Dr. Colleen Hartwig: 'Let's build people up'
‘Let’s build people up’: How Dr. Colleen Hartwig strives to be a Farmington Hills champion
If you’ve seen a woman in all pink scrubs, a sparkly Michigan State University accessory on her badge and a sparkle in her eye at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital Farmington Hills, then you’ve met Dr. Colleen Hartwig.
She’s got an impressive roster of roles for the hospital: teaching faculty for residents; chair of the Medical Quality and Patient Safety Committee; co-chair of the Metrics that Matter Readmission Committee; member-at-large of the Medical Executive Committee; and more.
However, she said what she’s most proud of is surviving the challenges she’s faced and getting to a point where she can continue to make a difference.
“When my time comes to leave this world and at the end of my career, whatever it is, I want to take a look back. Was I impactful? Did I make a difference?” she said. “That's what I want to be able to accomplish in my lifetime.”
Dr. Hartwig has been at Farmington Hills for 25 years. She completed her residency there, graduating in 1998, “and I’ve been here ever since,” she said.
Her dream was to have her own private practice, which she accomplished. But when her kids entered their teenage years, she wanted to take a more active role in their lives.
So, she gave up her practice. It was an emotional challenge, but she said she needed to do it for her family and children.
Dr. Hartwig has four children, ages 18-27, and all are either already working in the medical field or interested in it. One daughter is a nursing assistant, another is a transporter and her oldest son is an ER technician, all at Farmington Hills with her.
Working for the hospital gave Dr. Hartwig more flexibility, allowing her to still have her career and be a better mother. She learned you might not be able to “have it all,” but you can have some very good parts, she said.
It’s her mission to take those experiences and share them with women — especially female residents struggling with full-time jobs and having kids — and letting them know they can do it.
“I'm happy with the success that I have achieved in my clinical world,” Dr. Hartwig said. “And now that I've got my four kids basically on their own, I really feel that this is my time to start really giving back at a higher level to help other people, so I can try and make a difference.”
Her desire to give back is present in her 2023 mantra: Let’s build people up.
She said things have been negative in the health care field during the pandemic with so much uncertainty, but she wants to be part of an active change to build people up and make them successful.
She said she’s excited for the Corewell Health partnership because leadership is interested in success. And right now, “we need positivity."
“We need people that are going to rally. We need people that are cheerleaders. We need people that are going to champion these changes."