Win a Drone or $100 Gift Card During Safety Week

Throughout the year, we take time to step back, celebrate our accomplishments and refocus our efforts on the safety of our patients and associates. National Safety Awareness Week is March 12-18, and it reminds us that we are united in our commitment to keeping our patients and those who care for them free from harm. Good Catch reporting is essential to this effort because it allows our organization to identify problems that impact safety before they become events of harm. And, this year, your Good Catches could win you a big prize!

All Good Catches entered into PEARL between March 12-18 increase your chances of winning!

For every validated Good Catch reported during National Safety Awareness Week, your name will be entered into our drawing. There is no limit to how many times your name can be entered.

  • The grand prize recipient will receive a DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7k HD Video Camera, complete with an accessories kit.
  • Ten runners-up will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

Also, keep an eye out for additional Safety Awareness Week activities and events at your care site. Thank you all for helping us build a culture of accountability.

*Note: Must be employed by SCL Health; members of the System Patient Safety Committee are ineligible to participate. Prizes will be taxed according to IRS regulations.

Financial Hardship? SCL Health is Here to Help

SCL Health is made up of 15,000 selfless and caring associates who have dedicated their lives to serving others. But, what happens when our caregivers are in need of some care? At SCL Health, we recognize that we are all human and will all face difficulties and hardships in our own lives.

This is why SCL Health offers the Humanitarian Fund Associate Assistance Program — a program that provides support for associates who are experiencing financial hardship or have an emergency need for resources. Our Humanitarian and Associate Assistance Funds provide no-interest loans or small grants to associates during their time of need. Repayments of loans are then made in increments over time through automatic payroll deduction. Over the years, the Humanitarian Fund has helped our associates cover emergency surgeries, make mortgage payments, pay for funerals and has even helped couples adopt children. Having this resource available helps prevent financial hardships from becoming financial crises.

“You never know when this kind of situation may arise,” says Cindy Parr, Senior Director of Philanthropic Services. “One big crisis like an accident or illness can have a snowball effect. Often times, they can cause families to miss mortgage payments or other bills. With the Humanitarian Fund in place, associates know they have a safety net.”

Since the formal program was founded in the 1970s, the Humanitarian Fund has helped thousands of associates get back on their feet after a financial hardship. The program is funded predominantly by donations from associates. Donations are taken during our care sites’ annual Caring Spirit Associate Giving Campaign and can be made via payroll deduction, PTO donation or as a one-time gift via cash, check or credit card.

To learn more about your care sites’ Humanitarian Fund Associate Assistance Program or to apply for assistance, please visit the HR Forms Library on The Landing, or click on the appropriate link below.

SCL Health Opposes First Version of New Health Law

Editor’s Note: The following update is provided by Chris Woolsey, SCL Health’s Senior Vice President – Advocacy, with regard to the House bill known as the American Health Care Act.

The House has introduced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “repeal and replace” legislation, called the American Health Care Act. This is the first pass at a bill that is expected to undergo a number of changes before becoming a law. While we will watch to see how it develops, SCL Health joins the Catholic Health Association in strongly opposing the new Act in its current form, for a variety of reasons.

The CHA writes:

The legislation proposes not only to make major changes to the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA — eliminating the individual and employer mandate, premium tax credits, and cost-sharing subsidies — but also to fundamentally restructure the Medicaid program. The legislation has now been approved by the House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees and is expected to be taken up in the House and Senate in the coming weeks.

CHA strongly opposes the American Health Care Act, which asks the low-income and most vulnerable in our country to bear the brunt of the cuts to our health care system.

Specifically, we oppose the proposal to cap federal Medicaid financing beginning in FY 2019, thereby eliminating the federal-state shared financing partnership for the Medicaid program. Medicaid is already a lean program, with spending per beneficiary considerably lower than private insurance and growth in spending per beneficiary slower than private insurance. Capping the federal financing for the Medicaid program, whether through per capita caps or block grants, fundamentally undermines the health care safety net and will lead to major reductions in benefits and coverage for vulnerable individuals and families.

You can read the complete statement by CHA President and CEO Sister Carol Keehan, DC, here.

