60 Seconds with Russ II

60 Seconds With Russ: Memorial On Target


Last week I went to a meeting in Seattle sponsored by a group called the Healthcare Advisory Board and the meeting was for CEOs around the Pacific Northwest. During that meeting we talked about consumer driven healthcare. Consumer Driven healthcare is how we can lower cost, how we can increase the quality and make healthcare more accessible. There are many models throughout the country as we all become more responsible for the direct costs of healthcare. One of the things it talked about was how we can make healthcare more accessible. How we are moving healthcare out of the hospital setting and into the community. We learned about a number of different innovations that are happening in Seattle and throughout the country. One of the great things we’re doing at Memorial is something called Healthy Now. And our Healthy Nows are on the cutting edge of healthcare and I want you all to know that. If you go to healthynowclinic.com it not only talks about the hours it’s open but it also even lists ways you can make an appointment and it also talks about how much it actually costs if you pay out of pocket. These are the ways that healthcare is going and we all need to be aware of it and what Memorial is doing is right on target. So I want to say congratulations to the folks at Memorial Physicians and Healthy Now because we are on the cutting edge of healthcare.

60 Seconds With Russ: Quality & Saftey


I’m Kevin Sweeny and the Chief Medical Officer at Memorial and one of my most important roles is to oversee the care for patients with regard to quality and safety. We have put a lot of energy and emphasis on quality and safety because it really speaks to The Triple Aim which really drives much of what we do here. The Triple Aim talks about caring for the population in a way that enhances their health. It also talks about making the experience for the patient spectacular, focusing on what they experience here in the hospital. And lastly, because we have Stewardship as one of the key issues that we focus on, it’s really, overall, trying to reduce the total cost to care. A number of things in the safety area are presently occurring and you may see them on a regular basis. At the hospital, every morning at 8:30, we have a Safety Huddle that brings all of our leaders together. We talk about how safe are we, what are our staffing levels, what are the volumes. In that setting we problem solve, we talk to each other and support each other and discuss how we can create a safer environment. We measure something called a Serious Safety Event rate. That rate is looking at events that occur that reach the patient and potentially cause harm.

Thirdly, we have safety coaches in every department across Memorial Family of Services. We have employees who have generously donated their time to remind and educate us about safety issues. We talk about transitions of care. As you may or may not know, the hospital, although a great place when you’re really sick, is also a place that we want to minimize your time in. At the hospital our whole goal is to make the time in the hospital effective in caring for the acute illness that you have. We focus on your care prior to coming to the hospital in care management, and then we also focus on when you’re discharged that we get you to the right place. So that a) you get all your medicines filled and b) you’ll see your primary care doctor and c) we prevent you from potentially coming back into the hospital anytime in the near future.

Lastly, we spend a lot of energy on respecting people’s choices and one of our Values is Respect. We have an initiative right now that looks at end-of-life issues. Specifically, we are promoting the use of advance directives and that idea is to understand for all of us, not just those who are right at the end of our lives, but all of us. As we reach our fifties and sixties, what do we want as we go towards the end of our life? This project with advance directives is at North Star Lodge and is just the beginning of a process that’s going to roll through the entire institution. I would like to believe that all of us; staff and families, will think about “How can we respect everyone’s choices? How can we learn their stories?” and then “How can we care for them when their life gets to a point where they develop a serious illness or they get to the end of life. All these issues again really focus and magnify our Values including Respect and Stewardship and Innovation and those are the things that actually drive institutions and my hope is that we will live it every day. My hope is that you see that( our Values)in your daily activities and that you, as employees, will look at your role because each of you has a role in this very important endeavor.

60 Seconds With Russ: Get Inspired!


Russ: Our purpose statement at Memorial is we inspire people to thrive and I have to tell you, you can’t underestimate the power of the simple thank you and so therefore through a lot of thinking and thought and really based on results of our last employee engagement survey, we have come up with something called the Inspire program. Today I want to introduce Lisa Hagreen who is our Staff Development specialist
in the Department of Human Potential and lease is really going to outline all of the aspects the Inspire program and ways that you, as well as your leaders, physicians and everybody throughout the organization can really help us inspire others to thrive.

Lisa: Thanks, Russ. I am really excited to share with you information about the Inspire Rewards and Recognition program. Memorial wants to recognize the hard work of our staff and those of you out there inspiring people to thrive. We want to recognize those role model behaviors and the excellent customer service that you are all providing on a day-to-day basis.

Some of the new things that you’ll be seeing are, for instance, the Inspire scratch tickets which will give you the opportunity to choose the reward and recognition that you might want. For example, we have $7 Memorial Cafe coupons, we have free Into the Brew drink coupons or my personal favorite, the $7 Inspire Buck coupon. This Inspire Buck will let you come to the Memorial Gift Shop to reward yourself with a product that’s worth $7 or you can utilize this to purchase additional products.

Ty is modeling some of our products today . . . we have the lunch box, the hat and the jacket. Those are just a few of the samples of the products
that we have in the Inspire program. If you want to purchase these, you can purchase them yourself at “Inspired” prices just for Memorial Family of Service employees. Look for more information coming. Our website is going to be up soon at yakimamemorial.org and the Inspire link will provide you with all of the information that you need to know. In the meantime, thank you for everything that you do for our patients, our families and our community.

And remember, it’s really about the simple thank you.

60 Seconds With Russ: Employee Giving


Employee Giving Campaign Updates

Russ: In April, at all of our I’M IN sessions Anne came with me in every one of them. We talked about the concept of giving and how important it is to give, even if it’s something very small. Giving is what makes us healthy and is one of those things that really helps us as individuals. We talked about the concept of giving back to Memorial as staff. The numbers are just amazing and we are really just here to congratulate you for your fantastic gifts.

Anne: What a beautiful surprise it was to look this morning at the numbers as gifts continue to come in and realize we’ve had a 43% increase in total Family giving. That represents the biggest increase in the history of the Foundation. It is symbolic of our zeal around our mission and the tie we feel to our community to move alongside them and give like this. I also want to do a personal ‘thank you’ to you Russ. I call you behind your back the “Philanthropy CEO.” You have beautiful, personal view of it, you have a very strong way of communicating it and its impact on our Family of Services and I also want to acknowledge that you encouraged your Senior Leadership team to give 100%.

What are some numbers we’d like them to know about?

The 43% increase in giving and even more astounding number is a 93% increase in payroll deduction giving which is an easy way to give. It’s a way you can give $1 or $2 a pay period and hardly miss those dollars and it’s cumulative. Another one was the total dollars at $121,000. We still have lots of opportunity because we have around 2,700 people working in our Family and we have about 445 (employee) donors.

Can people still give?

Yes, they can! And there’s a form online for payroll deduction or they can make a one-time gift. And I’m hoping that we will show you a sample of the shirt.

Russ: Anne, I also have to compliment your energy that we all feel. And you did a fantastic job talking with everybody during those I’M IN sessions.

Thank you everybody for really stepping up to the plate for giving back to Memorial.

60 Seconds With Russ: Innovation in Palliative Care


Russ: In the last week, Memorial received a message from the Federal government and in that message from the Federal government they noted that we were an award winner of a grant that we have applied for. That particular grant was a very competitive grant and we are one of the few organizations across the country to actually receive this award and reward. The grant essentially helps us provide something better that very much fits with our Vision, our Values, our Mission and our Strategic Plan and the Triple Aim. That particular grant is around something we call palliative care. Palliative care is really about providing the best care, the most efficient care, the most compassionate care as individuals as they get to the end of life, as they go down that pathway toward the end of their life. It’s clearly something that fits our Triple Aim strategies. It fits around our population health strategies and that is how we actually provide for a community. It fits around the experience of care because we’re able to provide the patient and the family with the best experience as they near that part of their lifetime. Overall, as an organization and as individuals, it’s a more efficient way of providing care. What I’d like to do today is introduce Julie Cicero. Julie is our Director of Palliative Care and Julie will go into more detail about the actual grant award and what it means to us.

Julie: Hi, I’m Julie and as Russ indicated, I’m here to talk about the Manage Choices program. It’s a pilot program that’s piloted by Medicare and we applied for this program over a year ago. We had an incredible grant writing team and it was highly competitive and we found out last week that we were selected. This program will start as early as January of 2016, maybe later but we’ll know more about that soon. The exciting part of this program is that it’s going to enable us to provide more all-inclusive care to patients and their families. What this specifically means is that patients who are nearing end of life or are seriously ill, and are still seeking curative type measures like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation , dialysis can continue to do that and continue to work with their physicians and providers while receiving the benefit of the hospice care team. Which means 24/7 care giving – nurses responding, social workers, psycho-social help, chaplains, bath aides and volunteers – and that’s on a 24/7 basis. It’s really exciting because it means they can receive all the care they want while still working with their physicians. We anticipate doubling or tripling the number of patients we’re currently serving. Some of the patients we will be seeing in this program will include people with COPD, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS, or advanced cancer. Ultimately our goal is to improve the patient/family experience, the health of our population here in Yakima County and lower the total cost of care.

