Archive for November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

To all McLeod Staff

Let me give you two words today that I hope you will hear. Two words that I want you to wrap in decorative holiday paper and take home with you to open frequently. Two words – Thank you.

Thank you for the many acts of caring – unselfish service given to the welfare and benefit of others. Thank you for the numerous acts – seen and unseen – of kindness, service and humility for the benefit of patients, families and one another.

Thank you for responding to a personal calling to serve others, care for the sick and help those in need.

Our calling is sometimes difficult. It comes with weighty responsibilities. Some of the work that is associated with our calling is joyous and life giving and some of the work is less joyous. Yet it is all noble work and worthy of our life’s effort.

Thank you for serving in what we consider as sacred work. It is service done with our intellect, our heart and our hands. It is service given to a new mom and baby as new life enters the world. It is service given in the form of a life-saving surgery or treatment. It is service given to someone who is nearing life’s end. In all of these life changing moments we consider our service to others as a sacred calling. Thank you.

As you reach to place your McLeod name badge on your uniform or clothing tomorrow, hear these words in your mind – Thank you.

May we give thanks to God today for our calling and purpose. May God strengthen our minds, hearts and hands in the service of others. May God remind us of our sacred calling as we go forward today.

Thank you,

Rob Colones

“Health Reform Hits Main Street”

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

This past week, I saw a Henry J. Kaiser Foundation video clip on health reform on a blog by Marty Bonick, CEO of Jewish Hospital in Louisville. It is a short, concise explanation of health reform. This animated movie — featuring the “YouToons” — explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in 2014. Even though there are more changes anticipated, this is a good review of the current proposals and their potential impact.

The production was written and produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy and communications. The Kaiser Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. They are not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.

Let me know your thoughts.



Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Thursday, November 11th, is Veterans Day.  It is a day in which we thank and honor all Veterans for their service to our country.  On this day, I want to share with you a devotional from the book, Battlefield and Blessings by Larkin Spivey.

Fourth Inaugural Address

On January 20, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for an unprecedented fourth term of office as President of the United States.  At that time the Battle of the Bulge was raging in Europe and the invasion of Iwo Jima was about to start.  The war was far from over, and uncertainty about the future still gripped the nation.  In his inaugural address, Roosevelt sought to share a vision of hope and peace for the world based on his faith in God’s guidance:

“As I stand here today, having taken the solemn oath of office in the presence of my fellow countrymen – in the presence of our God – I know that it is America’s purpose that we shall not fail.  In the days and the years that are to come, we shall work for a just and honorable peace, a durable peace, as today we work and fight for a total victory in war… We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with suspicion and mistrust – or with fear.  We gain it only if we proceed with the understanding and the confidence and the courage which flow from conviction.

The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways.  He has given our people stout hearts and strong arms with which to strike mighty blows for our freedom and truth.  He has given to our country a faith which has become the hope of all peoples in an anguished world.

So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly – to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men – to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.”

President Roosevelt’s comments perfectly reflect America’s situation in the present time, and his prayer remains totally relevant today.  Human beings are clearly not capable of achieving peace on Earth by means of their own resources.  Only in God will this sought-for state ever be found.

Psalms 33:11-12 “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.”

I would encourage you to pause during the day and give thanks.  I would also ask that you speak a word of encouragement to one of the Veterans in your life.  We also remember and recognize the four McLeod Health team members who are currently serving on active duty in the military and the many others who have faithfully served our country.     


‘Job Shadowing’ the Trauma Surgical Care Unit

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

In our ongoing effort to improve as an organization, we learn by going directly to the place of patient care. Going to the work to learn the vital roles we all have in creating care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and effective.  This experience provides leaders with a more meaningful understanding of our purpose and mission. Here are some insights gained by Dale Locklair, Vice President of Procurement & Construction, when he ‘job shadowed’ the team in TSCU (Trauma Surgical Care Unit.)


