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MercyOne EOC 2019

Colleagues from hospital patient accounts in Waterloo celebrate being "ONE" during the MercyOne statewide launch week.

WATERLOO — Longtime employees of MercyOne say the organization has always offered a rewarding career.

MercyOne recently placed renewed emphasis on workplace culture, said Jack Dusenbery, president and CEO of MercyOne, Northeast Region.

The initiative has already proved to deepen employees’ connections with patients and colleagues, he added.

“We have mission, vision, and values to be proud of and have recently transformed our culture across the system,” said Y. Michell Wright, supervisor of the Nuclear Medicine Team. “I have worked for the organization for over 30 years and look forward to going to work every day.”

Dusenbery has heard similar comments from other employees.

“This has always been a great place to work,” he said. “I now have had people who have been here 35, 40, and 45 years that this focus on culture has re-energized and sustained them in their work and made them feel more empowered.”

The initiative highlights MercyOne’s five Key cultural beliefs:

  • Be one
  • Own it
  • Innovate
  • Improve daily
  • Personalize care

“MercyOne engaged every employee — 20,000 of our colleagues from actors the state — and put us all through culture training,” said Ryan Meyer, vice president of operations, MercyOne Northeast Region. “This gave everyone tools and techniques for building and sustaining the MercyOne so it’s something we live every day and cascades throughout the organization.”

Through culture training, employees developed five key results to identify areas of opportunity. These included excellence in consumer experience; team engagement; quality; ambulatory growth; and sustainable growth and efficiency.

These key results help drive momentum, said Meyer. For new employees, workplace culture is a key feature of orientation sessions.

“It’s an experience for anyone who’s new, regardless of their job,” he explained.

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Laurie Walker is a registered nurse and has worked for the organization since 1989. She said she continues to work full time, largely because MercyOne continues to support her concept of what nursing should be.

“I have always felt respected and appreciated for what I bring to the organization,” said Walker. “MercyOne continues to be current and is always looking for ways to better serve the very important people of our great community.”

Judy Powell, a registered nurse, appreciates that MercyOne accommodates flexible scheduling to allow employees a better work-life balance.

“Our staff remain on the cutting edge of new care techniques to improve quality of life and quality care,” said Powell. “We have huddles and department meetings and trainings. Our top leaders are working daily to keep us on the cutting edge and spend time on the floors to talk directly with employees, because they have great ideas, too.”

These factors make Wright grateful for her job — and proud.

“I have a great work-life balance,” she said. “Leaders communicate well and are always looking for ways to improve.

These experiences drive MercyOne’s emphasis on workplace culture, said Meyer.

“We set the stage for our colleagues to tell stories about the work they’re doing and the things they see every day,” he explained. “It helps us recognize employees who provide exemplary service as well as provide feedback. All this ties back to our cultural beliefs.”

Overall, this sharing reinforces what Dusenbery appreciates about the organization.

During a recent safety call, he heard a story he found especially powerful.

“A member of our radiology staff had just clocked out and ran into someone who seemed lost and confused,” said Dusenbery. “We coach that you help someone — don’t point, take the person where they need to go. This staff member went way beyond that. Even though they’d already clocked out, they took the person where they needed to go and stayed with them until they felt more comfortable. When I hear things like that, it shows me our colleagues really care about our patients.”

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