If you desire to take action, the CHA recommends the following:We urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to oppose this legislation as currently drafted. Specifically, urge them to:

  • Reject the proposal to cap federal Medicaid financing with a “per capita cap.”
    • Capping Federal Medicaid dollars will:
      • Cause major reductions in benefits and coverage for vulnerable individuals and families.
      • Sharply reduce federal payments and shift costs onto states, health providers and beneficiaries
      • Shift the risk of all costs above the cap to the states, including:
        • public health crisis like the opioid epidemic;
        • increased mental and behavioral health services;
        • new drugs or medical advances; and
        • natural or manmade disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or lead poisoning
      • Lock in federal funding levels based on earlier state benefit choices, constraining new investments
    • For those in Medicaid expansion states, capping Federal funds will: 
      • End the state’s enhanced Federal matching rate for new enrollees as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • Ensure health care coverage is available and affordable for all 
    • Adjust the proposed tax credits to ensure affordability, especially for low-income individuals and families, by basing them on income in addition to age
    • Eliminate the 30% increase in monthly premiums for those who are unable to maintain “continuous” health insurance coverage, including individuals with pre-existing conditions

For more information about the legislation, see the House Ways & Means Committee notice and Energy & Commerce Committee notice.

You can reach congressional offices through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

In addition, a sample letter is available on e-Advocacy.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter, and for all that you do to support Catholic health care.

SCL Health will continue to follow the legislation as it progresses and will provide updates. Associates can learn more about this issue and other advocacy-related work on The Landing’s Advocacy page.

Wellness Incentive Program Reminders: Rewards, Taxes and More

Associates are off and running with the 2017 health and well-being incentive program via RedBrick Health. Since it launched in January, associates across the system have participated in healthy activities such as the Compass Health Assessment and Journeys.

“We’ve had great engagement,” says Kathy Makowski, VP, Total Rewards for SCL Health. “We’ve had 36 percent engagement of eligible associates and 12 percent of eligible spouses/legally domiciled adults (LDAs) across the system.” This is great news since two of our health system’s top priority Blue Chip goals are to have 55 percent of eligible associates and 20 percent of eligible spouses/legally domiciled adults (LDA) take advantage of the 2017 incentive program.

While we are well on our way to achieving these annual Blue Chip goals, we want to encourage even more associates and their spouses/LDAs to get started now! Here are a few reminders:

Big Money for You and Your Family

Aside from improved wellness, which is the primary goal, another incentive for this program is that you can earn up to $750 if you are a benefits-eligible associate*. Also, if your spouse/LDA is enrolled in an SCL Health medical plan, he or she is also eligible for up to $750 in rewards. Learn more about the steps you can take toward better health and the $750 reward opportunities on the new RedBrick Health wellness portal at https://SCLHealth.RedBrickHealth.com.

Gift Card Taxation

Through this year’s program, you can earn gift cards from a number of major retailers for completing healthy activities. Keep in mind that per federal and state law, gift cards are considered income and the value will be added to your paycheck for tax purposes once you select any gift cards from the RedBrick Health site—typically within two paychecks. Note: If you are enrolled in an SCL Health medical plan and earn Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) rewards, you are not taxed on the value of those incentive dollars.

Now Even Easier To Earn Rewards and Improve Your Health

RedBrick offers a better online experience and enhanced support to help you reach your health goals. Log in to the new portal and RedBrick will guide you through the required first steps (the Compass Health Assessment and a biometric health screening) and show you the many additional healthy activity options. Get started by registering here: https://SCLHealth.RedBrickHealth.com.

If you have any questions or issues with the portal, RedBrick Health’s customer service team is available 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. CST at 844-724-5612.

*Benefits-eligible associates regularly scheduled to work 20 or more hours per week are eligible to participate with the exception of St. James Healthcare Teamsters, Platte Valley Medical Center and Mount Saint Vincent associates.

Assess Fundraising Like Other Aspects of Healthcare

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Megan Mahncke, VP, Chief Development Officer for SCL Health and published by the Catholic Health Association. Read the article online here.

Almost a year ago at SCL Health, we launched an assessment of philanthropy across the organization. When it comes to fundraising, here’s the vital question: “Are we raising as much money as we possibly can?”

Sometimes people feel squeamish about linking money and ministry, even though intellectually they know better, and even though history has shown them the way. For example, in our health ministry, philanthropy always has played a significant role. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth were our first fundraisers; they persistently raised money to build sites within our organization that now comprises 11 hospitals and includes ambulatory centers, home health care, hospice, mental health and safety net services across Kansas, Colorado and Montana.