60 Seconds With Russ: 2015 Qualis Award Winner – “Meds to Beds”


Russ: For the last 5-6 years Memorial Family of Services has submitted its application that awards health care quality and innovation; the award is called the Qualis Award. And this year, like many years in the past, we have been selected as a winner. And the individuals who wrote the application, primarily Heather Gamache from Pharmacy, talked about a program called “Meds to Beds” which is an innovative program providing patients with the best care, providing them with care for medications and providing them with timely service. In many ways, it fits the Triple Aim. I introduce to you, Heather Gamache.

Heather: Thank you, Russ. Randy and I are here today and we’re very excited to be presenting to you the Qualis Award that the Pharmacy recently won for 2015.

Randy: The Northwest Qualis Awards are something we started looking into 6 years ago and we’ve been fortunate enough to win 5 of them so far. They are awards that are given to the best practices around the Northwest for patient safety. This year “Meds to Beds” was selected as one of those awards.

Heather: So what is “Meds to Beds?” “Meds to Beds” is an innovative practice the Pharmacy team developed to give patient-focused care at the bedside. Medications are delivered to the patient by the pharmacist. They (pharmacists) work with the physicians directly so the patient can go home with their medications in-hand, ready to go, right there from their bed. What’s nice about that is that it avoids a stop to the Pharmacy by a loved one or themselves after possibly, a difficult surgery or just a discharge where they want to go home and rest.

Randy: Historically speaking, when a patient leaves the hospital, 31% of all the prescriptions given to the patient upon discharge aren’t filled. And that effects the continuum of care so what “Meds to Beds” does is creates a fail-safe for mistake proofing the plan of care so when the patient leaves the hospital they have everything they need to go home and get better.

Heather: What the pharmacist offers to the patient at the bedside is a unique experience that only a pharmacist can do: delivering the education to the patient about their medications is what we’re trained for. The “Meds to Beds” team at our pharmacy here at Memorial is fantastic. They work hard every day for our patients and provide this service around the clock. It is truly an innovative and unique experience and the patients are satisfied and we’re preventing medication errors.


60 Seconds With Russ: Moving in the Right Direction

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the national meeting of the American Hospital Association in Washington DC. And attending that meeting are thought leaders in health care as well as CEOs like myself who represent health care organizations throughout the country. And what I saw was that this whole transformation of health care, this moving to values-based care which really emphasizes quality, safety, and service is happening across the country with some areas moving quicker than others. Nevertheless, we in Washington are also moving in that direction and we in Yakima are moving in that direction. Our strategies around the Triple Aim are absolutely the right strategies. How we provide the best patient experience, how we continue to figure out ways we can lower the cost of care for our population that we serve and how we can better care for those individuals by using techniques of community health and population health. So really the Triple Aim is the way for us to go and we are moving in that direction and I’m feeling very affirming about that.

Another element that we’re moving the right direction is in the whole area of partnerships. And partnerships throughout the country are happening in great numbers and they are partnerships that occur within the community, they are partnerships that occur within the state, and clearly, the partnerships we are talking about as an organization within the community and potentially with other organizations with one potentially like Virginia Mason. And finally, having you involved as individuals who help us to achieve our goals and that’s why we put a Scorecard on the Intranet for you to be able to see how we’re tracking toward our goals and you being able to work with your managers on how you can help us achieve those goals. Again, you are key to making Memorial successful. You are key to taking care of our community. If you have any questions about how we are doing particularly as you look at the Scorecard please feel free to post those questions or send those questions to me and we will be happy to give you the information you need.


60 Seconds With Russ: Innovating Care


One of the things that we have revised this year is our Mission and the Mission of Memorial is “achieving health with you in new ways.” One of the things I hear from many people is “What does that mean?” “Why are we doing that and what does the word ‘new’ mean?” Today I’m going to talk about “achieving health with you in new ways” and what that means. Really, we’re innovating our care model and we’re innovating it because health care environment is completely different than what it was even two years ago. Patients are much sicker by the time they come into our care whether that’s in Home Health or whether that’s in an inpatient or the emergency department. And patients are in our care a shorter period of time and that means that every moment that we have with our patients is absolutely vital that we have the most specific goal driven care with that patient. And in partnership with that patient and family. What does that mean for all of us? It means we have to figure out new ways to do things. Across the Family of Services and particularly in the acute care setting you’re going to hear the nurses and caregivers talking about new models.

As we innovate our care delivery model you’ll be hearing about caregivers talking to the patients finding out how frequently they want a bath. Do they want one every day or just one when they go home if they’re going to be here for just 24 hours? You’re going to hear about nurses having more touches with patients and having the opportunity to talk to them. We know that by doing that, by increasing those RN touches with every patient that comes through our services that we’ll improve their outcomes,

How will we know when we’re successful at innovating care delivery in this new health care model that we have? We’ll know when patients are safer – we have less falls. We’ll no when we have a higher quality of care – less readmissions, less infections. We’ll know when patients tell us they are more satisfied with their care because we know how that links to how they are and their health and wellbeing overall. We’ll know when our cost of care goes down because, like every health care organization across the country we’re working hard to reduce the total cost of care. And ultimately, we will know we’re successful when our community reaches new levels of health. Because that’s what we’re all about.

60 Seconds With Russ: There’s A Code For That


Dr. Olden: Good morning everyone. Today on 60 Seconds we’re going to talk about the launch of ICD-10. 147 days from today (May 6th) the United States will launch ICD-10 coding for medical procedures and diagnoses. And expanding from ICD-9 is going to be a significant challenge for many of us. It means telling the patient’s story in greater detail and it’s going to require teamwork. Everybody on the team will be able to participate and contribute the information about the patient and what happened to get the patient to the hospital.

Dr. Sweeny: That teamwork is going to be critical not just from the standpoint of the physicians who really are the primary authors of the patient’s story but because Teamwork is such a critical part of our Values system. All of you as employees are going to need to understand your immense value in assisting the providers in making sure that the story is as thorough as it can be but also working with our staff, whether it be in clinical documentation or care management and even into the areas of health information management so that we all participate as those who care for the patients in trying to convey a story that’s as accurate as possible so that we cannot only convey the complexity of our patients’ illnesses but also allow us to be given the credit whether it be payment or an assessment of the complexity of our patients in the care we provide so we can obtain the appropriate revenue and payment for the work we do.

Dr. Olden: Kevin, one of the challenges I think with ICD-10 is we’ve never had the ability to detail the reasons behind medical conditions that are linked to other conditions and injuries where we really don’t have the detail that we need. Now, there’s a code for that. The complex medical problems like diabetes and heart disease that might be related to smoking or underlying metabolic disorders now we can actually code those with enough detail to understand populations and the people we serve. And the injury codes like a fall with a fracture now you’ve got the “forced landing of spacecraft with injury to the occupant, initial encounter.” I’ve never been able to code that before. And now I can.

Dr. Sweeny: There are more fascinating codes that will amuse and amaze you. There’s the code if you’re out surfing and you get bitten by a shark. There’s actually a code that says “bite from shark, follow up visit.” Or those of you that like to crochet and are injured in your crocheting activities. There’s actually a code that alludes to follow up injury after crocheting. Many of these codes are both silly or unbelievably complex but the point is in most of these areas it allows us to tell our story in a much more thorough way to really both give a richness to the story and also allude to the complexity of who we’re taking care of.

Dr. Olden: And if you want to take community on as the patient you’ve got to understand the complexity of the conditions that affect our population because that’s where you have the ability to start looking at prevention.

60 Seconds With Russ: “Nothing Trumps Safety”


Russ: Today I’d like to introduce Dr. Kevin Sweeny, our Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and our Vice President who head up all our efforts around Quality and Safety. Dr. Sweeny is going to talk about an event that occurred at Memorial in the recent past. I want to reemphasize a couple of things. First thing I want to emphasize is nothing trumps safety in this organization. It is the most important and paramount thing we should always be paying attention to. Each day we have something called Safety Huddle where we talk about patient safety and the risk of patient safety and we also provide you with things such as our card and all the tools around preventing serious safety events or any safety event for patients. Please stay tuned and listen to Dr. Sweeny and let’s all learn together about how we can avoid future safety events.

