Christin Collins | Lee Health | A health and wellness transformation
Christin Collins fell in love with Southwest Florida as a co-ed at The University of Connecticut; her roommate had family here. While she imagined living in the area, she never dreamed that her journey would land her the title of System Health and Wellness Strategic Business Partner for Lee Memorial Health System.
Working as a flight attendant in 1999, Collins moved to Southwest Florida for a year. But fate had other plans. She met her future husband David, on a blind date—her first day in town. She remembers, “Neither of us wanted to go, it was Jazz Night at the Naples Beach Hotel. It took about 4 hours but by then knew I was in big trouble. He was from New England also and we were very similar, both attracted to the lifestyle and people here. ”
The courtship took four years but eventually the two got married and she found herself the stepmother of two young children who kept her active in the community with volunteering and events.
As the kids got older, she went to work for Norman Love Confections where she got immersed in the philanthropic and nonprofit world. While making her mark on numerous local charities, she discovered fund raising efforts for the budding Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Eventually appointed Senior Director of Development for LMHS Foundation, her job was to raise money to help build the ambitious hospital. About that huge responsibility Collins says, “I have to give thanks to Mr. (Jim) Nathan (Lee Health CEO) and Sharon McDonald (Lee Health CFO) who took a chance on a community person who they thought had the potential–I didn’t think I had the potential.”
The hospital gave her more than a new career path, the job lead her down a path of physical healing. She says, “My personal wellness transformation literally was life saving.”
The vivacious community leader began having chronic head and stomach aches, and was exhausted. She explains, “The late 40’s are tough man, the same old same old was not working for me anymore.”
Taking advantage of a hospital program called CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) she converted to a plant based diet, paid more attention to sleep and the kind of exercise she was getting, reducing stress and as she says, “really living a purpose driven life and embracing how blessed I am; that combination lead to me loosing 45 pounds that I didn’t even know I had on me.”
As for future plans Collins says, “I do the best I can every day to let life direct me to where I can be of best service… not to rush the next chapter and what it looks like. It will happen when the time is right.”