The Tale of the Pill Hill Girl



Photo by Daniel Smyth

She didn’t know what she would study, but she knew she wanted to go to college, to have a career. Forty-one years ago, Rosemary Keiser sat at her parents’ kitchen table and told them this. 

“My dad asked me why I wanted to go to college when I could get married and have a family,” she says. “But, he told me that if I could decide what I wanted to do, he’d pay for half of it.” She decided on nursing and jumped in.

Today, Keiser boasts a very successful resume of administrative positions: manager of the OR at The Christ Hospital, director of perioperative services at Good Samaritan and vice president for surgical services at UC Health – and now, leads the operations of UC Health’s Ambulatory Services as the Vice President. As such, she has become known as the Pill Hill Girl in Cincinnati – a reference to the Clifton region packed full of hospitals and medical facilities. 

Keiser moved to Cincinnati 29 years ago and hit the ground running. She started at The Christ Hospital, working her schedule around the needs of her two young children and fell in love with surgery. “The OR is very exciting,” she says. “There’s so much camaraderie – and there has to be for it to be successful.” 

Then, at her own kitchen table, she told her husband and children that she planned to become a full-time admin and, like the conversation with her father years before, they supported her. 

“I’m so happy to have gotten the opportunities I have, because the surgeons in this city are at the top of their game,” says Keiser. “I’ve worked with the best of the best.” 

She emphasizes that the most important thing about the operating room is teamwork, and working together to do everything they can for each patient. “When you’re in the OR, the patient on the table is the most important person in the room – everything we do is for the patient, and everyone has a part to play in that,” she says.

At UC Health, she’s made signs made to hang above the operating rooms: “One Mission, One Team.” From the administrators through all the team members, Keiser emphasized a team-based mentality, no matter the situation. 

“When you turn around a room for the next patient, it has to be done perfectly and efficiently,” she says. “One Mission, One Team means that whatever needs done, from mopping the floors to surgery, we all do what we can. That’s why the OR is my love and passion – because we’re all in this together, for the patient.” 

Keiser’s passion for surgery and the care of her patients and team members is apparent and she has worn many hats throughout her impressive career. 

But sometimes the biggest challenge is that it’s not always as simple as it should be for patients to seek care. “It’s got to be easier for our patients. We never turn anyone away, and I don’t think any hospital would, but it needs to be simpler.” 

Until then, however, Keiser and her team strive to do the best they can for every patient. “It’s been a great ride – and I’m not finished yet. I still have a lot of vision, I still have more plans,” she says.

UC Health is located at 3200 Burnett Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219. You can reach them at 513.584.1000 or visit their website at uchealth.com.