20 Under 40: Ben Farber

Chief Nursing Officer, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District

Age: 36

“Ben is a model servant leader and collaborator in our organization and the community. He consistently demonstrates clinical excellence and compassionate care in his role as the chief nursing officer.”

Mary Anne McMurren, BSN, MHA, FACHE, Interim Chief Development Officer of PeaceHealth Oregon network


Ben Farber has made improvements that are both measurable and meaningful for patients at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District. As Chief Nursing Officer, Farber is leading all nursing departments and has improved patient care. He works collaboratively with a local agency to improve care for homeless and mentally ill patients and continues to advocate for people experiencing health concerns, as president of the HIV Alliance board.

Get to know them

Q: How has your community involvement impacted your work and life?

My community involvement has had a huge impact on who I am as a leader, and as a person. Through my work with HIV Alliance, I’ve had the opportunity to see the true spectrum of community care: from education to prevention, housing and food assistance, case management and mental healthcare. We’re all in this together. PeaceHealth and the Lane County community are important partners. When I understand what work is being done in the community, I can share that understanding with hospital providers and caregivers, ensuring that we provide education and services that best fit into that broader spectrum of care. I believe this work also allows me to be a better community partner and gives me a strong sense of ownership in my adopted city of Eugene.

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at a career fair for middle schoolers. Through this event, I worked with other PeaceHealth caregivers to get children in our community excited about healthcare and help them see the many faces of those who work in healthcare. Finally, I’ve had the opportunity to review abstracts for my national organization’s annual meeting for 2018 and 2019. Not only has this helped me to understand what is happening in nursing and healthcare on a national level, but it has given me significant pride to know that I have had a voice in what our organization’s members, including myself, are learning at our annual conference, and what our focused priorities will be over the coming year. I believe this allows me to help the organization stay current, focused on the future, and gives me a sense of giving back to the nursing community that has given me so much.


Q: What have you been most motivated by in your career?

I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to make the day a little better for somebody else. When I worked at the bedside, I always worked to find a way to brighten the day of my patients. I’ve realized, throughout my leadership career, that I now have the responsibility to impact the day of far more than four to six patients. I strive to create an environment of kind care for every patient who walks through our door, an environment that feels caring and supportive to our caregivers, and an environment that allows everyone within our walls to be their authentic selves. My main motivation is changing the trajectory of the day for the better, for as many people as possible.


Q: What advice do you have for those people out there who want to step up and help lead our community?

Lead from an authentic place. I’ve learned that people don’t expect me to know everything, and having that knowledge creates a lot of freedom to innovate. It is OK to make mistakes. Always consider your impact on others prior to your impact on yourself. Giving your team tools and empowering them to make decisions will get much better results than doing the work yourself. Finally, make sure you find a way to make somebody else’s day better, a small act of kindness can have a huge impact on somebody else.