As the transition from sisters to lay administrators took place over the past several decades, the role of philanthropy shifted, too, often becoming an afterthought buried amid larger hospital operations.

For those of us who have spent our careers in fundraising, we know there are important underlying questions to be answered and best practices that need to be in place before you can gauge the effectiveness of philanthropy. You need to know: 1) How efficiently are you raising current dollars? 2) Have you invested in the appropriate infrastructure and staff? and 3) Have you focused time on the most impactful programs, namely, major giving as opposed to events?

Gathering Data
At SCL Health, these questions spurred our evaluation and drove us to create a strategic approach that would transform philanthropy throughout the ministry. As we began to gather financial data to understand where each of our foundations stood, we quickly realized we were not comparing apples to apples.

We had nine different staffing models using six different kinds of database software and encountered great variations in financial reporting and definitions. Each foundation was isolated from the others, regardless of geographical proximity. There was limited collaboration, meaning basically no exchange of knowledge or best practices, and individual hospital foundations often were approaching the same funders. We couldn’t put together a meaningful report that would inform our health system board and leaders how effective our fundraising was.

It became clear that we needed outside experts to help us evaluate each foundation and to attempt to compile data in a standard format with comparable categories. Only then could we set a benchmark for each foundation and roll up data for review at a system level. We chose a third party to examine each foundation’s return on investment, staffing structure, board management and development, alignment with senior management of each hospital and overall impact to mission.

We surveyed donors, board members, hospital leaders and foundation teams to gain a full understanding of how our foundations were perceived and then compared that information to performance at each site. The process took almost six months from start to finish. The outcome was a detailed, comprehensive report of recommendations divided into actions that were system led, regionally led and led by the local care site. The first overarching recommendation we took action on was establishing a chief development officer position for the health system — the position I now hold — to support and elevate philanthropy across all of our regions.

Strengths and Weaknesses
The assessment’s overall findings and observations indicated our strengths at SCL Health Foundations include high patient satisfaction for our hospitals — a key indicator of both current success and potential fundraising opportunity. Patients satisfied with the care they have received are much more likely to give back and to advocate for your hospital within the community.

Another key strength was our strong community volunteer leadership within hospital and foundation boards. On the financial side, we saw an upward trend over the preceding several years and a 7 percent increase in philanthropy over the preceding two years. The assessment also pointed to some successful existing programs, including associate giving, grants and low-cost, high-return events.

The findings revealed that our greatest need was to dramatically increase collaboration and use of shared intelligence among our foundation teams. We also learned there were areas of opportunity to improve unrealized philanthropic potential based on a community capacity assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shift in Focus
The recommendations and findings showed SCL Health needed to shift its focus to building or strengthening high-return programs, such as major giving, gift planning and grateful patient giving. We learned many of our foundations had spent the majority of their efforts on grants, soliciting SCL Health associates, and putting on fundraising events. All three are necessary components to a robust fundraising program, but they are not sustainable without the major giving component. We also discovered that we needed to engage our physicians in order to increase grateful patient referrals. Physicians and nurses are the first to build a relationship with a patient and their family. It is important for them to understand the impact of hospital foundations so they can endorse and refer grateful patients. We had not spent the time to educate our larger physician community on the impact of our foundations, nor had we taught them how to connect patients to us directly.

Another area of weakness was the lack of metrics for philanthropic work. Foundations were a small line item in the large hospital consolidated financials. There were no consistent measurements or benchmarks for our fundraising operations that would allow us to determine success or failure.

Recipe for Foundations
These high-level strengths and weaknesses helped us prioritize the first course of action: getting the nine foundations to work together so that each one could be more successful. Drawing on my experience raising money in large systems within health care and higher education, I knew we needed to maintain a high level of autonomy at the hospital foundations, and we needed to improve the business functions that support fundraising and stewardship. We needed to increase accountability and share best practices for fundraising, consistent reporting and metrics to all of our foundations.

I engaged with each foundation leader to determine and understand what strategies and tactics needed to remain local and what support could be provided at the system level. We determined that each hospital would retain autonomy by having its own board, local fundraising priorities set by hospital leadership and boards, and retention of all dollars raised.