Dr. Sweeny: As Russ said, we care for patients in all of our facilities across the Family of Services with the hospital being one place where they receive care. One of the top priorities we own as an organization is that every patient that comes into our facility assumes that they’re going to be given care of the highest quality. One of the top issues that we’ve committed to as an organization is to make sure that as patients are in our facilities that they are safe. On our website, we post a rate of the number of days it has been since our last serious safety event. A serious safety event is an event that reaches the patient that can cause harm to the patient. And although they are rare, they do occur. Over the last number of months we had gone over 200 days without a serious safety event and all of us were proud of that but continued to be vigilant about that. In the month of March we had an event where a patient was harmed and it triggered a number of things that are absolutely important. One, we immediately made the decision that we needed to be both responsible and transparent about the event occurring. Secondly, we looked at all of our processes and involved all caregivers in what is called a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to try to decide what lessons we could learn in the care of that patient that may or may not have contributed to that safety event occurring for the patient. That process is currently underway and I don’t have a specific answer for lessons learned today. But what I will tell you, when we get to the end of that process, likely over the next few weeks, we will as an organization craft some messages that will go to all parties to say a serious event happened to one of our patients. We looked at it and fully feel responsible for any part of the care that we could’ve done better. And these are the lessons that we’ve learned. Most importantly so the event never happens again but also as important to be respectful to that patient and to their family to say that as sad as that event was in harming the patient, our commitment to the family is to make certain that we will not ever have that happen to another patient – which doesn’t give the family all that much comfort but at least gives us a chance to say that what happened and what we learned is meaningful. As we go forward, the work that we do, as Russ alluded to, in our Safety Huddles, utilizing our Safety Coaches, monitoring our serious safety events for me is a very active, ongoing, living process that conveys to all of you, the staff and the patients that come into our hospital that we are committed to safety. That your safety as you walk into our many facilities is our top concern. My hope is that we continue to do that and continue to dialogue with each other and with you as we grow in this important journey.

60 Seconds With Russ: I’m In Recap


Last week I was part of eleven I’M IN sessions and they were great sessions where we had the opportunity to talk to almost 600 employees. During those sessions we covered a number of items. One was a Virginia Mason update which you can find on the Intranet written by myself and Jim Berg, our Board Chair. We also talked about the Physician Engagement Survey and talked about how important it was for us to engage physicians and we gave you some information on those results and what we’re doing about it. And the last thing we talked about was really the concept of the National Volunteer Appreciation Week and how important volunteers are to us. We were also able to talk about the whole concept of giving and we saw a tremendous increase in the Family Giving Campaign and we want to thank each and every one of you for coming to the I’M IN sessions and we want to thank each and every one of you who are participating in the Family Giving Campaign. We look forward to the next series of I’M Ins which we expect will be in 3-4 months. If you didn’t have a chance to attend one of our I’M IN sessions we are going to have it in video on the Intranet in the coming weeks.

60 Seconds With Russ: Service Pillar, Part 2


I get to spend a little bit of time talking with you specifically about the physician practices and some things that we are doing to help us meet our goals. Remember, our new definition of Accountability is that I take actions that are consistent with my organization’s desired outcomes or my personal desired outcomes. We’ve instituted some very simple practices that really don’t cost us anything that really let us hear from the voice of the customer on a more frequent basis and to incorporate what we learn from them into what we do every day.

Number 1: We have what we call the Voice of the Customer Boards or displays where we take virtually every comment that a patient or family member or a caregiver gives to us, good or bad, and we post it for all the staff in the clinic to see. The reason we do that is because we know we hire good folks who want to do the right things and they’re all caregivers by nature so if they’re hearing directly from patients what’s meaningful to them in an interaction or they’re hearing directly from family members what’s less than helpful in certain interactions we know that we’re going to get more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. Pretty simple and so far, we think pretty effective. We’re hearing good, initial results. The challenge for us will be to keep that refreshed and updated but something we’re committed to doing.

Number 2: We’re also running a program called Undercover Patient. Undercover Patient is a pretty simple secret shopper program. We literally go into  the schedule, maybe a week or two in advance, and we look for patients who are already on the calendar to see one of our physicians and we call them and ask them if they would mind helping us out. Would they look for certain, specific observable customer service expectations and they tell us yes or no. This either happened or it didn’t happen  (customer service expectations). They also have a chance to give us free-form comments as well. Each of our managers at our monthly MP leadership meeting, if they’ve been secret shopped in the previous month they will get up in front of their colleagues and share the results. And if they have areas to improve they talk about some actions plans and sometimes they do some problem solving with their colleagues. And if they have kudos to share with their clinics they get the opportunity to do that in front of their co-workers as well. It’s been good for us so far.

Number 3: We have what’s called “Rate My Service.” “Rate My Service” does a couple of things for us. In each worker’s work space we have a card rack that the Communications department helped us put together. It’ll have a basic feedback form that says “Hi, My name is Matt or my name is Sally and it’s my expectation to provide you with excellent service. If you’d like you can take one of these cards and let me know how I’m doing.” This simple tactic does two things for us. 1) It reminds our staff that they’re always on stage, that patients are always paying attention to what they do and they will remember this interaction for good or bad. It’s a simple reminder. 2) It is a vehicle for patients to share direct feedback with us in between our more formal Sullivan Luallin patient satisfaction survey. We collate all those comments and all those points of view and we use them throughout the year to help direct any improvement efforts that we may need to have.

The last thing that we do is also a very simple and not particularly time consuming technique. We’ve got some cards that our managers use in the clinics. They will try to get thirty responses and turn them in once a quarter. What we’re looking for is our managers are going to ask one very special question and that question is “What one thing could we have done better today to improve your experience with us.” Then they write down what the patient’s comments are. And that makes it easy for the patient, they don’t have to take the time to write something down. Someone is scribing for them. Then we hand the patient that form and on the bottom of the form is a 10-point scale that asks the question “Based on your experience, how willing would you be to refer our provider to family and friends?” And they rate us on a 0 to 10. Patient-centeredness means including the patient  in the decision making sure agendas they have for their time spent with us is incorporated with our time spent together.

60 Seconds With Russ: Service Pillar, Part 1


Laura: Hi my name is Laura Kinney and I’m the Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Excellence and I’m here today to talk to you about our Service Pillar. Our Service Pillar is about building a culture that requires passionate drive for service for our patients, families, our community and each other that results in patient and family excellence and engagement. I’m really excited to talk to you about the body of work designed for 2015 Strategic Plan. And now I’d like to introduce you to Dana Kovats. She is the Chairman of our Patient and Family Advisory Council and I’m going to ask her to answer a couple of questions for me.

Laura: What does it mean to you to be on our Patient and Family Advisory Council, Dana?

Dana: It’s really turned into one of the most rewarding parts about living Yakima for me. Starting 2 years ago on the Council it really was about brainstorming, a lot of energy involved and a lot of ideas coming to the table from the medical professionals and the few community advisors we had at the time. We’ve since grown our involvement of community advisors and have really started to see some action in the sub-committees and peoples’ involvement and really making things happen in the community to improve healthcare.

Laura: What do you hope we can accomplish in the next couple of years together – Memorial and listening to the voice of our customer, which is represented by the Patient and Family Advisors?

Dana: I think we really need to improve getting the voice of the customer via the surveys that go out post-treatment at the hospital but also getting more community members involved, really bringing their own experiences and voices but really gathering from their peers, their friends and their families how people really feel about their care and their medical coverage in the Valley and seeing what we can do to take the best examples of care and making that the standard.

Laura: You can see how lucky we are to have Dana and the rest of our Patient and Family Advisors. We really look forward to all the work we encounter this year and we do have a process that you can request the voice of the customer on any of your process improvement projects.

What will the Service Pillar focus on for 2015?

First of all, understanding our customer’s requirements. Listening to the voice of our patients, family members and the community to learn what is most important to them from a service perspective. And how we can keep them safe, how we can be timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient centered. This is an acronym called STEEEP and it’s from the Institute of Medicine.

Step #2 would be to reinvent AIDET and redeploy. We’ve received a lot of feedback about how AIDET is a great tool and helps us remember Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank you and how it helps us with our interactions with patients. We’ve gotten really positive feedback but staff has asked for more – more training, less scripting and more of “How can I deliver AIDET from the heart” and will focus on that as well.