Recently, I spent an afternoon job shadowing in TSCU. Brenda Raynor, Linda Harwell, Howard Brigman, and a number of their companions took time from their day to spend time with me.  I can better understand why “McLeod is the Choice for Medical Excellence.”  We looked at how supplies were arranged and what could be done to make their jobs easier.  We explored the layout of equipment, wall outlets, medical gas, and what would be the best thing to do about bathrooms in an intensive care unit.  I was allowed to assist in turning patients and observe a wound dressing being changed.

Then Linda helped to put things in perspective for me by asking me to, “Try and imagine what it would be like to be waiting in traffic at one moment … when, suddenly, everything goes dark. When you regain consciousness,” she continued, “Your life and the lives of your family members will be changed forever. Nothing will be the same ever again.”

As she explained, Linda wove a story of a young man whose accident left him with an injury.  He can no longer feel his arms or legs. His body cannot shiver, so he can no longer regulate the core temperature. His blood pressure needs constant monitoring, because the muscles in his arms and legs no longer function to help regulate it, and as his blood flow decreases to his body’s organs, renal failure becomes a pressing danger. His family needs someone to comfort them and help with their confusion. “What do we do now?,” they wonder. Then, she led me into this patient’s room. I was there to assist in turning him. I participated and watched as his nurses spoke to this big, strapping man, who was only semi-conscious, with tenderness and compassion. We left the room, and I noticed Linda, again speaking softly and kindly outside the room answering questions from his wife about what she would need to do next.

Throughout the afternoon, as I observed and listened, I realized that the work of a nurse, especially a TSCU nurse, is both art and science. I was impressed by their unique skills and abilities that allow each of them to assess and manage a patient’s rapidly changing conditions, but what truthfully caught my attention and truly gripped my heart was the genuine compassion I saw in each of these nurses, as they cared for both their patients and family members.

I have to tell you that I am a better person for this one afternoon. I will work differently at my job, because I know my work supports them and is important to them.

I am grateful to each one in TSCU who shared just a part of a day in their lives with me. But I am most grateful that they allowed me to see a small piece of their hearts. Their sincerity is obvious; their compassion is extraordinary; and their hearts are filled with grace. They truly exemplify the meaning of the word “Caring.”

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to have taken time from my day for this enriching experience.


I appreciate Dale’s perspective and reflection. Our work in health care is a calling to serve others. We are blessed by our people and their dedication to the responsibilities of their vocation. Thank you all for the work on behalf of our patients and their families.


‘Job Shadowing’ in the Data Center

Monday, November 1st, 2010

 Our leaders take the opportunity to ‘job shadow’ with members of the team. Here is one such example below from Jenean Blackmon, Chief Information Officer.  Take a moment to see what she learned.

I had the opportunity to spend some time shadowing in our Data Center a few weeks ago and I wanted to share my experience with you. I think we sometimes forget how different the work and world is after 10:00 p.m. until we experience it for ourselves.

I spent a night working part of 2nd and part of 3rd shift with the Operations staff so that I could talk with them and observe their routine. It was a great experience and I appreciate James Kennedy, Frank Mathies, Brenda Joy, and Steven Pinckney allowing me to spend time with them. Not only were they able to share with me but I also had the opportunity to share with them about different projects in our department, the vision for information technology at McLeod, and to answer questions and discuss their insights about our work. As we talked, I identified an opportunity for improvement that the IS team will be working on as we grow in our lean work over this next year.

Brenda Joy, a member of the Operations staff, provided insight to Jenean Blackmon of the Data Center's work on the night shift.

We have some very dedicated staff that try hard to make sure that our systems are up and running at all times and that problems are handled quickly. They even ask me what they could do at night to improve the service to our customers. This speaks to their commitment to service excellence. The Operations staff average taking almost 3,000 Help Desk calls per month, they monitor and take calls on 250 applications/systems, and they monitor 165 interfaces.

I am thankful for each member of the IS Department and I appreciate their hard work and dedication to our department and to McLeod Health. 


We learn from the team when leaders work side-by-side to see how the current work is done.  This helps our overall effort to examine our processes and remove the barriers and waste in our work flows.  I want to thank Jenean for ‘job shadowing’ with the team.  I want to thank the team in Information Systems for initiating on our behalf and serving others.