Most importantly, we discovered the foundations needed more time to focus on community relationships. Our foundations ranged in staffing from teams of two to 12, but no matter the size of the team, each was responsible for everything from gift processing to raising major gifts. It became apparent that if we could provide “back of house” support and resources at a system level, the foundations could concentrate on the “front of house” duties, i.e. fundraising, board management and successful events that are the direct business of raising money in individual communities.

At the system level, we created supportive efficiency by taking on the functions for accounting and finance, converting to one single donor database, annual fund and grants strategy. By relieving our foundations of some of the administrative work, they are able to focus and pay the appropriate attention to donors while still having the autonomy they need to build a unique relationship with their community. Over time, each foundation will be able to shift focus to major and planned gifts.

Levels of Support
Fundraising is based on internal organizational relationships, relationships with donors and the overall relationship that hospitals have within the community. Our undertaking was designed to provide system-level support for back-office activities that had been handled at the local care sites without disrupting successful local practices and processes already in place.

I assembled a small team to review every function or lack of function within our foundations to determine which level of support would improve our ability to raise more money. We asked these questions before each step:

  • Can this function or recommendation be implemented at a system level? If yes, why is this a better solution for improving philanthropy?
  • Should this function/recommendation be implemented at a regional level? If yes, why is this a better solution for improving philanthropy?
  • Does this function/recommendation need to remain at the local care site?

In the business of philanthropy, we base everything we do on the relationships we have with our donors and the overall community. We cannot raise the necessary support if we do not cultivate and steward these relationships in and outside our organizations.

It takes many hours, even years, to cultivate donors who support our healing mission. The competition grows annually for philanthropic dollars as more and more nonprofits start up within the communities. The competitive environment demands us to become even more accountable and transparent regarding the exact impact the donors’ dollars are having on the work they are supporting. We owe it to our patients and donors to ensure efficiency in the back-of-the-house operations so that we can direct dollars to the cause with as little overhead cost as possible.

Reporting Benchmarks
To that end, SCL Health now has nationally recommended benchmarks to which we would hold each foundation annually accountable:

  • Cost per dollar raised
  • Gift income per full time employee
  • Gift income per salary dollar

These simple data points help us focus on how efficiently we are raising money. None of the benchmarks is new, but it was a culture shift to report the numbers on a regular basis, and it created transparency and accountability for each foundation. Some foundations’ board members were shocked to discover it was costing more than a dollar to raise a dollar. Others were impressed to see how a small team had been raising millions.

With these data points and the insights and perspectives gained from our assessment, all foundation leaders, foundation boards of directors, hospital leaders and system executives reviewed the recommendations on how to improve fundraising throughout SCL Health.

I worked with many leaders throughout the health system to come up with a two-year plan. Its key priorities were to increase philanthropy and efficiency, build infrastructure and develop programs, and we assigned goals and strategies to each priority.

Conclusion
It took hours of relationship-building and discussion to improve how we are raising money within our health system. These conversations were made possible by our shared mission and values — we are here to raise the greatest amount of money and support for the hospitals to provide excellent patient care. Starting with this shared premise allowed us to elevate our conversations to focusing on possibilities of improvement versus control of function. The other critical component is the investment and support from the top executives, including the health system board.

Too often in large nonprofits like health systems or universities, we move to implement efficiency but sacrifice truly improving the quality of the work, or, in this case, the amount of support we are receiving from our communities.

We have discovered that as you shift focus, there are gaps in skills that need to be addressed. As much of our work is based in the community, we also are learning of the need to improve the culture of philanthropy throughout our system. Every aspect of health care is evaluated on a certain standard of metrics. It became clear to us that we needed to create a standard set of metrics that we report on monthly to our leaders to show philanthropy’s impact and to prove that it has strategy-driven outcomes like anything else in health care.

So far, this work has resulted in creating a culture of shared knowledge among philanthropic leaders. Metrics are driving a culture of major giving and transparent fundraising outcomes, both internally and externally. We have found efficiencies in working together so that we can deliver greater impact for the philanthropic dollars that are invested in our SCL Health hospitals across Colorado, Montana and Kansas.

