Fellowship CEO ready for action
Mary Kay McMahon likes to be challenged. She doesn’t mind the feeling of unease that comes with leaping into something new and pushing herself to achieve more.
This commitment to the uncomfortable has been a driving force in McMahon’s career that has taken her from a nurse to president and chief executive officer of Fellowship Community in Whitehall.
“I love to learn new things and situations that force me to be a little uncomfortable,” she said. “I am perfectly fine with putting myself out there. I know I’m not going to sink.”
McMahon was named to the position in July after a nearly yearlong search was conducted to replace Robert Zentz, who held the position for 21 years before his death.
“I’m fortunate and blessed my job has taken me here,” McMahon said.
According to Robert Erland, interim president/CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Fellowship Community, “The board of directors has found the ideal president/CEO to lead Fellowship Community into the future.”
While drawing on a vast background that includes positions as executive director of Phoebe, Berks; nursing home administrator and director of nursing of Phoebe, Richland; and assistant director of nursing of Phoebe, Allentown, McMahon hopes to take Fellowship Community into a new era.
She wants her staff to work “smarter, not harder” and hopes to integrate the latest technology into a caring and supportive approach she sees as so necessary in her field.
“Technology won’t replace hands-on care,” she said. “We’re in a personal business. Technology can assist but not replace that care. You have to take time to listen — and, in the end, that’s what matters most.”
McMahon sees increased community involvement as an important piece to Fellowship Community’s future. She hopes to expand upon community events and promote the understanding that Fellowship’s residents are part of the community at large.
“I really feel like this community is ingrained in the (larger) community, and we are an integral part of greater Whitehall,” she explained.
McMahon also identifies recruiting and retaining talent as a focus in her new position.
“How do we attract talent for the jobs that are so very rewarding?” she said. “Recruitment and retention are critical.
“We want to create a community where people want to live and employees want to work in,” she added.
Moving forward in her role, McMahon is also sure to keep the residents the focus of the community because it was her connection to her patients that kept her in the field and growing.
As a young woman, McMahon greatly admired her aunt, who was a nurse, and thought it would make sense to follow her career path.
“She made it sound like the most wonderful career,” McMahon recalled. “It was the right thing in the end.”
According to an earlier news release from Fellowship Community, McMahon received her nursing diploma from Pittston Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a Bachelor of Science in health arts and a Master of Science in health services from College of St. Francis. She is a licensed registered nurse and nursing home administrator.
McMahon began her career with Allentown Osteopathic Hospital as a medical-surgical nurse, critical care staff nurse and critical care nurse manager.
McMahon was cited as the Leading- Age PA Leader of the Year and has been a session speaker at numerous Leading- Age PA and Phoebe Institute on Aging conferences. She is the co-author of a published article, “Telehealth for patients with Parkinson’s disease: delivering efficient and sustainable long term care.”
She is a member of LeadingAge PA, LeadingAge national, National Pennsylvania Director of Nursing Association, Pennsylvania County Homes Association and serves on the advisory council of Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services.