And lastly, getting the data in front of folks so they understand how we’re performing. We are averaging about the 20th percentile for our HCAHPS in patient satisfaction scores so what that means is that we do better than 20% of the hospitals in our compare group but 80% of hospitals do better than we do. We have lots of opportunity for improvement and how can we make sure everybody knows where we’re at and how we can all work together to improve those scores. This will be reflected on every department’s vision board and those will be coming later this first quarter. We will be working with every department manager where the most important key performance measures they have in their departments and patient and customer satisfaction will be one of those measures.

If you  have any questions about the Service Pillar or the Strategic Plan you can contact me, Laura Kinney, or you can also find it on the Intranet. Our entire Strategic Plan is posted there as well as the Strategic Scorecard which we will be updating monthly.

Thank you!

60 Seconds With Russ: Strategic Scorecard


Over the last several weeks we’ve had members of the Senior Team explain to you in some detail about our Strategic Plan going forward. And often when I am rounding on the floors I get the question: “How are we doing?” That’s a question we want to begin to answer for you on a monthly basis. In the next month or so, we are going to be producing data – because it’s data that helps us see how we’re really doing. We’re going to have data that helps explain how we are doing as an organization relative to the goals we’ve set. We are going to have some financial data. Data that you can see and understand how the organization is performing financially. It doesn’t just stop financially. We need to talk about all the Pillars that are important to Memorial. We’re also going to show you data on how we are doing from a patient safety perspective. We’re going to show you data on how we’re doing from a quality perspective. We’re going to show you data on how we’re doing from a service perspective. And we’re also going to have information that shows you as an organization how we are doing with people. Are we an organization with engaged people? What does our turnover look like? What does our retention look like? And finally, a very important element of Memorial and unique to Memorial is our relationship with our community. In measuring how we do with our community we are going to talk about the Foundation activities in the community. We want to be transparent and open so that you, too, can understand how Memorial’s doing as it relates to pursuing our Strategic Plan and all the goals around The Triple Aim.

60 Seconds With Russ: Finance Pillar


Tim: Hi, I’m Tim Reed, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) here at Memorial. In addition to being the CFO, I’m also leading the Finance Pillar. The Finance Pillar has a couple of different elements, one of them of which is the Foundation element.

Ed: My name is Ed Flynn from The Memorial Foundation and a member of the Finance Pillar. The Foundation for 25 years under Anne Caffery’s leadership has facilitated over $90 million of support from our community to help with programs and services across Memorial Family of Services. We invite our community to continue to see how they can partner with us in making a difference in providing care for people that need it, that might not be able to afford it and in places where it might not be available. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you these many years.

Jim: Hi, I’m Jim Aberle, Vice President of Operations and one of our key focus areas in the Finance Pillar is operational performance improvement. What does that mean? We need to be more efficient and effective with our operations. We need to maintain our quality and when we do that we’ll truly be able to do that more cost effectively. I know in my personal life I like to save money and when I do it allows me to do other things I want to do. As we learn how to operate more efficiently and be better stewards of our money, it will allow us to do more things for our employees, patients and for our community. That’s what operational performance improvement is and this will help us achieve our Finance Pillar goals.

Tim: And the third way is increasing the efficiency of our business. In 2014 we had some goals that we set out to accomplish. In healthcare, there’s three different mechanisms we have at our disposal to raise dollars in the system. We can receive donations through the Foundation, we can earn it through operations or we can borrow it. How can you as an employee contribute to these goals?

You can:

  1. Find opportunities to reduce waste
  2. Come up with innovative ideas to improve processes

You have a part in helping us solve these challenges ahead.

We’d love to hear from you!

Please email your innovative ideas to timothyreed@yvmh.org
National Patient Safety Awareness Week


Russ: Monday began National Patient Safety (Awareness) Week and it’s an incredible celebration for this organization and for healthcare as well to celebrate the many things organizations have done throughout this country to make our environment a safer environment for patients. Since 2006, when we began this journey, we have done many things. One of those includes Safety Huddles which are done every day to really report within the organization what’s going on from a safety perspective.

So what do you think Kevin? How are we doing?

Kevin: I think we’re doing well, Russ. We talk about how our patients expect to be taken care of in a high quality way but we also want our patients to be embraced and cared for in a safe way. One of the most effective ways to practice good, safe care is to wash your hands. This week we’ll talk about many of our accomplishments but I ask all of you, as employees interested in becoming a part of our Safety Imperative, to wash your hands every moment you can and encourage your fellow employees to wash their hands. If we do that, I think we will be accomplishing something that is critical for our patients to keep them safe and continue to provide the care they expect at Memorial.

Russ: What’s the “why” behind why we should wash our hands?

Kevin:  The biggest reason to wash your hands is that hospital acquired infections are one of the highest reasons for people  to be harmed by hospitals. Each employee, whether they’re interacting with a patient, caring for the patient, cleaning the room or doing anything with patients, if they wash their hands it really reduces our risk of giving them an infection that they don’t want and didn’t have when they came into the hospital.

Russ: Infectious diseases, one of the biggest dangers in any organization and passing those infectious diseases on  from patient to patient. Stay tuned, many things are happening during National Patient Safety (Awareness) Week. Kevin will be part of many of those as well as many of our staff.

People Pillar


Jolene: Hi, my name is Jolene Seda, VP of People and Culture and lead for the People Pillar. The People Pillar focuses on you, the employees, as well as physicians and volunteers. The overarching goal of the People Pillar is to focus on increasing the engagement of employees, physicians and volunteers, and to improve the health and wellness of our workforce. What does an engaged employee look like? An engaged employee contributes to our constructive culture and really views Memorial as a great place to work and seek services and tells their friends and family that as well.

Over the next couple of minutes, you’ll hear from others in the People Pillar about what we’re working on and how you can be involved.

John: Hi, I’m John King, Human Resources Manager here to talk to you about employee engagement. First of all, I’d like to thank everybody for participating this past year. One of our successes was increasing participation from 46% to 63%. This year we have an organizational focus of improving overall engagement by 2%. As a way to meet this goal, we are asking each of you to work with your departments to set goals that are most meaningful and impactful to your department level results. The work you do in your departments will help support our overall organizational goals.

Amber: Hi, My name is Amber Henderson and I’m the Director of Human Potential. I’ve had the opportunity to help coordinate the Physician Engagement Survey for the second time. We have our 2014 Physician Engagement survey results back. Over the course of the next few months we’re going to be coming out and talking with physicians about the survey results. We want to thank you for your participation in the survey and we also want to take an opportunity to talk about a couple of areas where we want more feedback from you as physicians. Our Senior Leadership Team is very excited to hear your feedback and to listen to what you have to share.

Branden: What’s up Memorial family? This is Branden Johnson, I’m the Manager of Volunteer Services and I’m here to talk to you about a couple of things today. The first thing is what we did last year: We have 400 volunteers serve over 48,000 hours and that is equivalent to 23 FTEs and over $1 million in cost savings. The second thing I want to talk to you guys about is the Volunteer Engagement results and scores with that survey. We only had a 22% participation score in last year’s survey. I think we can blow that out of the water this year with a bold goal of 50%. I think we can get at least 50% of our volunteers participating in our survey to get their feedback and get them more engaged. Here’s what we found out about our survey. We found out that our volunteers are feeling a bit stressed and burnt out. There’s a couple of things I think we can all do to help out with our volunteers. When you see a volunteer around give them a high five, give them a hug. Maybe you want to talk a little bit about what’s going on in their life or maybe just saying “thank you.” Getting them more engaged will better our organization  – they are an extension of our workforce – they’re interacting with our patients, our visitors and our families so let’s inspire them to inspire others.

Kate and Amanda: Hi, I’m Kate Gottlieb and I’m Amanda Adams and we’re members of the People Pillar. Today we’re here to talk to you about HealthyYou Wellness. HealthyYou Wellness is the new employee wellness program. Under HealthyYou Wellness you can find the My Wellness tool in which you can join challenges and earn points for awesome prizes throughout the year. We’ve taken your feedback from the MyWellness assessment and will be implementing monthly wellness challenges and activities to help promote health throughout the organization. Also, you’ll start seeing new signage around the hospital encouraging you to take the stairs. Stay tuned for announcements on the launches, new events and programming throughout the year.

Information Pillar


Hi, I’m Jeff Yamada, Vice President and the Chief Information Officer for Memorial Hospital. I’m also the lead for the Information Pillar. The Information pillar really looks at our  technology – our technology of our computer systems, our devices that we use around the hospital, basically anything electronic and this is not only for the hospital but for the Family of Services. How do we use this information, our technology, to simplify healthcare delivery for our patients? How do we optimize or become efficient and how do we deliver healthcare to our providers around the hospital and the community?