Taking a Peek Behind the Curtain

UPDATED 3/22/17: The launch of SCL Health’s newly redesigned website has been postponed from March 21 to April 3 due to an unforeseen issue in the final hours before blast-off. We apologize for the delay. We want to assure you the issue is getting fixed, and all of the site’s awesomeness remains safely intact and ready for the world to see on April 3.

Have you ever noticed how pro athletes and artists make doing something really difficult look super easy? Well, that’s what you can expect to see with SCL Health’s newly redesigned and reimagined website, which launches March 21.

The new site will make it easier for patients and consumers to get where they need to go to find what they need and do what they want to do, and it will speak to them on their terms.

What it won’t reveal is what took place behind-the-scenes to get there. Similar to bedside care, the simpler the patient experience, the more challenging the work was to make it so. Across SCL Health, your Marketing & Communications pros conducted dozens of hours of interviews and research, wrote and rewrote thousands of pages of content, and consulted with dozens of SCL Health subject matter experts. All of this came after countless strategic meetings to explore the needs of the consumer, to hone our writing styles to fictional personas representing our very real patients, and introduce entirely new functions and features with big names like geo-location and mobile-responsiveness.

So, as you go online and enjoy this new experience, we want to say a special thanks to the people who participated.

Subject Matter Experts

The following individuals provided their time and expertise to make sure we give people accurate, comprehensive information tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Adele Sykes Jon Hoomes
Alan Podczervinski Jonathan Barton
Amy Mosher JuDee O’Donnell
Amy Scanlan, MD Judith Kadlec-Fuller
Annette Ban Julie Steele
Ashlee Ketchum Kalissa Kaufman   McAtee
Aubrey Arneson Karen Irish
Barbara Nawrocki Kathy Kufahl
Barbara Repp Kelly Knudson, MD
Betsy DeLeon Kendra Eaton
Betsy Woolf Ken Rooks, MD
Bill Needham Kerri Charles
Brenda Holliday-Stanton Kim Browka
Brent Wilkins Kim Zinda
Carol Fowler Kris Richards
Casey Karnes Lalanya Gilmet
Cathie Jackson Lee Meyer
Chad Irion Liane Vadhem
Charlotte Balerio Lindsey Mills
Chris Wilson Lisa Cadwell
Christina Vidrich Liz Mahon
Cindy Parr Lori Martinez
Cindy Parrish Lorna Sturgeon
Colleen Hatton Lorrie Johnson
Connie Estridge Lynne Bentley
Deb Lowery Marcia Teague
Deb Sack Marilyn Melison
Debbie Forkan Mary Beery
Deborah Horne Mary Lou Hampson
Debra Hesse Mary Margaret Friend
Della J. Goedert Maryanne Jones
Diane Terry Mendee Livingston
Dorothy Tatum Micah Roten
Doug Malcolm Michael Herrick
Dustin Strandell Michelle Archuleta
Edie Gonitzke Michelle Kerr
Eileen Meisner Michelle Shiao
Ericka Watkins Mike Roth
Eva Currie Nicole Graczyk
Evan Krause Nicole Hopewell
Frank Chae, MD Pat Maass
Gary Bailey Patrick Bushard, MD
Gary G. Hamilton Patty Handley
Gerard Federic Paul Leavens
Grover Bass Pauline Flotkoetter
Heather Hagenson Phil Stalling
Heidi Zentz Rachael Kazimir
Holly Ferguson Rob Brugger
Holly LeRoux Ruth Ross
Holly Mahlmeister Sandy Siebert
Inger Curtis Sara Colbert
Jackie Weinhold Scott Cizek
Jaina Muhlestein Sharon McCaleb
James Calliham Shelley Ruyle
James Hackbarth Sonya Neumann
Jana Bolduan-Lomax Teresa Francisco
Janelle Hood Terri Stewart
Janette O’Brien Theresa Ketterling
Jason Wojciechowski Timothy Pellandi
Jeanne Payne Tom Grabiak
Jeannette Donnelly Traci O’Neill
Jeffrey DesJardin, MD Valerie Jackson
Jennifer Davis Vicki Birkeland
Jennifer Pentecost Wanda Givens
Jerad Degenhart Wendy Moline
JoAnne Hunter Wendy Ross
John Nordrum Yvonne Fillinger

