable.

Camie Overton: Knowing that the employees here have those Planetree roots. You can see that on a daily basis in their interactions with each other and with the patients, and quite frankly, with the community. When you're at an organization that employs 800 people in a rural area, by the time you look at our employees and their extended family, we are the community.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's true. It's true. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Camie Overton: It really is. I talk about the hidden org chart. Very proud of them and appreciate the opportunity to work with them.

Japhet De Oliveira: People know each other.

Camie Overton: They do.

Japhet De Oliveira: And they love each other and look after each other.

Camie Overton: They do.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's great to have a hospital that is so embedded in the community.

Camie Overton: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's great. All right, that was 41. Where next?

Camie Overton: Let's go to 50.

Japhet De Oliveira: 50. Okay. Oh, share about who's influenced you professionally.

Camie Overton: Probably I could name about half a dozen people who had phenomenal influence on me. I had a CEO. Actually, I worked with him two different times in two different organizations-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh great.

Camie Overton: ... who just had a wonder... he was a CFO ironically before he became a CEO. But his philosophy... and this was many years ago... was what are the needs of the patient? If you can answer that, then you can answer the question of what you should be doing. And even in non-clinical leadership, which is what I'm in, it's very easy to be able to speak to... you know what the needs of the patient are. It's kind of what's right or what's wrong, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Camie Overton: So he's somebody who comes to mind to me as somebody who really helped me develop as a young leader.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Does he know that?

Camie Overton: He did before he passed. He did.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's great. Oh, that's great.

Camie Overton: So he's the one that I would say top of mind. My mother was very influential in that she's a very strong woman and was also very frank, or is very frank in how she speaks to things. Yeah, I've learned to tone that down.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fair enough. Fair enough. But you still think it.

Camie Overton: Yeah, I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good.

Camie Overton: In fact, I'll sometimes look at my husband and say, "Read my mind."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I like that. Yeah. I think that's good to have a parent that actually is so influential in a professional, so influential to your career. That's fantastic. Yeah. Good, good. Well, thank you for sharing that. All right, where next?

Camie Overton: I kind of forgot the numbers that we've already hit upon.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, well you select one. I'll let you know if we've done that and we can bounce back into it.

Camie Overton: Did we do 63?

Japhet De Oliveira: We did not. Oh no, we did. We did. Yeah, we did.

Camie Overton: Did we do 62?

Japhet De Oliveira: No, we didn't. Which actually would be great for you. What does a sense of community mean?

Camie Overton: It's putting other people's needs in front of your own. It's recognizing that the community as a whole has so much more power than any one person, no matter the cause or the purpose. All together we have strength and we can accomplish wonderful things. It's a conscience. A community together has a conscience.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Accountability.

Camie Overton: Accountability and responsibility.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's very organic.

Camie Overton: It is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. That flows and changes. That's really good. I like it.

Camie Overton: And it grows.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. And it grows. It grows. Touche. All right, that's good.

Camie Overton: Like a garden.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know. I know. You brought it back really well. It was a good tie-in. Where next? That was 62.

Camie Overton: Oh, let's do 66.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Tell us about one of your favorite songs and what do you love about it?

Camie Overton: I don't remember names of songs very well.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's okay. Neither do I. I'd be like, you play it. I'll tell you.

Camie Overton: I like music, but I don't focus on it.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, that's fine. All right, where next then?

Camie Overton: 74.

Japhet De Oliveira: 74. Oh, what gives you hope?

Camie Overton: Hope to me comes from people coming together to help other people. Hope is, quite frankly, hope is sunshine in March after a dark winter. One of the things that I don't like about Oregon compared to Arizona is the darkness... how short the days are. But the beauty of the sun in March and spring gives you hope. Hope is just opportunities to come together, to benefit others and to grow and to recognize that you can help to meet people's needs.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. We have time for two more.

Camie Overton: Wow.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Where'd you want to go for your last two numbers?

Camie Overton: Let's do 82.

Japhet De Oliveira: 82, okay. If you could only keep three things or three possessions, what would they be and why? So you're going to keep three things. What would you keep and why?

Camie Overton: Physical possessions?

Japhet De Oliveira: I did not determine that. You can choose.

Camie Overton: Three things. You mean like a home?

Japhet De Oliveira: Maybe. That would be good.

Camie Overton: A home where you can have family and love. I don't know if I can come up with wonderful and creative answers. I had to take my glasses off for that one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, study on.

Camie Overton: Another thing I would keep, if hope is a thing, I would keep hope because that does drive us forward. And love.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Your home, hope and love. I like it. It's good.

Camie Overton: You can accomplish the world with that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Ooh. Yeah, you can. Support community accountability and vision and dreams. Right?

Camie Overton: Right.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's good. All right, where do you want to go for your very last one?

Camie Overton: 94.

Japhet De Oliveira: 94, okay, 94. If you could change one thing in the world, one thing in the world, what would you be? What would it be?

Camie Overton: It would change the divisiveness. I see it as something that is harming us collectively. I would change the divisiveness.

Japhet De Oliveira: All over the world.

Camie Overton: Yes. And get us to a point where we can communicate. Because if we can communicate, we can get to resolutions. But the divisiveness to me is the one thing that is creating the greatest harm.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm with you on that. I'm with you on that.

Camie Overton: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. It has been a privilege to talk. Very short. Fantastic. Good insights. I'm still thinking about the home, hope and love. I think that's actually really good. It's going to give me some thoughts there. I want to encourage people to do the same thing. Sit down with a friend, ask good questions. Listen. I do believe that we are transformed by the conversations that we have, so thank you so much.

Camie Overton: It's been an absolute pleasure.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. God bless you. God bless everybody, else and we will connect again soon.

Camie Overton: Thank you.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at The Story and Experience podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.