Columbus Regional Hospital Playing Major Role in Bartholomew County Wellness

Columbus Regional Hospital’s Beth Morris details recent county wellness initiatives. Also see my related article in BizVoice magazine about these federally funded programs taking place in Bartholomew and Vanderburgh Counties.

UPDATE: And here’s a little more on why a wellness push in Vanderburgh County is quite timely.

Concierge on Hand Serves Hospital Employees

The Columbus Regional Hospital staff enjoys an impressive list of benefits. Health screenings with incentives for improvement, a telecommuting option for certain positions, short-term disability coverage and a bonus program are among the more traditional offerings. On the unique side: For individuals starting a family through adoption, the hospital helps pay the expensive adoption fee. 

One perk, however, has been a home run – sometimes literally! It’s an onsite concierge service that does everything from walking employee pets to arranging for shoe repairs to picking up groceries.

“The concierge service is definitely number one. The reason why is it’s a benefit that particular employees want,” explains director of human resources Joe Turco. 

“It may be you forgot to give your child lunch money, so the concierge can run money over to the local school. To me, it may be getting my dry cleaning accomplished. For someone else, it’s getting the oil changed in their car.”

Adds Chris Raaf, vice president of professional support services, “We have such great feedback on it. Someone sent a note recently that they had planned their son’s college trips through the concierge, who had put the entire itinerary together.  She said it would have taken her many hours on her off time to do that, so she really appreciated that.”

The Good News is Bad News Isn’t Up Much

From tornadoes and typhoons to the sub-prime meltdown and food recalls, 2008 was chock full of front page worthy disasters.
 
But according to the Louisville-based Institute for Crisis Management (ICM), it could have been worse. The organization recently released its annual report that tracks media coverage of business crises. While 2008 may be a year many businesses are hoping to forget (think Madoff Investments, General Motors and Bear Stearns), ICM finds crises were up only a little compared to previous years. And 2008 was not as bad as 2005, when the number of crises reached a peak for the last 10 years.
 
Hoosiers made their mark in the report though. Of the 10,386 newsworthy disasters in 2008, five Indiana crises were cited in the ICM’s six-page report. The study mentioned when a flash flood wreaked havoc on Columbus Regional Hospital (read about the hospital’s recovery in the current BizVoice magazine) and a lawsuit filed against a Lafayette YMCA.
 
Still, ICM data shows the number of business crises has remained fairly steady for the last four years. While bad news will continue to lead the newscasts, at least the good news is things really aren’t any worse.

Keeping the Lines of Communications Open: A Lesson from Columbus Regional Hospital

Like most organizations, Columbus Regional Hospital (CRH) looks to both formal and informal communications to reach its employees. 
 
On the formal side, weekly electronic updates are sent each Monday to staff detailing “what’s going on organizationally to what I’m personally engaged in that week as the CEO of the hospital and why,” offers Jim Bickel.
 
“The theme, obviously, since we reopened (in October) after the flood has certainly been how we are doing on our flood recovery efforts – that’s from a facility prospective as well as the financial impact of it.”
 
A monthly newsletter called In the Know covers a wide variety of topics for the CRH workforce. Weekly leadership meetings are held consisting of the 50-plus executive team members, directors and managers across the organization. “What’s covered in those meetings is expected to go back to their staff. It’s an opportunity for myself and the rest of the executive team to have dialogue with the department heads about issues they are facing,” Bickel states.
 
Informal communication is also critical. Continue reading