Culture of Ownership.

Merry Christmas to you all!  I will be coming around the hospital Monday the 11th handing out the Christmas cards for those of you that have not got them yet.  In addition to the Christmas cards I am handing out a book that we have purchased for the entire organization.  This is called The Florence Prescription: From Accountability To Ownership by Joe Tye.  This should be read by 1/23/2018 (whoa 2018?) as this will kick off what I am calling “reinvesting back into our most valuable asset…you all”.  I will get into the specifics in a moment…

I don’t know if most of you know my background prior to becoming a CEO here at MMH.  I started my healthcare career 25 years ago when I was 16 (if you are doing the math I am 41).  Back when child labor laws were different, and you could be a Nurses Aid in long term care units.  I was an aide in high school, and realized my true calling was in healthcare.  I got my degree at UNC in Kinesiology with a minor in Community Health thinking I was going to be a physical therapist.  I did my internship and got a job in cardiac rehab after graduating.  I worked at Parkview in Pueblo where I did  cardiac rehab, and then was crossed trained into cardiac treadmill testing then subsequently the cardiac cath lab.  I spent several years in this realm moving to Denver to work at St. Anthony’s cath lab and cardiothoracic surgery program were we were trained to do all of the procedures from an electrophysiology study to a bypass surgery.  This was one of the most demanding jobs I have ever had due to being a level 1 trauma center, and  was in one of the poorest neighborhoods at the time.

I decided then that radiology was my calling, and went back to Pueblo to earn my Radiologic Technology degree.  While I did this I worked as an anesthesia technologist at St. Mary-Corwin in Pueblo to help make ends meet.  I was responsible for 20+ anesthesiologists, their inventory, machines etc.  I then graduated and moved to Sidney, NE where I spent 10 years doing XR, CT, MRI, US, Dexa..I moonlighted at several small hospitals in NE, and helped install and train on multi-slice CT scanners in small hospitals (I did Wray’s current unit).  I then wanted to make a transition into administration.  I got my Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Univ. Nebraska Lincoln, Univ. Nebraska Medical Center Clarkson College (I am not a Husker fan, sorry).

I was then fed to the wolves at Middle Park Medical Center as the Chief Operations Officer.  MPMC was the nation’s first critical access hospital system in the United States, three hospitals and five clinics under one CAH license.  Here I was Interim CEO twice, Interim CFO and had CIO (chief information officer) added to my permanent job duties.  At one point I was doing MRI’s, COO/CIO and Interim CEO during one month…I did this because I felt a sense of ownership over my work, and my hospital…and the jobs were vacant, patients needed MRI’s and the hospital was without a CEO.

I am sure you all are wondering is this bragging or what?  I can’t lie…I am proud of my accomplishments…however, my point is that up to 2011, I was a negative, toxic employee, at every single job…it all felt the same.  Everything that went wrong was someone’s else’s fault, I did not take ownership on anything.  I despised administration.  Nurses didn’t know how to put a simple chest xray order in, so they must be stupid.  Doctor’s put a generic abd pain on an order for a CT, so they must not have a clue and are on a fishing expedition or paid a percentage of revenue from the hospital.  Why are they calling me in at 3 am for a pinky xray…stupid inconsiderate patients.  We just did 92 radiology exams between the three of us today, but administration won’t give us more help…they don’t care.  I take all of the call, and nobody else helps out.  The EHR is crap…it’s not anything I am doing it is all their fault.

I was mad at things out of my control, with no knowledge on why they were happening.  I was withdrawing from work and home-life.  I wouldn’t attend any hospital function because I didn’t like anyone, they were all to blame.  I was flying under the radar collecting a paycheck…had my best façade on when dealing with patients.  I hated my job, because nothing ever changes.  I would leave a job because it was everyone else’s fault…because the grass must be greener on the other side, right?

This all sound familiar to you, have you had these thoughts?

Enter Joe Tye in 2011.  Joe was brought in to Sidney Regional Medical Center to help create a culture of ownership.  I read his book (mentioned above), and thought was decent, but just another administration flavor of the month.  When Joe did his onsite work, and his presentation…I was literally floored.  I was one of the toxic employees that he was talking about.  His pledge is excellent, and I credit it with me loving my job every single day.  I used it to make the leap that I did.  I still use his pledge to this day:

Monday-I will take complete responsibility for my health, my happiness, my success and my life, and will not blame others for my problems or predicaments.

Tuesday-I will not allow low self-esteem, self-limiting beliefs, or the negativity of others to prevent me from achieving my authentic goals and from becoming the person I am meant to be.

Weds-I will do the things that I’m afraid to do but which I know should be done. Sometimes this will mean asking for help to do that which I cannot do by myself.

Thurs-I will earn the help I need in advance by helping other people now, and repay the help I receive by serving others later.

Friday-I will face rejection and failure with courage, awareness and perseverance, making these experiences the platform for future acceptance and success.

Saturday-Though I might not understand why adversity happens, by my conscious choice I will find strength, compassion and grace through my trials.

Sunday-My faith and my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with will shine through in my attitudes and in my actions.

In the next month, we will be reading the Florence Prescription, be doing a culture assessment, working on the MMH mission, vision and values, Joe will be on-site Jan 22-24, and we will embark in a great transition to accountability to ownership at MMH.  I can’t wait to get this going.


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