Monday, May 6, 2024
Culture prioritized amidst difficult decision-making, says Jefferson Health CEO.

Culture prioritized amidst difficult decision-making, says Jefferson Health CEO.

Jefferson Health’s Journey Towards a Unifying Culture

Jefferson Health, based in Philadelphia, has undergone significant changes in recent years, expanding from three hospitals to 18 through mergers. With over 42,000 employees, the organization has experienced rapid growth and is now focused on building a unifying culture that aligns with its new size and structure.

Adapting to Growth and Changes

Between 2015 and 2021, Jefferson Health went through a series of mergers, expanding its reach and services. Additionally, the organization acquired Health Partners Plans in 2021, which will be rebranded as Jefferson Health Plans. The transformation process also involved making difficult decisions, such as cutting 400 jobs in July. These changes reflect Jefferson Health’s commitment to staying financially sustainable while continuing to build a strong culture.

The Importance of a Unifying Culture

Joseph Cacchione, MD, the CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, recognizes the need for a unifying culture amidst these transformations. He believes that core values play a crucial role in shaping the organization’s culture. By identifying the desired elements of their culture, the organization can foster repetitive behavior that aligns with these values.

Leadership’s Role in Building Culture

Dr. Cacchione emphasizes the significance of leadership in shaping a unifying culture. He believes that leaders must consistently communicate the desired culture and reinforce it throughout the organization. By displaying characteristics like empowerment and humility, leaders set an example for their teams and promote the values they want to see embedded in the culture.

Empowering and Humble Culture

One of the pillars of Jefferson Health’s culture is empowerment. Dr. Cacchione wants everyone in the organization to feel empowered to solve problems, regardless of their role. This sense of empowerment allows employees to act as the best advocates for the people they serve, whether they are patients, students, or beneficiaries.

Humility is another essential component of Jefferson Health’s culture. Dr. Cacchione believes that humility fosters open-mindedness, better listening, and empathy. By promoting humility from top to bottom, the organization aims to create an environment that values collaboration and understanding.

Building Culture Amid Business Changes

While Jefferson Health is focused on building a unifying culture, it also faces the realities of making tough business decisions. In January, the organization announced a reorganization plan to operate as three divisions instead of five, aiming to improve efficiency. This change resulted in layoffs, mainly among executives. Additionally, the organization announced a reduction in its workforce by approximately 1 percent, or about 400 positions, in July. While these business decisions are necessary for financial sustainability, Jefferson Health remains committed to its cultural transformation.

Culture will always be a priority for Jefferson Health, even in the face of difficult decisions. The organization approaches these challenges by emphasizing transparency and communication, starting with the truth. Jefferson Health acknowledges the business realities it encounters but remains dedicated to building a strong culture.

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