SCL Health Marketing & Communications

Angela Douglas Marnie Gloor
Brenna Middleton Martie Rison
Brian Newsome Megan Mahncke
Charmaine Weis Michael Yuhas
Chris Woolsey Monica Hall
Eric Mello Nikki Sloup
Evelyn Wiant Rachel Hamasaki
Jennifer Jas Sabrina Farris
Jessica Kuipers Sarah Ellis
John Berg Scott Audet
Julie Lindsay Scott Powell
Justin Fales Shawn Langeliers
Kathy Borgais Stephanie Baker
Katie Cicerchi Tamara Vliek
Kelly Moore Teri Cavanagh
Kimberly Irwin Tiffany Anderson
Kimberly Stroud Timothy Shonsey
Kyle Garratt Tom Gilboy
Lauren Wojtko Trella Chambers
Linda McGillen Ursula Richter
Lynn Ratcliff

Other Partners

MedTouch Elizabeth Carver
Lauren Hayutin Carl Baranowski
Kevin Kammerzell John Slavin
Rick Salazar Kristi Davis
Mike Macmann Kay Brown
Mark Hinman Georgeann Bell
Mary Anthes Carol Calacino

VIDEO: New SCL Health Website

UPDATED 3/22/17: The launch of SCL Health’s newly redesigned website has been postponed from March 21 to April 3 due to an unforeseen issue in the final hours before blast-off. We apologize for the delay. We want to assure you the issue is getting fixed, and all of the site’s awesomeness remains safely intact and ready for the world to see on April 3.

Imagine an SCL Health care site with 3 million visits per year. Now imagine every person who visits immediately has the chance to engage further – activating services in our care sites or our community hospitals, getting in touch with their physician, or even arranging a private, personal physician visit in minutes through their mobile device.

That type of continuous, coordinated and convenient care doesn’t typically take place in our bricks and mortar, traditional hospital settings. It is a model of care SCL Health is offering in the digital world – because we recognize more and more people are looking online for information about us and how to access care for themselves or their family.

In late March, SCL Health will launch an entirely redesigned and reimagined website – one that offers an experience that is tailor-made for consumers and patients and that offers information and access to all of our care sites, clinics and services. We’ve ambitiously set out to completely redesign the online experience – ensuring it offers a “warm handoff” and personalized engagement at every turn to allow consumer and existing patients information they need, when and where they need it.

Key features

  • We’re ditching the fancy talk. On the new site you’ll notice things are written in plain English, not complex medical terms and technical jargon. Consumers have enough on their minds without having to decode what we say, so we’ve made it easier for them by anticipating questions, speaking in words they use, and keeping things simple. This, in turn, makes it easier to find us in Google searches.
  • We’re getting personal. SCL Health is a big and complex health system, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel that way to consumers. When web visitors tell us their locations, their experience will be customized to where they are, including nearby doctors, care sites and services.
  • We’re making it easy to do business with us. Whether someone wants to book a doctor’s appointment, pre-register for an upcoming hospital visit, see a doctor by video, sign up for a class, or easily sign into MyChart, we’ve got them covered. Across our site, we’re not just presenting information – we’re helping people follow through with action.
  • We’re focusing on mobile. People are increasingly spending more – if not most – of their time online with their mobile devices compared to desktop computers. The SCL Health web experience is built around making it easy to find a doctor and connect with SCL Health from iPhone or Android devices.

Coming soon

  • Physician star ratings. After the new site launches, we will pilot star ratings for physicians, giving consumers the same tools to find a doc that they use in picking a restaurant or a movie. This effort will consist of converting our patient satisfaction surveys into ratings and reviews. And with the excellent care provided by our physicians, we know there will be plenty of stars and positive reviews to go around.
  • ER wait times. In the event of an emergency, people will be able to go online and see  the wait time at the nearest ER. They can also check-in online, saving time when they get to the hospital.
  • Improvements to MyChart. Our MyChart patient portal already offers a significant number of conveniences for patients, such as access to medical records and results. Soon, however, there will be a whole lot more, like text notifications, wait list notifications, reviewing and paying bills online, and syncing capabilities with Apple watches.

Starting on March 21, visit SCLHealth.org and our care site and clinic websites, and email your feedback to sclhealthcommunications@sclhs.net.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think!

VIDEO: What Are Our Blue Chips and How Do They Relate to You?