Last year our main focus for the Information Pillar was around Meaningful Use and to meet the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 2. We’ve met those goals and we’ve attested for Meaningful Use Stage 2. Only 16% of hospitals around the nation actually attested or met those goals in 2014. In 2015 we are going to prepare ourselves to meet the goals for Meaningful Use Stage 3. Meaningful Use Stage 3 is not required until 2016 but it will take a whole year for us and all of you to help us meet those requirements as we move forward.

Right now we are in a hybrid world as far as the electronic medical record. We have the majority of information in our electronic system, Soarian or ECW. Right now we are about 75% electronic and about 25% still on a paper chart. Our real goal is to move all of this to the electronic world as we move forward. This will help us with all the regulatory needs that are coming forward, reporting needs for our organization as we report to regulatory agencies like Medicare and Medicaid. The more information we can get electronically the better positioned we will be in the future.

Another area of focus for the Information Pillar is really around our data. How do we pull our data together? What type of reports do we need organizationally? We have two structures. We have an Organizational Decision Support System and an Operational Decision Support System.

Operational Decision Support is really around the hospital and what metrics we use to run our business. Organizational Decision Support encapsulates not only ourselves, but all of the community as well. This is more into population health – how we track our patients throughout the community.

If you have any other questions about the Information Pillar please email me.

Thank you.

Community Pillar

Hello, I’m Anne Caffery and I’ve been with The Memorial Foundation for almost 25 years. And I’m Diane Patterson and I’ve been with Memorial for 22 years and that’s why we know each other so well. We’re here to talk about Healthy Yakima and the Community Pillar. The first thing we have to tell you is our Pillar goal: Yakima is on the top 10 healthiest cities list by 2020.

Anne: How are in the world are we going to do that?

Diane: I have no doubt that we are going to do it. And the reason is because we have a long history. Memorial is here and so much of what Memorial does is because of our partnership with the community and having a strong statement about how strong and passionate we are about the health of Yakima. Healthy Yakima is who we are and our commitment to inspiring people to thrive comes directly from that longstanding commitment.

Anne: When Memorial committed to creating healthy communities one person at a time and that mission of achieving health with you in new ways, we were looking very overarchingly at one key strategy.

Diane: What we’re hearing over and over again in healthcare is about the Triple Aim. And we’re talking a lot about that at Memorial. And what that means is to really make a difference, we know we need to do three things:

• To improve the quality and satisfaction the patient’s experience and their families with every service we have
• To reduce the cost of care; we have an obligation to do only those things that are most cost effective and do them in the most efficient manner
• To improve the health of our population – that ultimately will reduce costs like the ED visits and other things

We’re really talking today about that portion of population health and how we do that as Memorial Family of Services. I’ve also heard from a lot of employees when they hear about the Triple Aim they say there needs to be a fourth part: and that’s the employees. That’s the people that do it and I say that’s the middle of the Triple Aim. And we know to inspire people to thrive it all starts within. And it starts within us at Memorial. We know that Memorial has a huge impact on the health of our population because we are a strong employer, a lot of people work here and we also know we have a very strong voice, so watch for us to make a stronger commitment in policy development and dialogs throughout our community to create a healthier environment for everyone in our community. And ultimately, to identify strategies for prevention. And there is where it’s really fun. We have so many employees that have truly thrived with the Health for Life classes, and the chronic disease management classes, and the diabetes prevention classes. They’re coming and it’s working. And they’re feeling empowered to make positive changes in their lives. Their weight is coming down, they’re exercising more, their hemoglobin A1C is coming down. All of things that we know are critical. And on the way in here an employee told us their mother had come to the class and it had changed her life and the life of her whole family. So watch for Health Hospital Initiatives, things that you can partake in as employees of Memorial. Anne and I want to hear your stories. We want to hear what’s going on so let us know what this means for you and how you’re seeing Memorial inspiring our community to thrive. Get involved. Thank you!

Strategic Plan


Employee Engagement


Yesterday we began our 3rd series of I’M IN sessions and the topic for these I’M IN sessions is the results of our Employee Engagement Survey. Senior Leaders and myself were talking about the Employee Engagement survey at a pretty summarized level. What we’re going to talk about are the overall scores and we’re going to talk about what areas we did really well in as an organization and what are the areas of opportunities. And during I’M IN, what we like to do is engage you in conversation and myself or other Senior Leaders will be asking you some questions because we think it’s the conversation where there’s real value. We also know that you all are very busy and again, the organization is there for its community and it feels like we’re heading through the second wave of another part of the flu season. What we know from the numbers is that the entire organization throughout the entire Family of Services, we’re seeing volumes that are anywhere from 15-30% higher than our normal volumes at this particular stage. We know also at the same time a number of you are calling in sick because you have the flu as well. All of us are working very hard, you’re working very hard and we very much appreciate that. But throughout all of this, if at all possible, and I know you’re busy, if you can make the I’M IN sessions for us to talk about the Employee Engagement survey we would really love it and would really love the conversation. So again, thank you for everything that you’re doing for Memorial and our community.

New employee health benefit: Care Coordination


Russ: You’ve heard me often talk about the Triple Aim and our strategic initiatives going forward as an organization and in doing so, one thing we need to know is that we all need to take care of ourselves and we need to take care of you as the individuals who are actually providing that care. As part of our journey today we are going to talk about a new benefit that is now part of our employee health plan that will be very helpful in helping you navigate sometimes some of the challenging health issues that you face yourself. So again, our goal is really providing services to better take care of you.

Shawnie: Hi, my name is Shawnie Haas, and I’m the Executive Director from Signal Health. Today I’d like to talk to you about care coordination. This is an important feature in your health benefit design and something that we’d like to share more information with you about. Care coordination can be explained in many different ways but a simple way to identify what coordination of care is for this purpose is to help improve the transitions of care for people with chronic, or multiple chronic conditions. There are a couple of things that I think are very important for you to know. First is, that your privacy is very, very important to us and that we protect and keep private your healthcare information. Second, is that participation in the care coordination effort is entirely voluntary. If you choose to participate we will help you in the ways that you find necessary. If you choose not to participate, that request will be honored. I think it would be helpful for you to meet our care coordinators so you can better understand the talents and the expertise that they will bring to Memorial Family of Services.

Cindy McKenzie: Hi, my name is Cindy McKenzie and I’m a Care Coordinator with Signal Health and I just want to tell you a little bit about care coordination. I have 7 years of experience of doing care coordination with families with new babies and pregnant moms. So, in my new role with the Memorial Health Plan, I am here for you. I am an additional resource for you. We know that the  chronic disease processes  affect not just you the patient, but your entire family.

Cynthia Byrne: Hi, my name is Cyndi Byrne and I was actually born here at Memorial Hospital a while ago and was actually raised in the Valley. I went to Seattle Pacific University, worked at the kidney transplant unit over there and then moved backed to Yakima and I’ve been in primary care for the last 23 years and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m really excited to partner with Memorial and First Choice in working with the participants and their families in this new benefit of care coordination. We found it really important and exciting in working with patients and employees and helping them reach their goals and whatever that would be. Sometimes it’s just finding a PCP (Primary Care Physician) or finding access. Maybe it’s help with finding a referral or needing some additional education or materials in wherever they are in this life’s journey. If we can be a resource or an additional benefit to you, we would ask that you contact us and look forward to that partnership. We are innovative, we are creative and we are supportive and we know that we will be a success working together with you.

For more information on Care Coordination email:  carecoord@signalcare.org  

60 Seconds with Russ: Healthier Hospitals Initiative


Russ: For the last month to six weeks Memorial Hospital has really been serving patients at almost a capacity level. Our emergency department has seen record levels, generally 40-50% of what we normally see. Inpatient services have been busy, surgery has been busy, our clinics have been busy and the HealthyNows have been busy. And all of you have been working very, very hard taking care of our community and I want to thank you very much for all the work that you’re doing and for many of you, the extra work that you’re doing to make sure that patients are taken care of. Today, we’re also going to talk about something called the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) and the major focus of this is on you and how can you take care of yourself. Not only through these busy times but also going into the future. So the next couple of segments are going to feature some individuals who are really working on this particular initiative. Because that we know going forward as an organization for us to serve this community we have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves and you are taking care of yourselves.

Bertha: Memorial Family of Services HHI will focus on 3 key areas: leaner energy, healthier foods in healthcare and engaged leadership. Some of the things that you’ll be seeing throughout the Café are the Healthier Choices green logo that will symbolize a healthier option. You will also see healthier vending options throughout the Family of Services. We will also purchase from local farmers and vendors in an effort to support a local economy and provide you with fresher products.

