Monday, January 18, 2010

Controlling Your Destiny

Last week I attended Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn’s State of the City Address. Mayor Dunn spoke of the challenges the city of Leawood faced in 2009. While the City was 3% down in revenues, they controlled their destiny and managed expenses to match the revenue drop. They held their Board Rating through Moody’s which is only held by two cities in Kansas.

Mayor Dunn also oversaw the development of Gezer Park, built to honor Leawood’s sister city relationship with the Gezer Region of Israel, which was established in September, 2003. Gezer is located about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in an area that is rich in agriculture, quite similar to Kansas. The unique park reflects the contours of the State of Israel, with the Sea of Galilee on one end and the Dead Sea on the other – connected by a 700’ stone wadi that will carry water from the west to east end of the park.

The sculpture above entitled Avanim Vetseiadim (Stones and Steps) by internationally renowned artist Ilan Averbuch is a focal point of Gezer park. The sculpture resembles a ladder, a tool that is reproduced in nature, but also a metaphor for a route to overcome obstacles, a method of controlling one’s destiny.

As we embark on the first days of 2010, no doubt many of us have made resolutions for the new year. Whether it is a focus on our health, family or career, we look to our resolutions as guides or “ladders” to climb to the next goal in our lives.

I want to share some feedback from the most recent town hall meetings at St. Joseph Medical Center. Though it was obviously geared towards our hospital, it can apply to any of our business:

I encouraged associates to add one more resolution to their list of goals: determine how you can control your destiny and our destiny here at St. Joseph Medical Center & Carondelet Health. After all, St. Joseph Medical Center is our hospital. Our commitment and ownership of our destiny will ensure our long term success - through both the good and the challenging times.

What role do you play in bringing about the changes and/or successes you would like to see in our organization?

We all want to see St. Joseph Medical Center continue to succeed and it is up to each and every one of us to make sure it happens. Perhaps you would like to see our Net Promoter Scores increase, or a consistently full census or a process improvement in a particular area. It starts with trusting and looking after each other which, in turn, impacts how we look after the patients and families we serve.

Now ask yourself: How will I help ? What three things will I do to make this a reality?

We are striving toward ensuring the best patient experience. Every individual effort we make to provide the highest quality care and services will add up to 2010 being another successful year.

I look forward to hearing about your "ladders" to success.

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