Now, I work for GHS and will attend my first summit Saturday, April 13 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the BI-LO Center (register here). I’ll not only be there, but I’m seeing the behind-the-scenes work that is involved with making the summit a really special event.
Seven years ago, the first summit drew 500 people at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Simpsonville. The event has kept growing and attracted nearly 5,000 people at the BI-LO Center last year.
The community has embraced this event.
Last week, more than 100 community leaders were invited to a lunch offering an overview of this year’s summit, which will focus on obesity and include BMI screenings. The speakers include Dr. Benjamin Carson, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon; Cullen Jones, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer; and Dr. Ann Kulze, a best-selling author and nutrition expert.
One of GHS’ representatives told the lunch crowd that the summit isn’t a GHS event. She said, it’s a community event. That’s a perfect description.
People left the lunch with armloads of fliers to distribute across the community. They also expressed a sense of ownership in the event. When Dr. Thaddeus Bell, a Lowcountry physician known for his colorful delivery, was introduced, a man at my table offered his approval by saying, “Oh, he’s good. He tells it like it is.”
Several people raised their hands when asked if they’d attended the event in the past, too.
The summit not only attracts thousands of people, but it brings 50 community partners together that serve as resources for information, screening and the ability to pair attendees with a medical home.
I’ve been told that last week’s lunch was the largest announcing the summit in its seven years. People seemed eager to attend the event and to bring others to get information. In fact, a few churches began calling the event’s organizer last month asking for information about the summit.
The community has responded by attending the event in record numbers and by assisting us in spreading the word.
I’m looking forward to being part of this event that’s become an Upstate institution.
Greenville Hospital System’s vision is to “Transform health care for the benefit of the people and communities we serve.” I hear often that to have the word transform in our mission statement is bold, lofty, scary, brazen … you get the idea. My question is, “Are we transforming health care, and if so, how?”
First, what does transform mean? To totally change? To improve drastically? According to dictionary.com, it simply is: 1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose. 2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert. To be honest, these aren’t as dramatic as I interpret the word, but I’m not an English scholar either.
A mission statement is something that an organization strives towards. However, I believe GHS is already transforming health care here in the upstate and has been referred to as a “model of change” by others in the industry. But, as the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”
Pudding? You take the taste test.
Whether we are healing compassionately through our care managers, teaching innovatively at the medical school or improving constantly by using research to provide individualized cancer care, we are transforming how health care is delivered for the patients and communities we serve.
There are so many reasons to love Greenville, and this week I got two more. The first is the bike-share program that was announced on Tuesday. Through a partnership between GHS and Upstate Forever, plus additional funding from Greenville Transit Authority and Greenville County Recreation District, residents will soon have an inexpensive alternative to driving cars around town!
The bike-share program, called Greenville B-Cycle, will also help reduce environmental pollution and encourage physical activity. The physical activity part is what we at GHS love best about it. Plus, it’s affordable! Daily, weekly and annual membership plans will be available, and the first 60 minutes of every ride will be free for members. The program officially launches in spring 2013, but you can learn more about it now at www.ghs.org/newsroom.
My second new reason to love Greenville is what is happening on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail! On Monday, I heard about the new Swamp Rabbit Station, which is located near where the trail meets Sulpher Springs Road. This beautifully landscaped pocket park will act as a resting spot for trail users and feature a historic railroad car. It will also include space for seating, bike racks and a water fountain. The space is gorgeous, and the effort is being led by Leadership Greenville Class 39 in partnership with the Greenville County Recreation District.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Swamp Rabbit Station is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. This would be a great time to check out what they have planned, or you can visit the Swamp Rabbit Station’s Facebook page now for a sneak peek!
Many of you know I was in the Marine Corps, what many of you may not know is where the Marine Corps started. The Marine Corps Birthday is 10 November 1775. Since that time and even in modern times, Marines gather to celebrate the birth of the Corps. So, where was the delivery room? It was in a Bar. The Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Perhaps an auspicious start to what many consider, especially Marines, the best fighting force in history.
So, with the premise that good things can happen at drinking establishments and with a little exaggeration on my part, let me tell you what will be happening at a modern day Tun Tavern. This Friday evening we will be having a Nurse Anesthesia Graduation Party at Larkin’s Sawmill.
When it comes to Academics in Greenville, much has happened these last 100 years and in particular, the last couple of years. A lot of energy and excitement has been generated about the USC School of Medicine Greenville and our first class is on track to arrive this summer. But, there is this is small group that is making history now.
