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Memorial Hospital Begins Construction

Hospital news | Monday, June 11, 2012
Joe Tye

Contact: Karl Hertz

Memorial Hospital of Converse County announced construction has begun on the hospital's "invisible architecture." Values Coach and Author, Joe Tye spent time with hospital staff, leadership, providers, and board of directors discussing how personal values affect an organization's culture. Tye describes himself as a "recovering hospital administrator" and has worked in hospitals across the country as well as other industries. His presentations to Memorial Hospital staff were a mixture of healthcare issues, patient satisfaction, and self empowerment. "Invisible architecture is to the soul of your hospital what physical architecture is to its body" according to Tye. "For a hospital to survive the coming years, everyone must be aligned with similar values and common goals. Patient's won't remember how nice the hospital lobby looks, they will remember how they were treated" said Tye. Hospital officials want to strengthen both the invisible and visible architecture creating a unique healthcare haven in Douglas that will withstand upcoming changes in healthcare, keeping the hospital independent into the future.

CEO Ryan Smith has seen the values program work before. "I come from an accounting background, so it is difficult for me to spend money on intangible things. When I started as CEO at my last hospital in Alaska, Joe Tye had already been contracted to work with the staff. I was very skeptical at first, but saw how Joe's values based teachings began to work. Employees started taking charge of their lives, the atmosphere changed in the hospital, and our patient satisfaction scores improved dramatically" said Smith. The Affordable Care Act has been a game changer for hospitals. Performance and patient satisfaction scores are now tied directly to Medicare reimbursements forcing hospitals to rethink how they interact with their patients. According to Smith, Critical Access Hospitals like Memorial Hospital are currently exempt, but Smith does not believe CAH's will remain exempt forever. "We have to start preparing for the upcoming healthcare changes now, and I can't think of a better way to start than looking at the values we uphold as an organization" said Smith. Six months ago the hospital purchased Joe Tye's book The Florence Prescription for each of its employees and asked that they read the fictional story of what Florence Nightingale would think of the modern hospital. Employees began reading the book and related to the fictional characters and patients. "Staff started sending me emails thanking me for the book, and telling me how they were going to make a conscious effort to change their lives" said Smith. The anticipation of Joe's visit to Douglas created a great buzz around the hospital and his presentations did not disappoint." Smith is serious about changing the culture of the hospital and wants everyone who works at Memorial Hospital to know how important they are to the future success of the organization.

Misti McCoy, RN and Clinical Applications Specialist at Memorial Hospital, is leading a group of employees whose goal is to re-evaluate the hospitals current values statement and replace it with values individual employees consider to be important in their daily lives. "Our current organizational values of Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence don't necessarily reflect the personal values of our employees, and are not really values at all, but rather outcomes or behaviors" said McCoy. "We have great people at Memorial Hospital, our group is excited to take the values of the individuals who work here and adapt them for our hospital" said McCoy.

On Thursday evening, Tye spoke to the community at the EWC Auditorium. The crowd was made up of community leaders, business professionals, clergy, educators, and others who took part in the two hour presentation. Tye's challenge to the community group was to support the hospital in their values quest and to perhaps even include the rest of the community in the journey. "While we have been very successful working with individuals and their organizations, we have never had an entire community take part in our values teaching. Douglas could easily be that community" said Tye. With more than 340 staff, Memorial Hospital is the second largest employer in the community. The hospital hopes to effect change in how everyone looks at their personal values, and hopes their employees will have an impact in the community as a whole.

Additional information about Values Coach can be found at Some of Tye's latest books, including the Florence Prescription, will be available at the Whistle-Stop Mercantile Book Store in Douglas.