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Michigan Medicine

A Minute with Marschall

Connecting to a Shared Vision

September 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


  • In the Sept. 14, 2020 Michigan Headlines article, there was a reference to print out a MMV flyer. Can you have someone check if this link is working? I’d like to make a copy to share with my co-workers.

  • I think it is fitting that this was posted on 9/11. All of the values listed here remind me of the months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Our country came together and CARED for each other. It is this value alone that makes all the other values possible. This is also a great reminder that while these values serve Michigan Medicine and the university well, these also solidify the very foundation of humanity. And it is not that difficult when you take a minute to reflect; the truth is, all of us have more in common than we have as differences.

    • Well stated, Marcella! We all, indeed, lean on CARING, as our key value, especially at times like these. We will get through this by continuing to care for our patients, their families and each other. That is what makes us a community and that is what we have most in common!

  • I love being part of Michigan Medicine because of the meaningful and impactful mission/vision/values. However, I did not see the word “patient” anywhere. Although it is implied, putting the word “patient(s)” would strengthen the resolve of the MVV purpose.

    • Greta,
      That is a good thought. When developing our Mission, Vision and Values we do try to make our words simple and concise so they can imply all that caring could more broadly mean in everything we do, especially since not everyone works directly with patients. Whenever I think of the words used, such as caring, lives, well-being, respect, dignity, kindness, etc. I’m always reminded of the ways we treat patients, as well as others we connect with at Michigan Medicine. I hope others see it that way too.

  • This is really hard to fathom because Dearborn just announced the news for the Non-POC café meeting. How is that inclusion? Yes, I saw the statement UofM Dearborn released but whomever approved this needs an education about inclusion themselves and how to present things. I was horrified to see the post from a friend who lives in Atlanta and has nothing to do with the UofM. WE CAN DO BETTER!!!

    • You are right, J.D. We can do better. All the more reason to embrace our core value of Inclusion to remind us of what we are striving for. We made a mistake – a severe misstep that resulted in pain within our community. The virtual cafes at U of M Dearborn which you mention were intended to provide members of the campus community an opportunity to reflect on controversial topics from their own lived experiences. However, the events were not executed and presented properly. But we can find an opportunity in this and learn from this error. The more aware we become of these missteps, the more we can grow and foster a better, more equitable environment for all of us here at Michigan Medicine.

  • Respect ! We must respect every person on every team. We are working together for the same goal, our patients . We must respect each other even though we don’t always agree .

    • I agree, Wendy. We will not succeed in living our MVV without respect for each other and understanding what we each must do to reach our shared goals. Thank you for understanding that we are all part of the same team and that you are an important piece of that puzzle.

  • I wish “taking the time to do it right the first time” could be highlighted.

    While I know that sentiment is part of “teamwork” and some of the other word choices in the graphic, I have found that statement from the high reliability training to be very profound.

    • Thank you, Heather, for pointing that out. In our rush to get things done, and our drive for excellence, we often overlook what seems to be the minor details that can cause a lot of waste and pain later. Our training in High Reliability, which drives strong processes in quality and safety, will help guide all of us to recognize that. It’s a culture shift that is needed but I know, if we all devote time to the training and follow-up, we can get there.

  • I am part of the Radiology Authorization Team. Since day one of working with this team I knew I was where I needed to be. Especially noticed this year, our leaders, Lauren Heiser and Aaron Amin have been supportive, understanding and professional in their decision making. Our team has worked together to make this transition as smooth as possible under the circumstances. We had staff step and and volunteer to work the front line because they believe in University’s mission to care first for our patients. I am very proud to be part of this team. Each member plays a role in providing a positive image of the healthcare system. Thank you to our team! Lauren, Aaron, Eric, Deb, Tabitha, Tanya, Doug, Dennis, Sherry, Lori, Ashley, Alanna, Derek, Cassandra, and Nikki.

    • Tina, thank you so much for sharing how your team works together to represent Michigan Medicine in such a dynamic and professional way. You truly live our mission, vision and values by caring for patients and working as a team to collaborate, respect and support each other. Bravo Radiology Authorization Team!

  • This MVV really speaks to me because it is a part of what I believe, not only for Michigan Medicine, but for life in general. The pandemic has flipped our world upside down, as if we’ve all forgot how to treat each other, not to mention how we should be taking care of ourselves. This mission, if marketed correctly, will be a turning point for Michigan Medicine – and hopefully us all – to take this mission out into the world and show it a kinder, gentler, more loving people who truly care about one another today and into the future. Thank you to everyone who participated in putting the new MVV together.

    • A turning point is a good way to put it, Stephen! I called it a time for new opportunity but it is also a chance to look back and reflect, as you suggest here, on how we have treated each other. We do need to do better. I see bright moments every day as we turn in a more positive direction and this post is one of those. Thank you for it. I’m glad this MVV speaks to you.

  • For a variety of reasons, I believe that some staff, faculty and trainees may not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on the above message from Dr. Runge, when it is required to leave one’s name.

    If the goal is to truly have people at all levels within the organization share their thoughts, please consider allowing anonymous comments, even if those comments are not made public and only seen by Dr. Runge.

    • I appreciate your concern, Gary. This blog and the discussion box is designed to be an open forum so the comments are shared. However, there are other ways staff, faculty and learners can share their thoughts anonymously. There are options to use a department’s chain of command or the Michigan Medicine Hotline to share comments if an employee is uncomfortable going directly to their supervisor. I also am available to hearing comments, questions and suggestions from anyone by contacting me at my email: Thank you for bringing this up.

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