Is Your Health System’s Culture Sick? Steps to a Healthier Organization

February 28, 2019

// By Lisa D. Ellis //

What message is your organization’s culture sending to your employees? If it doesn’t tell the people you employ that you value their input, you’re missing an important chance to get them more engaged in your day-to-day operations. You may also be losing out on a valuable differentiator in a competitive marketplace.

Donald Wee, CEO, Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Medical Campus

Donald Wee, CEO, Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Medical Campus

At Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Medical Campus in Clarkston, Washington, back in 2016, the leadership recognized a serious disconnect between the different levels of management and staff. CEO Donald Wee was concerned that this issue was creating poor morale and leading to a less-than-ideal environment overall.

But rather than just jumping in and trying to change the situation, Wee and the executive team wanted to start by clearly diagnosing the problem.

Identifying a Serious Problem

“The executive team and I knew we needed to get a baseline of where we were at and then develop some action steps to improve our work environment/culture. We felt our culture wasn’t bad or terrible, but we needed to get some realignment to make it stronger,” Wee explains. He also knew he and his team couldn’t tackle this project alone; they needed some outside expertise to guide them.

Scott Goodspeed,, director of Stroudwater Associates and program director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership at Brown University

Scott Goodspeed, director of Stroudwater Associates and program director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership at Brown University

They turned to Scott Goodspeed, director of Stroudwater Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in organizational development, to perform a cultural assessment of Tri-State Memorial. A former health system CEO himself, Goodspeed draws on his professional experience to help organizations take their efforts to the next level. He also currently serves as director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership program at Brown University.


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