Laura: Some of the reasons we are participating in the HHI include our commitment to Stewardship, our new value. And the HHI is part of our Community Pillar. In addition to healthier foods in our hospital and in the Family of Services other things that we’ll start working on is sustainability – sustainability in the products and services that we provide, reducing waste and you can think of it as “going green.” We have a responsibility to our community to be a role model for healthier living, environmental sustainability and stewardship.

So join us on January 13th at 2pm in front of the Cafeteria as we start our journey to becoming healthier and more environmentally sustainable.

2015 Strategic Plan Overview


Happy New Year and welcome to 2015. I’m following up after Russ to talk to you about our 2015 Strategic Plan. Our approach this year was very similar to last year. We are going to focus on the overarching strategic objective of the Triple Aim, and included the voice of the customer which means we queried our Patient and Family Advisory Council members and asked their input on our strategic plan and what they think we do well and what we can improve upon. And this year we’ve gone from seven Pillars down to six and included physicians now in the People Pillar. It’s going to be a focus this year on better deployment and better measurement and focus: fewer objectives and better things that you as an employee can align with. So in our approach, we are going to do better deployment by first of all working with every department in creating a standard vision board. On these vision boards we are going to have key performance indicators that are most important to you and your department and aligns with the strategic plan. So for example, on every vision board we will have patient or customer satisfaction, we’ll have employee engagement and operational measures that are important to your department. That work will kick off in January. And we will be working with every department to create these vision boards.

The next level for deployment of our Strategic Plan will include your performance evaluation process. Again this year we will have everybody choose two goals or create two goals with your manager to show how you can help the organization work on our strategic plan and meet our objectives. To measure our accomplishment of the Strategic Plan, we’ve really focused this year on creating a better strategic scorecard, one that we can update monthly and share broader across the organization. We’re very excited to have you visit our Strategic Plan website under the About Us tab on the Intranet. Under there you will find our 2015 Strategic Plan, we’ll be posting our strategic scorecard monthly and we encourage you to take a look. Next after my session we are going to have all six of the Pillar leads talk to you about their individual Pillars and what’s in those Pillars and what we want to focus on trying to accomplish this year. The addition of having a very focused Strategic Plan has allowed us to do a better job in reaching our annual goals. Just so you know, we reached 53.3% of our annual goals last year and this year we hope to do even better. Thank you.

60 Seconds with Russ: 2015 Strategic Plan


I’m excited to really talk about the next few 60 Seconds. The next few 60 Seconds will really focus on the 2015 Strategic Plan. And like the 2014 Strategic Plan, the overall theme for that plan will be the Triple Aim. And recall what that is: It is lower cost, population health and a great patient experience for which we’ve all been working on for the past year. As we go forward there are a number of things that are in this year’s Strategic Plan that I think are a real addition to our previous efforts around strategic planning. Even though we are having some strategic partnership discussions with Virginia Mason, our foot continues to be on the accelerator in moving this organization forward. So as we go into the 2015 Strategic Plan, there are a few changes. First of all was the process. The process really included many individuals throughout the organization and many groups throughout the organization, so that we could hear what was important to you and so we could also hear what was going on in your areas so that the goals could really help us make sure that it’s inclusive of everyone in the organization. The second part of the Strategic Plan is focus and there’s going to be more focus with this year’s plan and working with your managers you’re going to learn how you can participate in helping us really execute the 2015 Strategic Plan. So what I can say is going forward our VPs will be presenting the Strategic Plan in the next few weeks, stay tuned and we look forward to your participation.

60 Seconds with Russ: Happy Holidays


Hi, my name is Sandy Dahl and I’m part of the exec team and I’m here today to talk to you about our Christmas tradition that we’ve had for many, many years to celebrate employees who are here taking care of patients over the holidays, taking time away from their families and their loved ones to really serve those that we are privileged to serve every single day but particularly on holidays, which may be a sacrifice for you. Traditionally what we’ve done is we’ve come around, the exec team, three times usually at midnight on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning around 8 am and then 4pm on Christmas afternoon. And we try to find and see and meet and greet everybody. We’ve traditionally handed out carnations and this year we’re going to do something a little different, we are going to hand out a special gift to you that’s a little different this year and really it is a gift to us to be able to salute you and to meet and talk with you and get to know you a little bit better and thank you for what you do on these special days but also what you do every single day for our patients.

Thank you for serving our patients and families this holiday season and every day. You make the difference. Thank you!

60 Seconds with Russ: Senior Leadership Rounding


Today I want to talk about Senior Leadership Rounding and on a weekly basis senior leaders go out and round in their areas of responsibility and sometimes I accompany a senior leader. And we schedule at time each Monday at 2pm so many of us go out at that exact same time and some of us go at different times of the week. At any rate, the goal of senior leader rounding is to go out and speak with you and understand what your world is like on a day to day basis and we may come to you with a very specific question or a very specific message and/or we simply want to hear how it’s going for you – what things are working well, what things aren’t working well. One thing I want to talk about though is often we get suggestions and I think what we find is that we’re able to help in many ways as we round but sometimes we are not able to respond immediately. But as issues come up and using your values of Innovation and Stewardship, please feel free to speak with your manager on a day to day basis so that we can all make the necessary changes and continue to improve as an organization, taking the best care we can of our patients.

60 Seconds with Russ: Update – Medical Staff Meeting


This morning at 7am we had the annual medical staff meeting and that’s a time when all medical staff gather in the auditorium and we go through a year’s worth of events as well as an agenda that the medical staff need to vote on. But we also honor and recognize medical staff leaders and this year we were able to honor Dr. Marty Brueggemann who was the individual who served as our medical staff President in the past year. And Marty was clearly one of those servant leaders. Our medical staff leaders, in addition to running very busy practices and very busy lives as physicians also volunteer their time as leaders in a number of different committees and through our medical staff organization. And Dr. Brueggemann served as our medical staff president this year putting in countless hours. He not only did that but he is also a change agent and we will see a number of medical staff changes that really were initiated by Dr. Brueggemann. We also have Dr. Jim Zingerman who was the Vice President this last year will be assuming the Presidency role on January 1st. And Dr. Zingerman, many of you may know, is a family physician out at Selah Family Medicine and he will do a great job as well. And this morning what we’d like to do again is honor all of our medical staff and medical staff leaders as we look to the new future of Memorial and its Family of Services.
During the annual medical staff meeting Dr. Brueggemann initiated an award called the Chief of Staff award and through his own nomination process and his experiences, Dr. Dufault was named the first recipient of the Chief of Staff award. There will be more news on that in the near future.

60 Seconds with Russ: Thanksgiving

It’s been said that if you say only one prayer in your entire life, it should be a prayer of gratitude. So, on behalf of the senior leadership team and the Board of Trustees and our community, we’d like to express our gratitude for everything that you have done in taking care of our patients and families in our community. And particularly for those of you who are working on Thanksgiving we really want to express our gratitude to you for taking time out of what’s probably a significant commitment away from your family. So again, thank you very much. And we hope you have a great Thanksgiving and a great celebration this weekend.


60 Seconds with Russ: Healthcare Heroes


Russ: Each week I am blessed and honored to hear stories of the things that we do for patients and families. And I know that that happens not once or twice a week but often hundreds of times a week. So today I want to talk about a program called Healthcare Heroes that seeks to recognize the great work that we are doing inside Memorial. So today I want to introduce Joel Buffum and Noi Kinley. Joel is the coordinator for Healthcare Heroes and Noi is a recent recipient of Healthcare Heroes. And this is the t-shirt that Noi recently received in front of her peers and now she’ll be recognized in various publications as well as a poster outside of the Memorial Café.

Joel: Noi was recommended by one of her peers, a coworker in another department. We reviewed her recommendation and noticed that she had many of the values believe in as part of Memorial. We unanimously decided that she should be a Healthcare Hero. We planned a time with her manager on when we could recognize her and we brought a large group of people to celebrate all the great things she’s done and give her a Healthcare Hero t-shirt.

Joel: Noi, what was it like being recognized as a Healthcare Hero.

Noi: I was very, very surprised. I’m so thankful for the staff on the 5th floor and my department. They are very nice to me.

Joel: The Healthcare Hero nomination form is available on the Intranet and we’d love to have more people involved in Healthcare Heroes. If you’re interested in being involved, send me an email.

