Archive for February, 2012

We are on a Mission!

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The Mission for McLeod is to improve the health and well-being of the people living in northeast South Carolina. For primary, secondary and tertiary medical care, we seek to serve the people residing in twelve counties in South Carolina and portions of three counties in North Carolina.  At McLeod Health, our teams are striving to reduce the burdens that are associated with illness and injury. It is a mission of size and importance given the medical needs of the rural Carolinas and the demographics of our people. We seek to provide excellence in patient-centered care to those who entrust us with their medical needs.

It is not a Mission Statement we recite, but it is an ongoing daily action of compassion, accomplished through the service of our people.  At the end of our day, we will take our intellect, our heart and our hands – and combine all three – to initiate for the good of others and serve them.  It is a mission based upon a  commitment to the voluntary, nonprofit approach to medicine, community outreach and to the traditional shared values in committing ourselves to a calling of service.

I had a chance today to observe an example of the mission in action. During the Department Director meeting at McLeod Regional Medical Center, Julie Ulmer received recognition for her service to others as a McLeod Speech Language Pathologist. Julie was recognized as a McLeod Merit Award recipient by her peers and patients. The circle of Merit Award recipients was widened today to receive her for cheerful, unselfish service and devotion to others. This recognition honors her for consistently exemplifying the values and mission of McLeod.

Julie Ulmer, at left, is pictured with her mother, McLeod Nurse Educator Joanne Ulmer, following her Merit Award presentation.

It was interesting to hear her Director, Harriet Jeffords, recount Julie’s heritage of service, reflected by her family’s own legacy of caring for others. Julie’s mother, Joanne Ulmer, has served as a Nurse Educator at McLeod for nearly 15 years. Her brother and sister-in-law also are part of the team of McLeod health professionals. It was interesting to hear about Julie’s start with McLeod as a youth volunteer, later as a summer career student and as a scholarship recipient prior to joining McLeod in 2002.

We appreciate that she continues to share her enthusiasm and commitment to cheerful and compassionate service with others. That’s our mission in action!

Please join Julie … join us in this mission.  Help us to continue to strive and improve. There is a noble mission out there with your name on it … with our name on it together in caring for others.   


“Exit Strategy”

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

While we plan for everyone on the team to remain until retirement, this is not always possible.  I found this instruction to be helpful with any responsibility to which we have been entrusted.  In his book, Created for Work, Bob Schultz asks an interesting question about our work – “Do you have an exit strategy?”

‘On commercial airlines, before you ever leave the ground, attendants provide an exit strategy. They tell you how to use your seat for a flotation device if the plane landed on water. In the unlikely event of the plane losing cabin pressure, they show you how to employ oxygen masks. Exit doors are clearly noted and you receive instructions on how to use the evacuation slide. Airline companies want their passengers to know how to get off their planes under all circumstances –  before the plane leaves the runway.

How does all this apply to our work or job? Do not wait until the last day of work to plan your exit strategy. To finish well, it is good to have the end in sight at the beginning. That vision will direct your actions to your desired goal. If we stopped to consider an exit strategy for our work, we would surely come up with some ideas like the following:

On the last day of my job,

1) I want to have a record for doing well and always being on time.

2) I want to have the reputation of owning a good attitude.

3) I want to give sufficient notice before I quit so my boss might find and train my replacement.

4) I want to finish all my business. That means returning all equipment and owing no debts.

5) I want to be able to look everyone in the eye, knowing I did as much as possible to be at peace with them.

6) I want a heart desire to see my boss prosper. I want to hear my boss say as I leave, “Well done. If you ever need a job in the future, call me back. We can always use a person like you.”

7) When I leave my position, I want to leave all my affairs in order so that I might enter my new course with a full heart, a clear conscience, and no regrets.

I have given only seven off-the-cuff ideas for ending a job well. I am sure that we could think of better ones, with a little effort, that would make our departure admirable. It’s worth our time to consider how we want to finish our current commitments and then keep to the plan. By practicing first-class exit strategies from jobs and other commitments, we will develop the wisdom to complete valuable responsibilities in life.

Knowing my exit strategy gives me practical wisdom for how I should act today.’

Do you have an exit strategy?