Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CHRISTUS Health: Nine Years of Change, Nine Years of Progress

On Friday, Feb. 1, CHRISTUS Associates, physicians and volunteers around our system celebrated the ninth anniversary of the formation of CHRISTUS Health on what we call CHRISTUS Day.

As we, the CHRISTUS family, embarked upon our ninth year since the formation of CHRISTUS in 1999, we paused to reflect on the awesome role and responsibility that each of us share as health care Associates and physicians. Accepting and striving each day to fulfill our mission – to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ – means that each of us is on an extraordinary journey.

Our Journey to Excellence, which began in 1999, is a profound, awesome journey on sacred ground. On the occasion of our ninth anniversary, it is my prayer that each of us was energized and would recommit ourselves to be an excellent CHRISTUS healer. We must use this coming year to accelerate our Journey to Excellence as we travel to our 2009 summit.

I asked the leaders in CHRISTUS to start deciding what they are going to do differently to make that happen. I think we share the same commitment to excellence, the impatience in not reaching or sustaining some of our metrics and the desire to accelerate our Journey. Our patients and residents and their families are depending on us to make this sacred CHRISTUS Ministry excellent in all of its aspects. The celebrations of our ninth birthday are the time to reignite our passion and refuel our accelerated action plans!!!

CHRISTUS Health is a large family, and size itself can at times be a barrier to creating excellent, consistent and predictable behaviors, as well as practices and processes which reflect the CHRISTUS Health promise. However, the true advantage of our large family is the wealth of knowledge, experience, kindness and compassion that our Associates, physicians and volunteers bring to our patients and residents each day. Because we know excellence can only be delivered by excellent Associates and physicians, we have consistently committed much time and money to educational and enrichment programs for our CHRISTUS family. The birthday celebrations that were held throughout our system are part of that educational and spiritual enhancement process.

In addition, we have a myriad of educational opportunities available for all, including:
• GED programs
• Tutoring
• Tuition reimbursement
• Center for Management Excellence
• Touchstone best practice program
• Councils for shared learning among affinity groups
• Senior Leadership Academies
• Leadership enrichment training
• Ethics Institute
• Leadership retreats
• Governance conferences

Each one of us, in some way, is a formal or informal leader. By our daily actions we are role models for those we serve as well as those with whom we work. Committing to life-long learning and excellence in all we do is essential for creating the passion required to extend the healing ministry to all we touch each day.

Yes, the complexities of health care will always create new challenges for us as we continue our Journey to Excellence. But we must never forget that our dreams will come true if we live each day truly believing that nothing is beyond our reach if we reach out together. Para nosotros. . .nada es imposible!

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