Maybe you’re well-versed in our Blue Chips. Maybe you’ve heard about them but can’t quite articulate what they are. Or maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about them. Wherever you stand, we want you to better understand that our Blue Chip initiatives are those that have the greatest positive impact on our patients and organization.

Whether you’ve heard the term or not, you are likely involved in one or more Blue Chip initiatives right now! Watch this two-minute video to better understand our Blue Chips and how they relate to your job.

SCL Home Health Finds its Stride

It’s been more than two years since SCL Health launched its  home health service in the Denver region, and the program is finding its stride. Offering care outside of the traditional hospital setting is a big part of SCL Health’s vision to create more value for patients and expand the continuum of care, and home health fulfills an important part of that picture.

Since SCL Home Health launched in December 2014, its dedicated nurses, therapists, social workers and CNAs have worked diligently to become the home healthcare partner that our physicians and care sites need.

The goal of home health is to reduce the number of days patients spend in the hospital by allowing them to return home to receive additional care and to recover. Its value is reflected in its considerable growth. SCL Home Health census grew by 63 percent in the last eight months, while traditional Medicare admissions climbed by 81 percent in that same time period.

“Providing our patients the choice to have clinical collaboration, communication and compassionate care by associates that follow our SCL Health values is powerful,” says Sonya Neumann, Executive Director of SCL Home Health. “The person-centered care delivered by all SCL Health providers makes a difference to our patients and within our communities.”

We expect this success to only continue as SCL Home Health prepares to launch an exciting new cardiac care program this quarter in partnership with Lutheran Medical Center and the Heart Institute of Colorado, part of SCL Physicians. This pilot program will aid in the delivery of comprehensive cardiac care along the continuum.

SCL Home Health recently expanded and currently serves the greater Denver Metro area, including the Boulder/Longmont area in the north and Castle Rock down south. In 2016, SCL Home Health had 2,451 admissions and served more than 4,207 clients.

“Post-acute care has become a vital component of today’s healthcare system,” says Neumann. “Value-based payment models require healthcare systems to control costs, improve efficiency and promote quality care. It is extremely difficult to do this in the community where the patient is in an uncontrolled setting. We provide patients with the best path to safe and independent care and reduce the risk of avoidable hospitalizations. This work is essential to the success of our population health endeavors.”

Free College Money?! Application Deadline is March 10

Don’t forget! The deadline is quickly approaching to submit your application for the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program. If you have a child pursuing post-secondary education in college or a vocational program, he or she may be eligible to apply for a scholarship through SCL Health.

This program was put in place to assist associates’ children who plan to pursue post-secondary education. Click here to download the application.

The postmark deadline for submissions is Friday, March 10, 2017, and scholarship awards will be announced in mid-April. Recipients are selected by Scholarship Management Services, who administers this systemwide program.

Scholarship amounts can range from $500 to $3,000. In 2016, 27 students were awarded scholarships for a total of $64,000 from the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program, which was established with a $1.5 million endowment. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and will be selected on a set of criteria, including: academic record, demonstrated leadership, statement of goals and aspirations, unusual personal or family circumstances and an outside appraisal.

Eligibility

  • Dependent children and stepchildren of regular full- and part-time, benefits-eligible associates of SCL Health or its affiliates, age 25 and under. Associates must be normally scheduled to work at least 40 hours per bi-weekly pay period, have been employed at least one year and have worked at least 1,000 hours as of the application deadline date.
  • High school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll or students who are already enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.

About the Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program

Vincent de Paul was born in a tiny village in France in the 16th century to a family of simple, hardworking peasants and was mostly illiterate until age 15 when he was sent to school. Vincent de Paul went on to found, with Louise de Marillac, the religious order known today as the Daughters of Charity.

All Sisters of Charity consider Vincent de Paul part of their roots. He was devoted to the alleviation of human suffering and established several hospitals in France. Because Vincent has such strong ties to the Sisters of Charity, education and hospitals, SCL Health chose to name this scholarship program after him.

The Vincent de Paul Scholarship Program is another example of our health ministry’s commitment to our associates and their families.

Apply Today or Learn More

To get started with the application process or to learn more, please visit the SCL Health Benefits website at www.SCLHealthBenefits.org/Special-Programs.

For questions, please reach out to Scholarship Management Services at 507-931-1682.