60 Seconds with Russ: Thank You to Our Veterans


Over the last several weeks and past few months, I’ve talked about the many changes that are coming and occurring in healthcare and how those will effect Memorial and how we are preparing for it.  But today I’d like to take a little bit of a different approach and what I’d like to do is talk about and reflect on what’s going on around the world and then give some perspective on just how fortunate we are in our country, in Yakima, and at Memorial to lead the life that we lead.


What we need to appreciate are the veterans, today on Veterans Day, who have served this country.  Veterans in Yakima, veterans in the United States, veterans in the State of Washington, but particularly what I want to do today is appreciate our veterans who are working at Memorial.  You have given of your time, of your energies, and of yourself in ways that we can’t imagine.  So, all of us, on behalf of the senior leadership team and the leadership at Memorial, want to thank you for everything that you have done.

60 Seconds with Russ: United Way Campaign


Russ:  Inspiring people to thrive, inspiring our community to thrive . . . Like Operation Harvest where many of you participated and donated food to inspire those who have difficulty in providing for their families, we also partner with United Way to inspire our community to thrive.  Last year, as an organization, we donated over $63,000 to United Way and this year our goal is $75,000.  As part of our presentation today, I’d like to introduce Dottie Hildebrand.  Dottie is our United Way loaned executive, who works with United Way and other organizations to further the United Way message to many businesses in this community.

Meet Dottie Hildebrand, our United Way loaned executive.  Dottie, what organizations are you working with in Yakima County?

Dottie:  For the United Way campaign, I’m working with Cascade Natural Gas, Helliesen Lumber, Terryl, Wilke & Lewis insurance company and Columbia Reach.  And what I’m doing with them is I meet with their CEO and he or she lets me know what their game plan is for employee giving for their company and typically I then put together a presentation, pull in a special speaker from one of the organizations that United Way donations will support, like Rod’s House or the YWCA.

Where do our dollars go?

Dottie:  Three main issues for the United Way that our dollars would go to:

  • Financial stability & independence
  • Healthy individuals (health care)
  • Education for our youth so that they can reach their full potential

Russ:  For the Memorial United Way campaign, what do our employees need to know?

Dottie:  Well, after we turn in our pledge cards—which I’ve done mine, hope you’ve done yours.

Russ:  I’ve done mine.

Dottie:  Ok, great.  Then between now and November 21st they’ll be entered into drawings and the earlier you get your pledge cards in, the more times you can be put into that drawing.  And there’s 3 gifts that they’re giving out:  an iPad, a FitBit (already awarded),  and some Memorial gift cards.  And these pledge cards can be turned in to Human Resources.

If you have questions about the campaign, please ask your manager or Henri in HR.

60 Seconds with Russ: Strategic Partnership Update


So, I’m excited to announce that the two boards, Yakima Valley Memorial Family of Services and Virginia Mason Health Systems, have come to an agreement that allows us to move to the next step in the development of a strategic partnership with Virginia Mason Health Systems.  The agreement allows us to move forward in three phases:

  • The first one is something called due diligence.  So, due diligence is a very close look at all the operations of two operations, including our financials, including all of our human resources records, as well as benefits and some of those details.
  • The second element is really us moving together as it relates to business planning.  So how are we going to work together to create the synergy and to better serve this community.
  • And the third element of this is how are the two organizations actually going to start coming closer together.

Learn more at I’M IN!

Starting later on this week, we are going to be having our quarterly I’M IN sessions and this will be an opportunity for me to discuss with you a few more items that relate to our agreements moving forward with Virginia Mason.  And as always in the I’M IN sessions, I’ll be accompanied by senior leader team members and we will be open for other questions if you have those.  And then, as always with I’M IN, there is going to be a little bit of fun.  Please come and join us.

The I’M IN schedule is at the top of the intranet.

60 Seconds with Russ: 2014 Employee Survey Results


Russ: So, today we want to talk about the results of our Employee Engagement Survey. And those results were presented to us almost a week ago and I have to tell you the Engagement Survey results came back and they are very exciting and they are very informative. First of all, I want to thank all of you who participated. So, over 63% of our staff, and our goal was 65%, sent in a survey and I know it takes time and I appreciate that. The survey told us a lot of important items and a lot of things for us to work on. And recall, our purpose is to inspire people to thrive and that is our job as an organization, to work with each other to provide a teamwork atmosphere so that we’re all working towards Memorial’s goals. And an engagement survey really helps us do that. It ties back to our Strategic Plan where we will be putting elements of the Strategic Plan in place that are a result of the survey, as well as the performance reviews which you all will be a part of in the next few months. So, today I’m going to ask Jolene Seda, our Vice President of People and Culture, to tell you a little bit about what’s in the survey and what our next steps are.

Jolene: I want to take a moment to thank everybody for participating in our most recent Employee Engagement Survey that was administered by Press Ganey. Last year was our first year and our participation rate was 46 percent. This year we increased that participation rate to 63 percent.

Our score was 4.13 out of 5 which is a good score. More importantly, our Action Readiness Score was 82 out of 100 and this tells us that we are ready to navigate the changes in healthcare.

So, our next steps: Managers and senior leaders are going to be coming around with a summary of the survey, talking to you about how we can build upon our strengths and put plans in place to address some opportunities for improvement.

Learn more by reading Jolene’s Notepad blog on the intranet.

This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Guess Who’s Coming To Memorial?


Hello, my name is Laura Kinney.  I’m the Vice President of Strategy & Excellence, and by excellence we’re talking about customer service, we’re talking about Lean Q+, and very excitedly, we’re talking about our Journey to Performance Excellence or Baldrige.  And I’m happy to announce that we’ll be receiving a Baldrige-based site visit.

So what does a site visit mean?  This is an exciting opportunity that we are very thrilled to have.  What this means is that the week of October 27, specifically the 27th, 28th & 29th, we will be hosting 11 examiners from the State of California to do what’s called our Baldrige site visit.  Back in July, we submitted an application that you can find on the intranet and it is, in 55 pages, a summary of what we do in our organization.  It’s based on the Baldrige criteria, so there are very specific questions we have to answer, and since July these 11 examiners have been reviewing our application and coming to consensus on the things we do well, strengths, and our opportunities for improvement, things that we might want to take a look at doing a bit better.  So, now they’re going to come on site and verify our strengths and clarify our opportunities for improvement.

This is not like Joint Commission, it’s not like Department of Health, it has nothing to do with accreditation.  This is all about us telling our story about the processes we use and the results that we achieve.  And so we’re very thrilled and we want everyone to feel comfortable.  There will be examiners that go around our entire organization—the Family of Services has applied as an overarching entity—they’ll go to Memorial Physicians, they’ll go to Signal Health, they’ll go to the Foundation, they’ll cover different shifts.  And they will always be hosted by someone from Memorial and just answer their questions honestly and “I don’t know” is an ok answer because that’s when we find out what our opportunities for improvement are.

This is a great opportunity:  from this we’ll get their feedback report in a month or so and it will tell us, again, what we do well and what we might need to improve upon.  And then we’ll take that feedback and put it into our Strategic Planning process to help us focus next year our efforts.

And we’re going to talk with Allison Arnett about our Baldrige site visit and what you can do to prepare.

Laura:  So, Allison, let’s pretend I’m a Baldrige examiner and I just found you in the hallway and I want to ask you a question:  Hi, my name is Laura Kinney and I’m from the CAPE program in California and I’d like to ask you a couple of questions. So, Allison, can you tell me how do you know that you are helping the organization reach their strategic objectives?

Allison:  Ok, so last year we introduced a standard process for our annual performance evaluation.  I worked with my manager and was asked to come up with two goals that directly relate to our strategic pillars and I’ve been making progress on those over the last year.

Laura:  So, Allison, can I ask you another question?

Allison:  Sure.

Laura:  Can you give me some examples of how Senior Leaders communicate with staff?

Allison:  Sure.  We’ve got I’M IN employee forums that occur quarterly; we’ve got MEMO, the all-user email that goes out weekly; we’ve got Notepad blog and, of course, this video, 60 Seconds with Russ.

Laura:  Well, thank you!

Learn more about preparing for the Baldrige site visit on the intranet.


This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Physician Awards


Hi. I’m Russ Myers. Today: news, stories and more on 60 Seconds.

So, two weeks ago, we held an event where we had an opportunity to recognize and reward physicians. And it’s really the first time since I’ve been here at Memorial where we’ve really had an opportunity to do that.

The process was this: A number of nomination boxes were put throughout the organizations and what we asked were for a couple of things. One is, “What clinics among our Memorial Physicians clinics have the best customer service?” The second element was, “What physicians, in their behaviors every day, best signify and epitomize our values at Memorial?”

