Love thy neighbor

Collaboration is the foundation of good corporate citizenship

Whatever your business, understanding the needs of your community and being willing to shoulder your responsibilities as a corporate citizen are paramount to building successful, mutually beneficial relationships.

Organizations, and the people within them, depend on communities to thrive. At Akron Children’s Hospital, we have always believed that our community believes in us and our work. In turn, we believe wholeheartedly in the communities we serve. Community is one of the core components of our mission statement and it lies behind the relationships we build.

Collaboration depends on reaching outside our walls to engage with the people, companies and organizations who are our neighbors. We understand that we are not an island unto ourselves. It is important, especially in times of challenge and uncertainty, to find like-minded partners who share our optimism and vision for the future. We look for people who are willing to cooperate with us and make the investments needed to ensure we are all moving forward in service of the greater public good.

Collaboration starts with people. We are fortunate to have an extended family of employees, patient families and supporters who are champions for our children. By embedding ourselves in the communities we serve, we can work with other organizations and public officials to break down barriers to care and start addressing some of the social determinants of ill health. We also believe in the power of education to transform lives. We are proud of our long tradition of educating the next generation of pediatric caregivers, and encourage our workforce to serve as mentors for students and young people in many different settings.

For organizations, collaboration can bring together experts to share best practices and find innovative ways to improve quality, reduce costs and increase efficiency. A great example is the Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety, which started as a collaborative in Ohio and has expanded into a nationwide network of more than 130 pediatric hospitals. Through transparency and non-competitive sharing of quality data and safety initiatives, we are working together to provide the safest possible care to children on our journey to zero harm.

At the community level, corporate citizenship means being willing to invest human and financial capital to promote healthy families and support thriving neighborhoods. We partner in many ways with diverse groups, all focused on improving the quality of life for everyone in our home communities.

There are many issues tearing at our social fabric today, including mental health, substance abuse, infant mortality and health disparities, to name a few. We understand better than most that better health leads to better outcomes, especially where children are concerned. To ensure a bright future for all of us, we need to make raising healthy, educated children a top priority at the local, state and national level.

Good neighbors care about each other. As public and private entities, we must use our collective resources to invest in our people, our organizations and our communities.

Bill Considine has served as CEO at Akron Children’s Hospital since 1979. He has dedicated his career and personal life to improving pediatric care and the quality of life for children and families.