Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

All Hands Meeting Unveils 'Outstanding' Credo

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John E. Jenrette, MD, executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, addresses the audience at the Saban Theatre.

It began with catchy music by a three-piece jazz combo. It ended with a folksy mix of personal reflections and humor from a Tennessee-based author and viral video creator.

In between, there were two hours of motivational stories and other messages highlighting high-quality healthcare.

That, in short, was the 2020 "All Hands" program for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, which provides clinical care through 14 medical groups in Los Angeles and nearby communities. The pep rally-style program—divided into two sessions to accommodate more than 1,800 physicians, staffers and other attendees at the art deco Saban Theatre—was aimed at providing inspiration throughout the 25-year-old network.

There also was some news, with the unveiling of what will be the network's credo: "The Place for Outstanding."

The only pause in the celebratory tone was the acknowledgement of the growing concerns about the coronavirus. John E. Jenrette, MD, executive vice president of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, assured the audience that "at Cedars-Sinai, and within the medical network, we are prepared, and we are continuing to prepare, for an unknown in Los Angeles." He said the decision to go ahead with the All Hands gathering came only after checking "nearly every hour" with Cedars-Sinai experts and Los Angeles County officials.

Throughout the program, most of the focus was on the qualities essential to providing first-rate care for patients. Even in the introduction for the musical combo, the Apollo Trio, an announcement that boomed over the sound system explained that performing jazz “demonstrates respect, thoughtfulness and deep listening.”

Next came a recorded video message from Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai.

"All of you—the incredibly talented staff members, physicians, clinicians and leaders—have made the medical network one of the largest and most successful in the country," Priselac said. "Year after year you continue to earn the trust of patients from all walks of life. Their trust is reflected in the network's patient satisfaction score, which is now over 90%, a 5% increase over the last five years.

"Their trust is reflected in the growth of the network," Priselac continued. "When the network was formed in 1994, you had two locations. Today, you have more than 40 locations, with approximately 1,900 staff and over 365 physicians and 85 advanced practice providers. In 2019 you cared for more than 500,000 patients. Each one of those patients trusted you to provide the highest-quality care, with respect, compassion and understanding."

Later on, Jenrette explained that the network's new credo is about outstanding care, outstanding teams and outstanding experiences. Jenrette, who at one point donned a cardigan sweater to evoke "Mister Rogers," said the goal is "encouraging this behavior when we see it happen, and calling out and saying, 'Boy, you were really there. Boy, that was really kind. Hey, you were really inclusive.' Those words are used across the organization. It shows us how we want to show up each day and guides us.

"That's how powerful the credo can be," Jenrette added.

"All Hands" attendees were given "badge buddy" cards with the new credo, and the promises that it is meant to embody, in their swag bags.

Several speakers told their personal stories underscoring the "outstanding" theme, including Nitin A. Kapur, MD, MPH, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.

Kapur, whose specialty is general internal medicine, related how he was persuaded to come to Cedars-Sinai after he finished his residency at the Yale School of Medicine. During an interview with Cedars-Sinai leaders, he raised what he considered a challenging question: Isn't Cedars-Sinai just a boutique hospital to the stars? And then, Kapur said, he learned from the Cedars-Sinai physician he was interviewing with, Daniel J. Stone, MD, "It really was so much more.

"He told me that his panel had old, vulnerable patients on fixed incomes, teachers, police officers, fire fighters," Kapur said. "And here was a system that gave so much of its wealth to community service.

"Per year," Kapur added, using approximate numbers, “it had given over $100 million in unreimbursed care for the poor and underserved. Here was a system that gave another $100 million to community benefit programs by providing screenings services at schools, community shelters and homeless shelters."

The program concluded with guest speaker Brad Montague, the creator of the web video series Kid President and the author of Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome and, most recently, of Becoming Better Grownups. Montague charmed the audience with quick observations on children and human nature, along with praise for the work healthcare professionals perform.

"My son dresses up like Peter Pan, and he's thinking, 'I can fly,'" Montague said. "I don't want him to lose that."

Then, switching his attention to the audience, he continued, "I don't want you to lose the hope you have for what's possible in your work, what you see when you're with people, for what you say and what happens in between what you say and what they hear. There's so much good that can happen."