Our “Values in Action” series celebrates individuals and teams across all of MEDNAX who are living the Values of our company.
Our people define our organization and every contribution matters.
Through IMPASSIONED PERFORMANCE, we encourage ideas and recognize achievements.
In our busy professional lives, taking the time to celebrate the successes of our colleagues may not always be top of mind. So often, the contributions of employees at all levels can go unnoticed, yet they are what help make our company a great place to work. Those contributions are important to our business, our partners and most importantly, our patients. For nearly two years, the Pediatrix Newborn Hearing Screen Program (NBHSP) has made it a priority to celebrate the successes and contributions of its team members through an internally developed program called the Operations Feedback Forum (OFF).
“The foundation of the forum encourages and embraces bottom-up leadership,” said Jillian Gerstenberger, AuD, Clinical Manager for the Pediatrix Newborn Hearing Screen Program. Gerstenberger serves as a forum resource and provided support to Cari Lewis, formerly Senior Analyst for the NBHSP Shared Services Department. Lewis recently transitioned to the role of Project Manager in the Project Management Office. She was the OFF originator and lead champion.
Due to the wide reach of the newborn hearing screen program, which serves over 30 states and 400 hospital partners through regional teams, “the forum was a way to open communication with members from all regions, allowing for ideas, concerns and practices to flourish and be shared and supported nationally,” said Lewis. The four initiatives that grew organically from the forum member feedback included:
- Recognition and appreciation
- Training and development
- Best practices
“It speaks to our people and the passion they have for the work that they do,” said Lewis.
The heart of the Operations Feedback Forum
In its early stage, the forum began with surveys across the NBHSP to identify people who could help drive the effort, and also asked a simple but important question: “What do you feel is worth celebrating?”
Some of the national initiatives for staff celebration now include milestone tokens for years of service, thank you cards from regional managers and printed embossed certificates for continuing education achievements. “Recognition isn’t big or fancy. The small things can bring the biggest sense of accomplishment,” said Lewis, who noted having paper awards for employees to hold in their hands were far preferred to digital versions of the same acknowledgement.
“The goal is to recognize employees for their continued efforts to deliver value, quality services and high customer satisfaction,” said Gerstenberger. “We want them to know their efforts are important.”
In addition to customer service and staff recognition, the forum members have also identified and developed initiatives that align with health care business and market goals, including a focus on standardizing hearing screen processes nationally, greater attention to quality, improvements to the new employee onboarding process, as well as additional training and education opportunities for NBHSP staff. “It has been remarkable to watch our staff recognize potential process improvements and share concerns that affect customer satisfaction,” said Gerstenberger. “The forum members brainstorm and collaborate on innovative approaches to eradicate or resolve these issues.”
The forum is made up of several representatives from each region who help coordinate and roll out national initiatives for the newborn hearing screen program. The regional leadership is also critical to the effectiveness of the forum. “Any new OFF initiative requires buy-in from everyone,” said Jonathan Siadman, Director of Operations for the Pediatrix NBHSP. “We have diverse individuals at all levels of our program who contribute thoughts and ideas to the four focus areas, each through a different lens.”
“The forum strives to ensure our employees know they are appreciated as members of this team and their thoughts and ideas matter,” said Gerstenberger. “Our employees are the heart of our hearing screen program.”
About the Newborn Hearing Screen Program
The Pediatrix NBHSP has more than 20 years of experience providing hearing screen services to 7 million babies. Annually, the program screens more than 850,000 newborns. The program’s referral rate is far below what is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrix NBHSP is committed to screening infants to ensure those with potential hearing loss receive follow-up care.