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St. Luke's Spring Forum: Charting Our Course

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
April 23, 2013

In our continuing commitment to transparency, click here to watch a video of my 2013 Spring Forum for our employees, boards, and physicians.  I also want our community stakeholders to understand the journey we are on and the progress we have made.

I presented this Forum 15 times across our System over a three-week period. In addition to our past venues, I had the pleasure of debuting the Spring Forum at St. Luke’s Elmore on their first day as part of the System. Another new venue was Nampa, where I had the chance to see folks from Saltzer Medical Group, Fruitland, and Eastern Oregon Medical Associates in Baker City, Ore. It was so exciting to be able to brag on the great work done by EOMA and to see how excited employees of Saltzer Medical Group were to be part of the St. Luke’s family.

If you did not attend one of the forums, you missed some stories and my favorite part, the Q&A. Each year, we become more and more aligned, more deeply, through our ranks. And it's so rewarding to note all the “ah-ha” moments, where all that we have been talking about and planning for is being understood as we connect the dots between our strategy and the real-life examples of our initiatives and early successes. And incorporating video segments of leaders in the forums now for the past year has provided me with an opportunity to showcase some of my outstanding executives and team members for everyone to see and hear from.

For those of you who work at St. Luke’s, thank you for all you do to provide outstanding care and caring to our patients in all ways, directly and indirectly.  For those of you who do not work at St. Luke’s, but are our stakeholders, thank you for your commitment and support; it is vitally important. And for those of you who don’t work at St. Luke’s and are not stakeholders, enjoy and be inspired!

Here are some of the things I've heard from Forum attendees:

“I thought it was informative and very professional. Enjoyed the interspersing of video clips.”

“It was nice to see the different doctors that are ‘owning’ process improvement and benchmarking best practices.”

“I was glad he brought along components of his leadership team.”

“Thanks.”

“The meeting last night was great! I enjoyed the patient focus and the drive that St. Luke’s has to create a better community. Not just treating patients but educating patients on better health is a message that is very powerful.”

“This is a weird corporate structure. The leadership is actually concerned more about their people than the bottom line. I like it, but it is weird.”

“Dr. Pate, I wanted to let you know that I have heard such amazing feedback related to your forums and I am excited to attend this afternoon personally. ... Last night my mother, who works at Saltzer, had the opportunity to attend your forum in Nampa. I just received this email from my mother and although the note is brief, its statement is grand! ‘Great meeting last night and very informative! Dr. Pate seems very passionate  about health care for all.  I can’t believe how much medicine has changed over the years since I was little and what the future brings. This is exciting!’ My mother not only gets to hear my perspective on our great System, but now gets to experience it personally. Thank you so much for your perspectives, your commitment, and most importantly, your open passion about the mission of what we do each day. Thank you for inspiring us to commit to achieving exceptional patient experiences and exceptional outcomes!”

“Dr. Pate, I just came from today’s Spring Forum, and on the walk back, I felt the need to send you a note of thanks. ... I have only been here at St. Luke’s for about six months now, but each time I hear you speak or read items on your blog, I am more impressed. In my career in the Air Force, and during my early tenure at Albertsons, I was blessed by having some great leaders as examples. I must say you rank right up there with the best of them! I want you to know that you do have support out here, and that I personally appreciate your effort to improve the health care for all of us here in Idaho. ... Anyway, my point was to thank you for the opportunity of listening today. It’s no small investment of your time and St. Luke’s Health System resources, and I do appreciate it! Thanks!”

“Thank you for your exceptional leadership. I am proud to be a St. Luke’s employee!” 

“Dr. Pate, I wanted to thank you for your presentation at the Shoreline Employee Forum. I had met with my team the following day, and we all agreed your discussion was so powerful! We really appreciated your candid and heart-felt comments, and believe we now have a better understanding of your immense efforts.  Frankly, you and the information you shared really made us all feel even more proud to work for such a wonderful organization.  Your leadership is so inspirational. Thank you!”

“Good morning … Attending Dr. Pate’s employee forum last Wednesday made me realize that I want to be a part of St. Luke’s commitment to creating a better quality of life for people in every community, with each and every encounter and with every personal interaction. I really appreciate what St. Luke’s has given to me as an employee, and I believe in the vision and mission of our leadership and its Foundation. I trust and believe in your judgment as to how my contribution, although very small, can be used for the greatest good of the communities we serve. Thank you for letting me be a small part of the tremendous job you do for all of us in Idaho!”

“Thanks so much for coming up. Feedback was an A+. Tough crowd to impress. It means a great deal that you take the time to do this.”

“Dr. Pate, I really appreciate your transparency, accessibility, and amazing leadership. I am more proud to work at St. Luke's today than when I started 14 years ago. We are all fortunate to have you leading our wonderful organization. Thank you for all you do!”

“Dr. Pate, I attended the Spring Forum in Nampa last night. Great job. It is obvious you are passionate about health care, but you care about people and it is evident. P.S. Pretty sweet twin grandsons.”

“The presentation today was well done and nicely organized.  I particularly enjoyed the several physician initiatives and programs that you highlighted.  I had to leave a little early and did not have the opportunity to congratulate you in person on a superb program.  The taped presentations of your leadership team also were effective and got our message across clearly. Thank you for the continuing excellent effort and good work.”

“Hi Dr. Pate, I want to thank you again for the time that you take to so thoughtfully communicate directly to our teams. I can’t tell you how meaningful it is for our team and community to hear directly from you. Your message was very well received and has made an impact on helping people see the value of our alignment. I am also seeing people really begin to understand and embrace our vision and strategy. I had numerous staff and board members remark to me how powerful it is for them to see you speak from your heart. They get the opportunity to personally see and feel your passion and commitment and it is contagious! … Thank you for your heartfelt convictions to make health care better for all of us. Keep showing that personal conviction and nothing can stop us! Best regards.”

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.