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SHSMD: CEOs Discuss Cultural Change Leadership

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, September 23, 2011

At the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) Annual conference in Phoenix last week, a panel of CEOs met to discuss culture – a term that is difficult to define.

Many healthcare organizations are struggling with forming a common culture, especially with the increasing emergence of accountable care organizations and multi-hospital systems.

Leading cultural change within an organization can also mean creating an atmosphere of disclosure where employees feel comfortable calling each other out on issues such as handwashing compliance.

Panelists Thomas Sadvary, president and CEO of Scottsdale Healthcare, Rebecca Kuhn, president of Arizona East Region Banner Health, and Tony Marinello, CEO of Mount Vista Medical Center, answered questions from the audience and moderator Burl Stamp, president of Stamp & Chase, about cultural changes starting in the C-suite.

Q. How do you measure culture?

Kuhn: We've looked at competencies our leaders will have. We also have an employee engagement survey where we ask, 'to what extent are you confident about your leaders? How well are they communicating to you?' Leaders are rewarded, or not, depending on how they are evaluated. It's fundamental to changing culture.

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