Connecting to a Shared VisionSeptember 11th, 2020
It has taken us some time to unveil our updated Mission, Vision and Values (MVV), not just because COVID-19 put a pause on our early Spring launch, but also because we wanted to do our due diligence. As a team, senior leaders spent the better part of 2019 and early 2020 talking to many of you. As a result, the words in our MVV have been painstakingly selected to reflect what you – our faculty, staff and learners – have told us are most important to you.
We now have an incredible opportunity to rally around one common purpose (mission), our future aspirations (vision) and the core behaviors that we all value. This is why our MVV means a great deal to me. It means that we’re not just caring for patients, educating learners and conducting research. It means that we are doing so with a higher purpose—to be the best at what we do and pave the way for others—all guided by values that are demonstrated in the actions we take.
Let me take a few minutes to talk about our core values.
No one – whether you work on the front line or are critical support workers behind the scenes – would have to look far to recognize our core value of caring at work. It is what we do and we do it with excellence. The pandemic has actually strengthened our spirit of caring. It could be seen in the extra time care teams spent with RICU patients who were unable to see their loved ones, the long shifts our environmental services teams spent sanitizing every surface to ensure our patients and our teams were safe, the signs of encouragement we wrote to each other on windows and boards, and the way our medical students built their own volunteer organization to support the community. This extraordinary spirit of caring for our patients and for each other continues as we face ongoing challenges related to the pandemic.
The pandemic also brought a lot of innovation to the forefront, in record time. We came up with new solutions to address supply chain shortages, PPE requirements, research questions, ways to continue delivering on our patient care, education and research missions during a pandemic. All of this was amazingly impressive, but not altogether new to Michigan Medicine. We just have to remember to continue to promote a culture that nurtures creativity and supports an innovative spirit.
This is a new core value for us, but it is something we have strived to build throughout our history. Recent events have shown us that we, like other institutions around us, have not done enough, to fight systemic racism. Therefore, it was important to include this core value. Since joining the anti-racism committee, I am encouraged to continue to learn more, increase awareness and promote open dialogue about how we combat discrimination.
Integrity is also a core value that is part of our long legacy, but it is one that must constantly be nurtured. We have heard from you that you want more transparency from us and we are working to include more levels of communication throughout the organization. Leaders at all levels are rounding to ensure they are hearing about issues when and where they happen, and we continue to discuss accountability with each other and our teams.
It is often said that health care is a team sport, and now more than ever, that is the case. As we continue living through a pandemic, keeping our communities safe and healthy is also a team effort. The daily operations in our health system and medical school, now more complex because of COVID-19, are only occurring because we understand that high functioning teams are critical. We are performing to different standards now, which must be supported by multi-dimensional teams across all levels of the organization.
It’s not hard to read these words and agree with them. Making sure what you do every day drives to our mission, reaches for our vision and follows our core values – that’s where the hard work comes in.
We’re all human. We make mistakes. We get tired. We sometimes forget to appreciate the efforts of those around us. But remember to take a moment and become aware, recognize those moments and learn from them. Those are our moments of growth and opportunity.
What does the Mission, Vision and Core Values mean to you? Share your thoughts in the discussion box below