Here is what Richard Wilson, the Nurse Anesthesia Program Coordinator let me know: Prior to January 2010, we were an affiliated site for the USC Nurse Anesthesia Program. In January 2010, we became a primary training site for the USC Nurse Anesthesia Program as part of a workforce development project and to strengthen our collaboration with USC. The Nurse Anesthesia Program, on the GHS campus, is the first program where the students complete their entire training – classroom and clinical – at GHS.
This year 5 students graduated from the program and 3 of them will come work for GHS. Why I love this story is that we not only address clinical needs for our hospital, but we train nurses, therapists and physicians that help other hospitals in the state and the region.
The Marine Corps Motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), perhaps when I drop by this Friday I will toast the Graduates with Semper Primus (Always First).
Periodically, we get reviewed by the various rating agencies – Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch and, appropriately, they want to know who is in charge. I thought you may want to see some of the senior leaders at GHS as well as read what we think we are about from a management perspective. I think this is a talented group of leaders – the best I have worked with.
The following is part of the write up we submitted to the Agencies.
The President of the Greenville Hospital System, as the Chief Executive Officer responsible to the Board, has been delegated the authority by the Board to organize, manage, direct, plan, coordinate and implement all activities, services and programs of the System.
Management of the System is provided principally using a team based approach consisting of clinical and administrative leadership. The System is committed to being a physician led organization, with the overall senior physician leadership as well as the Chairs of the various clinical departments having an active voice and role in the establishment of strategic direction and operational decisions. Three Councils have been established which provide strategic and operational leadership and resource prioritization direction. Membership on the Councils varies with each having a strong contingency of clinical, academic and administrative executives. The following is information concerning the President and Chief Executive Officer and certain other management personnel of the System:
MICHAEL C. RIORDAN (53), President and Chief Executive Officer, joined the System in 2006. Prior to joining the System, he served as president, CEO and trustee of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator and then COO of Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant. Riordan currently serves as an assembly representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges and is on the administrative board of the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems. He is chairman of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and serves on the governing boards for Health Sciences South Carolina and, as of July, Furman University. In addition, he is on the advisory board for Clemson University’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics. Riordan earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/English and a master’s degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master’s degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
JERRY R. YOUKEY, M.D. (64), Executive Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs and Dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville. Prior to joining the System, Dr. Youkey served as Chief, Department of Surgery, and Director, Peripheral Vascular Fellowship program, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Youkey earned a medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. He served a rotating internship and general surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas and a fellowship in peripheral vascular surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Youkey served 11 years in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in August 1984 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corps. Dr. Youkey is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general vascular surgery. He is a member of numerous professional societies and is widely published in his specialty field of general vascular surgery, having authored books, abstracts and journal articles. Dr. Youkey holds the academic appointment of Professor and Dean at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville.
GREGORY J. RUSNAK (51), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, joined the System in 1996. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Rusnak held senior executive level positions with Sutter Health, a major health system serving Northern California. Before that, Mr. Rusnak was a hospital administrator with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Mr. Rusnak earned a master in health services administration degree from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Member of the South Carolina Hospital Association.
SPENCE M. TAYLOR, M.D. (54), Vice President for Academics and UMG Executive Medical Director joined the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) in 1992. He was named Chairman and Program Director in 1998. He stepped down as Surgery Chair in June 2010 to chair the LCME Institutional Self-Study Task Force and to edit and co-author the documents supporting the Preliminary Accreditation of the USC School of Medicine-Greenville. Dr. Taylor is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery, general vascular surgery, and is a registered vascular technologist. He is a member of most major surgical organizations and has held offices in several. He is a Director on the American Board of Surgery. He has authored numerous book chapters, abstracts, and journal articles. In addition, he holds the academic appointment of professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Clemson University and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. He did his internship and general surgery residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and a residency in peripheral vascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
ANGELO SINOPOLI, M.D. (56), Vice President for Clinical Integration and Chief Medical Officer, joined Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) first as a resident in 1982. After completing his residency here in 1985 he returned in 1987 as a member of the Pulmonary Critical Care faculty. Dr. Sinopoli is Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He is a member of several professional societies, has authored numerous abstracts and journal articles, and presented at multiple conferences. He holds a professorship position at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine. He has earned several teaching awards from the Medical School. Dr. Sinopoli earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. Following his internship at GHS, he completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
MALCOLM W. ISLEY (48), Vice President, Physician and Strategic Services, joined the System in 2007. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Isley was at Duke University Health System where he was the executive responsible for business and network development for hospital and physician services. Mr. Isley earned a master in health administration degree from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and a bachelor of arts degree from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
JOSEPH J. BLAKE JR. (62), Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, joined the System in 2007. Prior to joining the System, Mr. Blake was a shareholder and former managing director of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., a law firm located in South Carolina. Mr. Blake earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia and a juris doctorate from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar and the American Health Lawyers Association.