There were over 300 nominations submitted, individual nominations. And then a committee of physicians and staff and Memorial Physicians leadership got together and determined who those winners were.

The winners were quite amazing, quite frankly.

The top winner, or what we’ll call the champion winner, was Dr. Gabe Lascar. And when Dr. Lascar got up and accepted his award, the thing he said was, “Well, it’s not just me. It’s all about my team. That’s what makes me successful.”

Other winners had the same sort of thinking.

Those other winners were Dr. Patrick Waber, Dr. Sean Cleary and Dr. Michael Chang. They all were amazing and gracious in accepting these awards.

And then finally, we had two winners in customer service, as determined by patient surveys. Those two winners were the clinics themselves along with the physicians. They were Selah Family Medicine, as well as Yakima Endocrinology.

These individuals will be recognized in a number of different ways over the next several weeks. I hope you’ll take some time, if you see these individuals or see members of these teams, to congratulate them.
This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Generosity In Action


Russ Myers: So why are we here? What is our most fundamental purpose? What do we believe?

What we believe is that we are here as an organization to inspire our community, to inspire people to thrive. That is the fundamental reason we are here. Yes, we deliver health care. Yes, we do it in a quality and safe way. But the fundamental reason we’re here is to really be here for our community.

And a good way for us to do that, and a good way for us to express that, is through our participation in something I talked about a couple of weeks ago called Operation Harvest. Throughout the organization, we have put food collection bins, and we’ve publicized in a fairly broad way, when Operation Harvest occurs and what you can do as individuals to really participate in Operation Harvest.

So I want to introduce a couple of individuals who have provided an incredible leadership opportunity in surgery. They are Nanette Wilcox and Nicole Robillard. They are assistant nurse managers in Surgery and they have begun an effort to really help collect food for our organization that we will then donate to Operation Harvest. Stay tuned…it’s a great effort.

Nanette Wilcox: Hi. My name is Nanette Wilcox, and this is Nicole Robillard. We are assistant managers here in Surgical Services. We were sitting at Shared Governance at the beginning of the month thinking about team-building, things we could do within our department, and the first thing that came up was – and to kick it off for the holiday season – was Operation Harvest.

We started by splitting up our teams within Surgical Services – Team Operation and Team Harvest. We made boxes and delivered them to each of the departments with flyers, and we then have just been going around motivating the teams.

Nicole Robillard: We started at zero. Last week, we were in the 130s, and now we’re almost to 300. Our goal is to get to the 500 mark. We’ve made it to 600 as a total team, but the teams are now competing to see who will win.

Nanette Wilcox: We just challenge the hospital. We only have this week left to bring food in. We have the big bin right by the cafeteria. Our goal in Surgical Services is to have that full for pickup at the weekend. That would be an impressive statement, I think, to our community to be able to do that.

And our motto here, during Operation Harvest, has been, Nicole…

Nicole Robillard: We have a motto for Surgical Services, and that’s, “Saving lives 24-7.” Our motto for Operation Harvest is, “Saving lives, one life at a time – not just hearts and lungs, but tummies too.”

This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Foundation Allocations 2015


Russ:  Memorial Family of Services is very, very fortunate to have a partner such as the Memorial Foundation who helps us each year and every year achieve our Mission, Vision and Values and our Purpose.  And in working with the Memorial Foundation, you too  have become very involved in the Foundation and that is this year in the Employee Giving Campaign where over $90, 000, you raised either personally and/or as individuals giving to the Memorial Foundation.  So, here today I have Anne Caffery who is the CEO of the Memorial Foundation  and she’s going to talk more about a process that happens each year where we recognize programs at Memorial that are partnering with our Foundation.

Anne:  Thank you, Russ.  This is one of my favorite days.  It’s the day when the board of the Memorial Foundation gets together later this afternoon and hopefully approve all of the recommendations that come to them from the employees at Memorial.  All through the year, key leaders, managers, people within departments think about the ways they can improve services, they can enhance the way we serve, they can push forward our strategic plan, and they do so with these inspiring proposals.  I read them and I’m amazed.  And then comes the day and we’re able today to approve over $2.2 million in gifts that come from the community and as you have said from the employees to fund these extraordinary advances, these programs, these new ideas, these innovations.  And those start at the beginning of the fiscal year, those dollars become a part of next year’s budget and enhance everything we do.  It’s a day to celebrate!  So, thank you.

Russ:  And each year it gets better and better.  The partnerships get better and the funding that becomes available for the programs at Memorial just continues to increase and we thank you very much for helping us be a part of that important partnership.

Children’s Initiative

Children’s Village $572,873
Early Learning Center $5,000
NICU/Pediatrics – Oxford Collaborative and Simulation Lab/Training Center $139,000

Cancer Care Initiative

North Star Lodge $202,400
Mammography Scholarships $15,000

End of Life Initiative

End of Life Continuum of Care $225,000
End of Life – Hispanic/Latino Cultural Outreach $8,000

Healthy Yakima Initiative

ACT! Childhood Obesity Program $15,000
After Baby Comes Program $30,000
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Conference Sponsorship $10,000
Breastfeeding Support Group $5,000
Community Education $165,000
Family Birthplace – Period of Purple Crying $6,000
Infant Mortality Planning Collaborative $18,800
Memorial Employee Education $20,000
Memorial Employee Tuition Reimbursement $294,286
Nursing Staff Services – Clinical Education Redesign $30,000
Physicians CME Conference Speaker $2,000
Psychiatric Unit – Medical/Psych Education Material $500
Resolve Through Sharing $12,000
SPARK Grants – Memorial Employee Grants Program $15,000
Spiritual Care $19,500
Technology $80,300
Women’s Health Program $50,000
YouthWorks $10,000
Garden Village $5,489
Parkinson’s Support Group $5,663
TOTAL ALLOCATIONS FOR FY 2014/2015 $2,200,135


This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Operation Harvest


Operation Harvest

Russ:  At Memorial, our highest purpose as an organization is to inspire people to thrive.  Not just to treat sick people and people who have illnesses in our emergency room, in our clinics and in our hospital, but to really be part of the community and to help them thrive in this community.  One of the ways we can do that is to be involved in significant community events and this year we have chosen to participate in something called Operation Harvest.

Two ways to participate:

Operation Harvest is sponsored by Downtown Rotary and each year on October 4th, teams of individuals in pick-up trucks and Suburbans and all sorts of vehicles, go around the community and pick up food that is left on people’s front porches.  And if you as an individual wish to participate, please put a bag of groceries or a box of food on your front porch and somebody from Rotary will come by and pick it up.  But also we have an opportunity at Memorial.  We have put food bins around through the Family of Services and through Friday, October 3rd, you have an opportunity to put food in those bins to really help participate in Operation Harvest.  So, what I’d like to do is introduce Bertha Lopez.  Bertha is our Community Health Director and Bertha is going to talk about why events such as Operation Harvest are so important and why at Memorial it’s so important for us to participate in a significant community event that is something beyond treating illness and treating those who are sick.

Bertha: Good nutrition and access to nutritious foods is key for a thriving and vital community.  Even though Yakima is one of the Nation’s most agriculturally productive regions, 15% of households still struggle to put food on the table.  With 2,500 employees we can donate a lot of HEALTHY food.  Healthy foods could include:

  • Fruits canned in water
  • Whole grain pastas and crackers
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables & beans
  • Nuts
  • Canned tuna in water
  • Dried fruit

Submit a photo of you and your co-workers with some of the food you’ve donated and email to content@yvmh.org.  Photos will be shared internally and with our community via social media.

This week on 60 Seconds with Russ: Welcoming Kevin Sweeny, MD, our new Chief Medical Officer


Welcoming Kevin Sweeny, MD

Russ:  Today I’d like to introduce a new member of our Senior Leadership Team, his name is Kevin Sweeny.  And Kevin started Monday as our Chief Medical Officer.  And you’ll recall in various blogs and other communications, this is a position we’ve decided to bring on board this fall.  Kevin comes to us from Spokane, WA, where he has an incredible background working in outpatient care, as well as also being a Chief Medical Officer for Sacred Heart Medical Center.  He brings to us energy, he brings to us passion and he brings to us expertise and a great outside perspective.  So please join me in welcoming Kevin Sweeny.

Kevin:  Thanks, Russ, for the great introduction.  I feel very, very lucky to be a part of the Memorial family and I’m looking forward to growing as part of the Memorial leadership team.  And it’s just nice to be in the Yakima region.  I’ve moved in and feel very welcome here.  So, I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in the Memorial family and look forward to a very exciting future.

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