At SSM Health, we bring together exceptional people who are dedicated to carrying out our Mission and Values in the communities we serve. Our more than 33,000 employees are the hands of a sacred ministry that spans more than 144 years.
SSM Health employees live the Mission
Our employees, physicians and volunteers are always living our mission, whether they’re at work or out in the community. Here are just a few examples:
Wisconsin employee pitches in to help Louisiana flood victims
Six days isn't a long time, but it was enough to change Scott Longley’s life. Longley, a process improvement senior facilitator in Wisconsin, was part of a group of volunteers who traveled to Baton Rouge, La., in November, to help victims of massive flooding. Characterized as the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, floods damaged thousands of homes and businesses in south central Louisiana.
Through his church in Madison, Scott partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that dispatches equipment and volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of natural disasters in the U.S. and overseas. Scott (pictured far left) worked with team members to rip out mold-covered drywall, flooring and cabinets, and salvage personal belongings from homes.
“Being surrounded by a group of individuals with the same common goal of serving and helping a community in tremendous need was one of the greatest experiences of my adult life,” he said. “It filled me with purpose and gave me a greater appreciation for what I have in Wisconsin. It was life changing.”
ER physician lives Mission beyond hospital doors
When Tiffany Elliott, D.O., an ER physician at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, stopped by her local Target after church, she had no idea her skills and experience would save a life that Sunday. As she was leaving the store she noticed a man on the ground and raced to the scene to assist. After identifying herself as an emergency physician, she was able to perform CPR until the fire department paramedics arrived with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). She then stepped back to let the paramedics do their work. Dr. Elliott used the skills and experience she was blessed with to save a life that day.
"I was just doing what I felt like God was calling me to do; that's what I do every day in the emergency department," Dr. Elliott said. “I'm just trying to use the skills God has given me to honor Him, and to try and help people that He puts in our path."
“That day it just happened to be at Target."
Plant operations employee uses talents to find solution for water system issue
In October 2016, after the Plant Operations team at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles discovered a problem with the system that provides soft water to the hospital’s boilers, Jamie Doerhoff, an energy center operator, devised a creative solution that saved the hospital thousands of dollars.
Without the softener system, hard water, which contains minerals such as calcium, can cause pipe-scaling that would eventually restrict water flow and damage the piping and boiler tubes. Recognizing that the purchase and installation of a new system would be very costly, Jamie designed an elaborate secondary piping solution to efficiently send soft water to the hospital’s boilers from the service building's water softener until a new system could be bought and installed. Jamie and Sam Bonney installed and piped the innovative system themselves. His creative engineering and design plan saved SSM Health an estimated $3,000 in installation fees.
Exceptional care sometimes extends beyond the patient
In September 2016, just after he had been weaned from sedation, a patient at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Jefferson City, who had no family members, expressed concern to his care team that no one was taking care of his cat. At that time, no one had been to his home in over a week.
One of the RN's on his ICU care team, Erin Rademan, took it upon herself to care for his pet on her days off. Once a week, with his written permission and accompanied by police, she went to his home, fed the cat and cleaned its litter box. The patient’s home also had no running water, so Erin brought bottled water with her to ensure the cat’s water bowl remained filled.
Erin’s co-workers were all very impressed when the patient shared the story of Erin’s efforts. Erin did this without mention - just out of the kindness of her heart - and she tried to downplay this sincere, heartfelt act.
Over two months later Erin was still caring for the cat, demonstrating that exceptional service and care can sometimes extend beyond the patient and even to extended family.
Occupational therapist builds volcano with pediatric patient
When one of Katie McGarvey’s younger patients got a bad grade on his first grade spelling test, the certified occupational therapist assistant at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital - Mt. Vernon came up with a creative incentive to help boost her patient’s grade and build on his therapy as well.
Katie had worked consistently with him on hand-writing and ABCs to help him keep up with his school work. So, Katie made a deal with him: if he did really well on his next spelling test, they would do something fun in therapy. The patient's mother called that Friday after school to let her know that he had gotten an A+.
That following Tuesday, after their usual treatment session, they went out to the parking lot to build a blue volcano. The project not only allowed them to get outside, but the patient thought it was pretty "cool." Katie was happy because, while he was playing mad scientist, he was also receiving therapy. By pouring vinegar into the container with baking soda he was addressing his fine and gross motor control skills, and he had to follow directions from her, which was sometimes hard.
We Hire Exceptional
SSM Health holds our first Virtual Career Fair
SSM Health held our first Virtual Career Fair in September 2016. The online event enabled external job seekers to connect directly in real-time with SSM Health recruiters and hiring leaders from across our four-state system. Over 1,500 job seekers attended the fair – surpassing the goal set for the event by more than 50 percent! Career experts were available for 12 hours on Sept. 7 to answer questions and provide information to job seekers about open positions across the system. Candidates hailed from 24 states stretching from coast to coast, and internationally from to Canada and Jamaica. Those interested in a position with SSM Health were also encouraged sign up for our Talent Network or specific Job Alerts on the SSM Health Careers Site.
SSM Health wins 2016 North American Candidate Experience Award
SSM Health’s commitment to providing an exceptional candidate experience was recognized in November when Talent Board named SSM Health one of 50 winners of the 2016 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards. Talent Board is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion and benchmark research of quality job candidate experiences.
SSM Health is one of only three health care providers to receive the award. Recent enhancements in the SSM Health online application process and the commitment of the organization's talent acquisition team to connect with job applicants on multiple electronic platforms contributed to the award.
