In This Issue
Paul A. Jeffrey
Wesley Long Community Hospital – Moses Cone Health System
Pamela M. Sinclair, FACHE
Advanced Home Care
Samuel B. Seifert
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Robert E. Byrd, FACHE
Alamance Regional Medical Center
Wendy P. Hicks
Novant Health – Forsythe Medical Center
Message from the Regent - Summer 2010|
Fred T. Brown Jr., FACHE
Most of you have seen the commercial where a kind act is observed by a bystander who does a kind act for another person and so on until the originator is a recipient of a kind act. This “Pass it Forward” theme also will be the theme of the Fall District Meetings and Chapter Leaders Conference late September in Chicago. I look forward to seeing some of you there.
This “Pass it Forward” theme is so in tune with what I believe the American College of Healthcare Executives is about. Sure we “pass it forward” by providing assistance to our consumers and patients in the organizations in which we work but also ACHE helps us in our work by providing education, mentorship, guidance and support to members. We are collectively working to pass on professionalism and improved performance. These efforts improve our membership performance, which in turn means better healthcare outcomes and so on.
I am a bit of a football nut so indulge me and let’s think about what it takes for teams that we all know are going to be good every single year. What do they have in common? These teams all have lasting traditions and high standards that are passed forward to new recruits. These teams will all have senior players (Mentors) who take younger players, teach them and bring them along in their football skills. All of these teams have coaches who understand that strong minds as well as bodies are important in winning. Most of these teams also understand that a great team is better than a gaggle of great individual players. These teams know how to win and pass this knowledge forward.
These teams also measure performance and outcomes. I attended college on a football grant-in-aid. I was an offensive lineman, a right guard that “pulled” or “trapped” about every play. I also snapped on points and field goals, played on the kick off and return teams and even played defensive end my senior year. At least five times I played all 60 minutes of a game. (My son thinks this is when players wore no face masks and leather helmets). My fellow lineman and I all played on the first team our sophomore year so we played together for three years. We had performance measures that fans still hold in high regard today. (44 points average scoring per game, 7.6 average yards per offensive play, beating Appalachian State 56-6 (49-0 at the half) our senior year, and conference champions all three years.) Our shared measurement however, was not any of these numbers or any individual accolades but rather that our quarterback, Jack Huss, had a clean jersey at the end of the game! If so, it meant he had not spent any time on the ground having been tackled and we were collectively doing our job. To this day Jack will tell folks he could have worn the same jersey at all of the home games without it ever having to be cleaned.
I was drafted by Uncle Sam after graduating and saw only a few games at my college over the next four years. The teams were OK, but we had failed to “pass forward” our pride and traditions. The talent of the players, if anything was better than when I played, but the outcomes were much worse. We had new coaches and team mates that did not seem to understand that they were playing as much or more for their team members as they were the college. Some players even seemed to be playing for individual glory.
I have always wondered if I and the rest of my team had done a better job of “passing it forward” to the younger players, the football program would had stayed nationally ranked like it was when we played.
As I went on to graduate school and began my healthcare career, I also soon noticed that good healthcare organizations seemed to “pass forward” pride in doing good work and achieving excellence for their communities. I found that hospitals with more resources were not always the best places to seek care and that hard to measure attributes such as teamwork, individual responsibility and caring were often the difference between a good organization and a great one.
As leaders, is it not our job to “pass forward” as many of the positive attributes of our organization as we can? Should we not seek ways to have everyone involved in supporting care take pride and responsibility for the good work they do...and then pass this forward to new members of the work force? If you can help figure out how to do this well at every level of your organization, you will have a wonderful career!
Provision of good healthcare is more than just a job. It can be a great tradition. It is a core attribute of a good community. It is a career than can give us back more than one gives. At its best, it is precious to behold and once found, so important to “pass forward” to all.
It is an honor to be your Regent.
Fred T. Brown Jr., FACHE
Regent for North Carolina
|Fall education session:
September 15, 2010
"Medical Staff Relations"
(ACHE Category I panel discussion)
WFUBMC, Winston Salem, NC
THEF Annual Meeting:
November 11, 2010
Grandover Resort, Greensboro, NC