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Published in CenterView on September 23, 2013

Children’s Healthcare of Mississippi launches effort to celebrate employees, focus on patients

By Jen Hospodor

In a continual quest to improve patient satisfaction, Children’s Healthcare of Mississippi has embarked on a new campaign aimed not only at its patients, but also at its employees.

The campaign, called “I Care for Kids,” officially launched Tuesday, Sept. 24. Organizers hope it will spark motivation and inspiration in the hearts and minds of CHM employees by focusing on the important work they do in Batson Children’s Hospital and the various pediatric clinics, caring for sick and injured children and their families.

“This campaign is an acknowledgment that our staff is our greatest strength,” said Shannon Wentz, director of coordinated care and quality for Children’s Healthcare of Mississippi. “We realize employee happiness equals patient happiness.”

Angela Castle
Angela Castle

The campaign was born out of leadership’s desire to create a mission and vision statement specific to CHM. They surveyed the staff, asking why they come to work each day and used those answers to formulate a mission and vision statement that reflected those comments.  A recurrent theme emerged, according to Terri Gillespie, chief nursing officer of Batson Children’s Hospital.

“In reading through the comments, it was obvious that our employees work here because they care for kids,” she said.

Gillespie is excited about the campaign because it celebrates the staff while focusing on patients.

Dr. Mark Reed
Dr. Mark Reed

“I walk through the halls daily and the passion of the staff is palpable,” Gillespie said. “It is written on every staff member’s face, in every patient interaction they have. Now it is time to share the theme that is common to all of us – we care for kids.”   

Wentz also acknowledged that the previous year was challenging for much of the staff.

“We want our staff to recommit to patient care after all the struggles of the past year – financial struggles, EPIC go-live, etc. We want to refocus on why we are all here.”

The campaign recognizes and praises individual staff members at every level of the organization, from housekeepers to surgeons. Components of the campaign that focus on the staff’s hard work include personalized pins for staff and an intranet page featuring videos (links below) of various staff members who have been singled out for providing exceptional service, as well as a short article on the Children’s Champion Award winner – a staff member nominated by fellow CHM staff members.

Driscoll Devaul
Driscoll Devaul

“The ‘I Care for Kids’ campaign is a great way for us to demonstrate why we chose Children’s Healthcare of Mississippi as our way to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Guy Giesecke, chief executive officer of Batson Children’s Hospital.

Patients and families can get involved by sharing ideas, compliments or concerns about their hospital stay.  A dedicated phone line has been established and comment cards will be available at various places throughout the hospital and clinics.

The phone line will route directly to a cell phone answered at all times by a clinical leader. The comment cards will be collected and read once a day by a house supervisor, who will forward them as appropriate.


Suzanne Webster
Suzanne Webster

Giesecke believes input from parents and family members is vital. 

“They know best if we are taking great care of their children,” he said. “The comment cards and dedicated phone number are new, important ways for us to obtain this information.”

Current patient satisfaction scores are nothing to be ashamed of, according to Wentz. They hover around the 50th percentile. She said the goal is to consistently be above the 75th percentile.

“We want our scores to reflect the top-notch care we know that we provide.”

"I Care for Kids" website

I Care smTo see the “I Care for Kids”  website, visit the UMMC Intranet and select “Health Care,” then click “I Care.” (UMMC employee login information required.)

To view featured employees "I Care for Kids" videos, click the links below:

Angela Castle
Dr. Mark Reed
Driscoll Devaul
Suzanne Webster