As president of both Vidant Bertie and Vidant Chowan Hospitals, Jeff Sackrison works to build environments that attract passionate and talented employees. Perhaps just as importantly, he works to create a culture in his hospitals that creates roots for his people and keeps them at Vidant. Teamwork is a vital component of building a culture in which people feel they are a crucial part of the care the hospital provides. Sackrison notes an incident in which more than a dozen people fell ill due to a carbon monoxide leak. All of his team members stepped up, even those not on the clinical side.
Sackrison and his team also make a point of celebrating great work in the hospital, calling attention to exceptional care with thank-you notes, unit celebrations and emails recognizing outstanding team members. In the case of the carbon monoxide leak, Sackrison fed the staff and personally thanked them for going above and beyond to treat patients.
The sense that everyone at Vidant Chowan plays a vital role in caring for patients, and the absence of barriers between staff and leadership, create an environment in which people feel valued and respected. Hospital leadership’s visibility and openness with the staff play a key role in keeping the staff invested. “Every day our employees see my team and me in the hallways walking around. There’s always somebody out and about,” Sackrison says. An environment of openness and respect, as well as opportunities to grow professionally, makes Vidant Chowan a place where people build long-term careers.
As a member of the Vidant family for nearly a decade, Wendy Basnight has built a career at Vidant Chowan. As a nurse case manager, she is intimately involved with patients’ care plans, sitting at their bedsides and walking them through the process. She works with patients to see their care from a broad perspective, anticipating barriers and complications which can arise after patients are discharged. That big picture thinking involves a great deal of collaboration between staff in different areas, as well as leadership. “It makes you value and appreciate their role, because you learn how each person in the different departments contributes,” she says.
Basnight, like Sackrison, says the relationship with hospital leadership makes Vidant Chowan a place in which employees’ voices matter. “In our department there’s very open dialogue. Our manager is very engaged; we can always go to her,” she says.
Because of the culture, Basnight says that Vidant Chowan is a place where people not only want to work, but want to stay. “I have been here almost 10 years. One of the reasons I stay is I love what I do,” she says. “Even outside of that, at the system level, I’ve been able to benefit from things like tuition reimbursement and certification programs. So much emphasis is put on professional development.”
Leaders like Sackrison and staff members like Basnight help create an environment in which staff feel supported, respected, valued and encouraged to grow. Lasting and fulfilling careers are forged at Vidant Chowan”