SSM Health enhanced our recruiting and hiring process in 2016 to include:
- Establishing active partnerships to listen to the needs of our internal and external customers.
- Launching a mobile career website with an application process that can be completed from any mobile device.
- Implementing a texting program that enables the talent team to better communicate with candidates during the hiring process and follow-up with new hires for onboarding.
- Offering our first virtual career fair.
We Develop Exceptional
We partner with employees in their personal and professional development and provide them with ongoing opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.
SSM Health nurses enhance leadership skills through new program
As part of our commitment to prepare our current and next generation of leaders, SSM Health announced a new nursing leadership program that began in May 2016. The Nurse Manager Institute is offered in partnership with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the AONE Foundation. The three-day interactive program combines lecture, discussion, experiential learning and self-assessment to develop next-generation nursing leaders. The one-time course is being offered twice each year in order to ensure all nursing leaders have an opportunity to participate during their first six months of employment.
SSM Health partners with regional diversity program to help students EXPLORE careers in health care
A partnership between SSM Health and the Diversity Awareness Partnership's (DAP) EXPLORE Career Immersion program brought students from various St. Louis schools to SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - St. Louis in October 2016, to get a closer look at all the career options available to them in health care. They were joined by 14 SSM Health team members, from pharmacists to IT specialists, who shared more about what they do. The EXPLORE program helps connect students with professional mentors while developing important skills to support an equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce in the St. Louis region. The program helps introduce students of color to different industries to which they would not otherwise have exposure.
FUN FACT: A well-known SSM Health employee benefitted from a program very much like this one. It was an Explorer program offered through the Boy Scouts that helped set Bill Thompson, president/CEO of SSM Health, on a career course toward health care.
SSM Health partners with Saint Louis University School of Nursing to host
first-ever system-wide nursing symposium
More than 300 nurses from across SSM Health and Saint Louis University School of Nursing came together last September to discuss best practices, the latest industry developments and recommendations for their professional practice at the 2016 SSM Health Nursing Symposium. This is the first time an SSM Health event of this type has been held on this scale, bringing together nurses from all four states and joining with an academic partner for a half-day conference to elevate the patient experience and nursing practice at SSM Health.
We Support Exceptional
New hospital bill discount program for employees
Full- and part-time SSM Health employees, as well as their immediate family members, can now receive a 20% discount off of their patient responsibility at SSM Hospitals (some exclusions apply) and the option to enroll in payroll deduction. The discount is available for services at SSM Health hospitals in Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma. (State laws do not allow this type of discount for services provided in Wisconsin.)
Walgreens Healthcare Clinic benefit introduced for SSM Health employees
Employees and their dependents who are covered under an SSM Health medical plan in Illinois, Missouri or Oklahoma can now visit an SSM Health-affiliated or in-network urgent care service or any Walgreens Healthcare Clinic in the U.S. for a $40 copayment.
SSM Health introduces a new minimum wage
In alignment with SSM Health’s Mission and Values, SSM Health announced in November 2016 that a new flat minimum wage of $11 per hour would be implemented throughout the system beginning in 2017. The initiative is part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to provide fair and socially just market-based wages and benefits for all employees.
We Recognize Exceptional
Mission Excellence Award winners from across the system honored
at 2016 SSM Health Leadership Conference
Every day we hear – and sometimes we witness – examples of how our exceptional employees are living the Mission and Values of SSM Health. These stories are truly amazing and heartfelt, and demonstrate the compassion and respect shown to those we work with and those we serve.
This year at the 2016 SSM Health Leadership Conference, we recognized one individual from each region/business unit for the first ever system-wide Mission Excellence Award
The 2016 Mission Excellence Award recipients included:
Michele Rosner, SSM Health at Home, St. Louis
Natalie Luther, SSM Health System Office, St. Louis
Heather Hansen, LPN, SSM Health St. Francis Hospital - Maryville
Matt Fiori, NP, SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - Jefferson City
Julie Costilla, St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City
Sheryl Watwood, RN, SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - Centralia
Julie Meyer, RN, SSM Health DePaul Hospital - St. Louis
Stephanie Engelhardt, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Baraboo
Award recipients also served on a panel at the conference, where they led a lively and inspirational discussion about what motivates each of them to carry out our Mission and Values each day and how they see the Mission alive and well throughout SSM Health.
Innovators Awards: People's Choice Award – TeleHealth
To celebrate and foster even greater innovation across the system, SSM Health proudly presented the third annual Innovators Award at the 2016 SSM Health Leadership Conference. The Innovators Award recognizes employees and physicians who develop and implement ideas leading to sustained, breakthrough performance or service in one or more of the following areas:
- Improved clinical outcomes
- Enhanced population health management
- New revenue growth
- A lower cost of care
- Transformation of the SSM (patient, resident, employee or member) experience
The 2016 SSM Health Innovators Award winners were (click the links to watch a short video about each innovation):
- Opening of Lumicera Health Services – Navitus
- Nursing Peer Review Model – SSM Health St. Louis
- Laboratory Cooperative Testing Agreement – SSM Health St. Louis
- Telehealth Suite of Services – St. Clare Hospital & SSM Health Dean Medical Group – Baraboo Specialty Clinic
- Management and Maximization of the 340B Program for Illinois & Missouri – Hospital Financial Operations & Pharmacy, SSM Health
The telehealth strategy and implementation team at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Baraboo and SSM Health Dean Medical Group - Baraboo Specialty Clinic in Wisconsin was selected from among those winners to receive the 2016 SSM Health Innovators: People’s Choice award in recognition of their Telehealth Suite of Services. More about their efforts are included in the video below.