TERRI T. NEWSOM (47), Vice President Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, joined the System in March 2011. Prior to joining System, she was the Associate Vice President for Ambulatory Care Finance at Duke University Health System and the Divisional Chief Financial Officer of Duke Raleigh Hospital. Newsom has been involved in healthcare since 1991 when she joined Duke University Hospital as a senior budget & financial analysis analyst. While at Duke, she served on the boards of community and civic organizations and was also a member of the North Carolina Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Appalachian State University and is a certified public accountant.
By Michelle Taylor-Smith, RN BSN MSN NE-BC FACHE
GHS Chief Nursing Officer
Three million nurses in the United States join in celebration and recommitment to our profession and the care of patients and families in a myriad of venues this week, which is National Nurses Week. One of many unique characteristics of the profession of nursing is the diversity in which we may practice —hospital bedside, classroom, clinics, shelters, in the community, churches, schools, mission… and the list goes on and on!
As the chief nursing officer at Greenville Hospital System, I am proud to be part of such a noble profession.
In nursing, there is never cause to be bored. But certainly cause to pause and be thankful for the opportunity to serve. To be thankful for the opportunity of choice. To be thankful for the opportunity to be an active participant in a profession more than 150 years old.To be thankful for the opportunity to partner with our physicians in the care of human life across the lifespan!
There is so much change in our immediate environment and overall healthcare landscape today. Patient complexities, technology, research, resources, legislation, workforce challenges and overall healthcare access are just a few of the priority issues that could potentially impact the way we provide care to our patients.
One key mission for us as nurses is to foster healing and represent hope in whatever setting that we are present. On the clock … or off!
As Florence Nightingale, our founder of nursing as a modern profession, so well articulated:
Be Proud. Go Forth and Serve, Re-Commit to Professional Excellence via Life-Long Learning, Evidence-Based Practice and Research, and Remember that “Nursing is the Finest of Arts.”
Every 90 days since I have been at GHS we have done Town Hall Meetings. Time has gone quickly and we are about to begin the 23rd series of quarterly Town Hall Meetings.
This is one of our routine methods for connecting with front-line staff. The meetings allow me, along with our Campus Presidents, the opportunity to communicate progress on organizational goals and to provide updates on other topics of general interest to employees. My sense is the broader community may like to see and hear what is going on.
This quarter, we are highlighting:
(1) Progress on reviewing our values statement;
(2) Results of our 2012 Employee survey; and
(3) Other system-level goal updates
Below is a copy of the PowerPoint slides that will be presented at the Town Hall. If you cannot see the presentation, CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the presentation.
Also, below is a video of this quarter’s GHS 360 News – the video update of news around the system connected to our six Pillars of Excellence.
If you cannot view this video above, CLICK HERE to open the YouTube video.
We’ve just launched our annual employee opinion survey. This is the sixth consecutive year that we’ve reached out to all our staff to tell us what they think about working at GHS. Recently, in my monthly letter to staff (The Riordan Report) that is published in our employee newsletter, I talked about the importance we place on this annual survey.
2012 Employee Opinion Survey
The February Riordan Report is one of my favorites. That’s because I get to talk about our annual employee opinion survey and to encourage all employees and physicians to participate in this important annual event. To me, the survey offers a great example of how we can connect to our values through our mission. The employee opinion survey allows us to measure what we value (e.g., honesty, integrity, trust) and it’s through regular and consistent measurement that we’re able to identify opportunities for improvement and to track our progress.
This year’s survey will take place from March 5th through March 19th. As in the past, all surveys will be completed on-line via the internet. Using an on-line process saves lots of paper and helps tabulate the results more rapidly. We’ll also continue the practice established three years ago of using a unique identification code to log in and take the survey. As always, all survey data is collected and maintained by our external vendor and individual survey results are completely confidential. Using the unique identification codes improves accuracy of departmental and demographic information and helps streamline the survey process. Since we’ve introduced these two features, our participation rate has continued to be strong, turn-around time for results has decreased, and we’ve “gone green” by not wasting paper on a printed survey.
This year we’ll be asking some new questions about how well some of our Commitment to Excellence practices are being implemented throughout the system and we’ve added an open ended question to solicit your feedback about improving communications between different levels of the organization. We’ll also be asking targeted questions to nursing professionals in support of our interest in Magnet recognition. Finally, we’ll continue to include employed and highly aligned physicians in the survey group to ensure that we provide physician leaders with the same type of information that other leaders throughout the system have about their work teams.
Your opinions about working at GHS are worth sharing. In recent years we’ve used the survey results to help guide decisions about many topics ranging from employee benefits to work environment, communications strategies and even leadership development needs to give just a few examples. The cover article of this issue of The View offers an array of examples of how we’ve been integrating employee feedback into plans and actions.
