Dear UMC Staff,
Thank you for proving daily why UMC is exceptional. Your commitment to serve…skillfully, compassionately and humbly…makes me very proud and grateful. You have stuck with us, encouraged us and sacrificed to ensure UMC remains healthy as the leader and the provider of choice, in the midst of COVID. One theme that has emerged is teamwork, which you are taking to a whole new level in 2020. I am grateful for your commitment to serve each other – the very core of Service is our Passion.
Many of you have been on the front line, the very front…since the onset in March. Others have redeployed, taking on new duties. And many have quietly and effectively gone about the work but with a heightened sense of empathy for our colleagues on the front lines or stricken with COVID. I wholeheartedly appreciate your flexibility, and strong resolve to take care of this business as if it were your own.
In Service: Service is our Passion defines our culture…it is our “why” at UMC…and it truly differentiates us. This is what I have seen: Even behind masks and closed doors, with visitor restrictions and changing of unit locations, your attention to service is tremendous. No wonder UMC is ranked as one of the Top 3 Academic Centers in the country, along with Ohio State Medical Ctr and MD Anderson. Patients and visitors feel Service is our Passion through every interaction.
In Quality: We are becoming a highly reliable organization as we wage war on variation, standardize clinical processes and drive toward ZERO preventable harm. Your efforts this year so far have reduced patient harm by 39%, well surpassing our goal of 20%. Your active participation in Unit Based Councils, Lean Daily Management, and RL submissions has bolstered our work.
In Stewardship: Hospitals nationally have furloughed or laid off employees through COVID. UMC did not. Instead UMC covered 947 employees with COVID EI and rescued 123 employees, leaving no one behind without compensation. Costs to our system are staggering, from PPE to Pharmaceuticals to lost revenue through reduced elective procedures. One expense that involves all of us – our health plan – costs UMC $24 million annually. Two things of note: The average deductible for large companies in Lubbock ranges from $1,500 to $5,000. Our new deductible will remain well below that – at $500 in 2021. Secondly, we will begin a Relief Program in 2021 – for the first time, employees earning less than $18 an hour will see no increase in premiums.
Your sacrifices to our health system have been great, and greatly appreciated. On behalf of your Admin Staff, we will work to restore what COVID has eaten. Beginning with the Nov 8th pay period, the 25% reduction in your merit increase has been restored to 100% of value. And because your merit amount was decreased and delayed, you will receive a separate bonus, paid in late Nov. or early Dec. We want you to be whole, restored. No one left behind. Lastly, PTO buy back will take place on the first paycheck in December.
In Teamwork: Once again, Texas Monthly named UMC & UMCP Best Companies to Work for in Texas. This is the 13th straight year we have received this honor. Manage Up employee recognitions increased 134% in 2019 and are on pace to exceed 23,000 in 2020! Thank you for showing respect for every person Behind the Badge.
In Growth: We are confident in our brand because of you. With an eye toward the future, beyond COVID, we are prepared with a Strategic Plan (2025), a Master Expansion Plan, and a forthcoming Brand Promise as we attract new consumers and attach to the patients we serve, for life. Our footprint is growing. Our new GI & Outpatient Services Center on Quaker is about to open, followed by a state-of-the-art EMS Dispatch Center on MLK Blvd, and then a beautiful Children’s EC.
Your Admin Staff and our Reward & Recognition Committee will bring our Christmas Party to your department on December 18th. For the first time, we will distribute a true Retention Bonus to all eligible employees. Not based on performance, it is simply a bonus to reward and thank you, for staying with us. No matter how long you have been with UMC, our job as leaders is to continually re-recruit you…because talent always has an option. This year’s Retention Bonus will be 20 hours plus 1 hour for every year of service. And it will be provided to more people than ever before, employed as of June 21, 2020.
Throughout our COVID journey, your wellbeing and that of your entire team has been a huge concern. Stress, worry, anxiety and grief are all part and parcel of what we are experiencing. We have resources to help you, they are listed in my daily email. And we have our new UMC Peer Support Team – ready to assist when called. I want you to be encouraged; I hope and pray you will be an encouragement to others on your team.
We have a bright future together. Thank you for building it with us. Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season. We are Firm not Fearful.