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VUMC to bring renewed focus to Elevate principles

Jul. 31, 2014, 9:45 AM

Affirming that its people are Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s most important asset, the coming year will bring a renewed focus to Elevate, a Medical Center cultural touchstone. The Studer Group, a longtime partner in cultural engagement and leadership development, will help facilitate this process.

“The purpose of renewing our commitment to the core principles of Elevate is to make the Medical Center a better place for all employees to work, for physicians to practice medicine and for our patients to receive care. Our goal is to have a workforce that feels more valued and satisfied, enjoys coming to work each day and believes they are making a difference,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

Nationally known consultant Quint Studer worked with Vanderbilt a decade ago in 2004 to launch Elevate, and recently returned to make recommendations and speak at the Summer Leadership Assembly.

VUMC has undergone rapid operational change while responding to economic challenges impacting academic medical centers across the country. Acknowledging the past year has been a challenge for many employees, Studer’s comments were affirming that Vanderbilt is weathering the storm in health care, and will thrive as it continues to “put values above everything else.”

“The Medical Center and the work we do to improve the lives of others is something we all care about deeply. Many of us have spent the majority of our careers here,” said Pinson.

“The best way to move forward in the current climate of change is to articulate our future vision and re-engage and recommit to our culture of service, to our patients and to each other.”

An essential ingredient for sustained success within leading organizations is maintaining a culture of high performance.

This year, the emphasis will be on reinforcing the Medical Center’s culture in ways that better equip all faculty and staff to thrive amidst the constant pace of change that is now part of the U.S. health care system.

“As we move into a new fiscal year, VUMC continues to excel by virtually every measure as a very high-performing organization, even after having faced unprecedented challenges,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
“Nevertheless, to maintain this trajectory after such a difficult year, it’s important to acknowledge what we’ve experienced and focus on our people.”

Among the many ways employees will benefit from Elevate, organizational strategies and priorities will be clarified and better communicated across VUMC. Members of the leadership team, including managers from across the entire enterprise, will be directly engaged in efforts to shape strategies and goals, while developing and reinforcing leadership skills and communication.

“The foundation for excellence is an engaged and committed workforce, not only in service to our patients but also demonstrating commitment to our colleagues and to professionalism,” said Pinson.

Through Elevate, teams will be working to implement greater alignment of the Medical Center’s Pillar goals to achieve improved service, quality, safety, innovation and financial performance through increased employee engagement.

“We are taking these steps to reinforce passion for the important work that we do. Every day that you take steps to improve yourself and to help those who surround you reach greater heights is a great day,” said Pinson.

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