Who's Who of Professional Women


Judy Kitchens

As an exceptionally experienced medical professional with expertise in perinatal safety, perinatal quality, and statistical analysis, Judy Lu Kitchens, Master of Health Administration (MHA), is a certified healthcare simulation educator (CHSE) and a certified healthcare simulation operations specialist (CHSOS). Since 2015, she has been the perinatal quality manager at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas, where her responsibilities involve data analysis, managing the quality matrix, operational oversight, supporting positive patient outcomes, and developing and implementing patient safety and perinatal quality objectives.

Further, Ms. Kitchens supports the hospital staff in data collection, verification, and reporting while always ensuring that the highest standards of care are met and maintained. She credits her success to her unwavering commitment to innovation, as she consistently works to discover new methods and challenge conventional thinking. Impressively, Ms. Kitchens holds a patent for a fetal sonography model, which allows professionals to practice without performing the procedure on a real patient.

Before joining St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, Ms. Kitchens spent more than a decade as a clinical quality and safety consultant with the Seton Family of Hospitals. With the same organization, she was a perinatal safety project manager from 2003 to 2013. Possessing a deep-seated desire to pursue new opportunities, she continued working for the Seton Family of Hospitals as a clinical skills and simulation manager from 2007 to 2015. In preparation for her career in the health care field, Ms. Kitchens enrolled at Texas State University, a public research university and one of the largest in the United States, where she graduated with her MHA in 1995. Additionally, early in her professional journey, she garnered experience as a finance manager.

Ms. Kitchens is a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, through which she earned her CHSE and CHSOS certifications. The nonprofit professional organization serves to advance the usage of medical simulations to improve health care. In this vital vein, Ms. Kitchens creates practice scenarios, emulating crises such as maternal cardiac arrest using a mannequin. Practitioners learn to exercise clear judgment, identify potential errors and pitfalls, and maintain the highest standard of care even under pressure.

For her achievements in the field, Ms. Kitchens received an Innovators Award from the HCA Healthcare Awards of Distinction in 2023 and was recognized with the Ernest Amory Codman Award for a Perinatal Safety Project in 2007 by The Joint Commission, a nonprofit health care accreditation organization. Always searching for ways to elevate her methods and practices, Ms. Kitchens is especially proud of receiving the Innovators Award, as it commemorated her exceptional work on the operational dashboard at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. She believes the hospital is the only one using this unique, 16-point visual communication chart system, which has proven to be a valuable tool for managing and integrating multiple campuses, including a children’s hospital facility and a surgical campus. Her operational dashboard enables clinical and non-clinical staff to perform at their best, make informed decisions, and manage the hospital’s busy workload.

Looking ahead, Ms. Kitchens plans to continue elevating the level of data analysis by incorporating real-time data to supplement past test data, enabling health care professionals and hospital staff to make more efficient and informed decisions. As an innovative individual who refuses to limit herself to traditional methods, she believes that there is always room for improvement and has dedicated herself to dramatically enhancing the efficiency and quality of medical systems and procedures. When she is not working, Ms. Kitchens enjoys getting more deeply in touch with herself through practicing meditation and expressing her creativity through photography and oil painting. She also contributes her spare time as a volunteer with a local marathon every year.


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