I’ve been talking about the coming survey at this quarter’s Town Hall Meetings and I have encouraged your managers to review initiatives related to your department’s 2011 results with you at staff meetings this month. I plan to circle back and report our 2012 results at the May Town Halls.
I hope you’ll plan to participate in this year’s survey. Your opinions are worth sharing. We want to hear from you.
Michael C. Riordan
President and CEO
Please welcome guest blogger, Bobby Rettew. Bobby has been a consultant with the marketing & communications department for a few years. Being the award winning story teller he is, we recently asked if he would work with us to tell the stories inside our walls as a way to celebrate GHS’ centennial throughout 2012.
You will not only have the pleasure of watching these stories unfold via video, but also learn from Bobby about his experiences while capturing these amazing stories. So, it is my pleasure to introduce Bobby Rettew.
GHS Documentary Project
by Bobby Rettew
There are so many wonderful stories inside the walls of GHS, and the walls of GHS are growing and growing everyday. For five years, I have been working with GHS, using media to share stories and information. The GHS Stories Project has been something that has been cultivating in my mind for a few years.
My mother has worked for GHS since 1990 and has served so many roles as a nurse. She started as an RN/BSN in the operating room and ever since then, she has passionately served GHS. She is now a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department and everyday when I talk to her, she tells me another story of the amazing things that are happening at GHS. I wanted to start telling those stories.
As a part of the Centennial Celebration, GHS asked me to help find and capture six stories over the next year. These stories are more than just amazing… they are stories with layers. These layers are woven together, told through the eyes and ears of those who experienced the story from their perspective. As a former journalist, I found this was the best way to tell stories…let them come from the perspective of those who live and breathe their experience, their story, their layers. GHS just happened to be one of the many layers.
Our first story surrounds an event that happened to an attorney in Seneca, SC. Many people know Mr. Johnny Fields as the former Mayor of Seneca. Many people know Mr. Fields as their attorney. But most of all, people know Mr. Fields as their friend. I met Mr. Fields many years ago while in high school. I have to admit, I had a high school crush on his daughter, Nina.
When I first met Mr. Fields, I was immediately struck by his persona as a true southern gentleman. Many years later when we had lunch to talk about this project, that southern appeal resonated through his description of the events that happened to him late one night.
The overriding theme stood out to me during our lunch conversation…he described this event as a symphony. How one can describe having a heart attack as a symphony was beyond me. But this story, this symphonic moment in time, saved his life. This symphony defines the regional breadth of the GHS footprint.
Mr. Fields gave a wonderful and tremendous interview. I remember thinking during our conversation how well he articulates his thoughts. He is the type of interview we journalists/documentary storytellers love to find…ones that can articulate their ideas on camera not only as complete bookended thoughts, but with such descriptive adjectives. But his perspective is only a small portion of this story and I can not wait to share the whole video.
We will be sharing Mr. Fields’ story on GHS’s Centennial Website (ghs.org/100years) under Centennial Stories. I hope you check back in a few days. I am truly excited to share Mr. Fields’ story…it is truly amazing. There are also many other stories being shared, so spend some time poking around ghs.org/100years — this is just one of many that will be shared over the next year.
This was a big week! On Tuesday, Cancer Centers of the Carolinas (CCC) announced it is integrating with GHS. This integration is a huge benefit to cancer patients in that they will have greater access to clinical services, support programs and clinical research. This move also positions GHS and CCC to develop a regional cancer center of excellence, ultimately making Greenville a destination for cancer patients throughout the Southeast.
The patient impact, though, is what matters most. I spoke with patient Sandy Fehrman this week and she shared with me what this integration means to her. Sandy is a breast cancer survivor. She is also someone who can be optimistic no matter what life throws at her. And life has definitely thrown her a curveball or two.
Sandy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. After an 11-year remission, she learned the cancer had metastasized to her lungs, liver and bones, and that it was incurable. She came to GHS for treatment and was prescribed a plan that combined a drug designed to treat breast cancer with another drug usually used to treat renal cell cancer. The combination worked and took her from “incurable” to “manageable.” Sandy’s improved condition was no doubt a result of her positive attitude, but it also had a lot to do with a group of forward-thinking physicians who are committed to transforming and personalizing cancer treatment.
These forward-thinking physicians will soon be one family and will be delivering cancer care in a way that is personalized to each patient. With these two forces joined together, I can only imagine how many more Sandy Fehrman’s we can treat and help go from “incurable” to “manageable” or even “cured.”
Here’s a brief video of Sandy Fehrman sharing her experience in her own words. What are your thoughts on the integration?