Healthy beginnings

I have never been one of those people who create a litany of New Year’s resolutions, hoping to drastically change the way I live my life. It’s an utter waste of time and energy, and most people end up breaking their promises long before President’s Day.

However, I do recognize the significance of closing the door on one year and the opening of another as the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31 and a new year begins.

There is something alluring about “new,” as it is often accompanied by hope and opportunity, as well as a chance to start a new chapter in a continuing saga.

So it’s apropos that we enter 2010 by focusing on Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Health Inc., which in October opened the doors to the newest hospital in the Lake Health chain, its state-of-the-art TriPoint Medical Center.

Moore-Hardy undertook the $155 million project by soliciting input and ideas from the chain’s 2,700 employees, using a team approach during the planning process. That may sound like just another platitude about how to get buy-in and create a sense of ownership in a large project, but for Moore-Hardy, the philosophy is real.

“You have to work within the culture of your organization or the culture you’re trying to create within your organization,” she says. “It’s important to know what your employees, volunteers (and) physicians are thinking, and have a mechanism that allows them to have input into decision-making.”

So Moore-Hardy, who came up through the ranks with registered nurse training, engaged every area of the organization for feedback and ideas. She spoke face to face with as many different employees as possible and developed teams of people cross-staffed from different departments to evaluate ideas.

The result was a facility that had the fingerprints of the entire organization upon it and offers patients and visitors a different type of medical center.

“We wanted to create, instead of a place where people feel like they’re going for sick care, a place that represented health,” Moore-Hardy explains.

With American’s attention firmly focused on health care and wellness, that’s a new approach to an old idea, and one that Moore-Hardy attributes to the innovative nature of Lake Health’s team.

As for me, I’m approaching 2010 like most other years — with a healthy dose of anticipation and hope and with my eyes wide open in search of golden opportunities.

Contact executive editor Dustin S. Klein at [email protected].