St. Mary’s Regional Health Center conducts numerous activities as part of its overall strategic approach to health care. The main hospitaloffers emergency services, diagnostics, and treatments of all types. The organization operates several facilities in other locations. Recently, St.Mary’s management team, with the approval of the organization’s board of directors, created a new path.
In the past, patients would travel to the hospital or its other facilities when a health problem emerged. Someone who suspected he or she wasexperiencing heart or cardiovascular issues would be sent to the heart center, a patient diagnosed with cancer would be referred to the cancertreatment center, and so forth.
The top management team, after many long discussions, decided it was time for St. Mary’s to redefine itself. The concept was that members ofthe community and potential patients of the system should become partners in the health care process. Rather than passively waiting until anillness or injury occurs, citizens of the area should be encouraged to proactively prevent as many health problems as possible.
To help achieve this new strategic vision, the proprietors founded the St. Mary’s Wellness Center. Among the directives for the organization’snew wing were the following:
Provide low-cost health-screening tools, such as blood pressure tests and weigh-ins.
Encourage healthy activities by patrons, including watching diet, managing weight, and exercising.
Offer low-fee programs to help individuals engage in healthy activities, including clubs, exercise groups, and support groups.
Link physical wellness to mental well-being.
Establish an immunization program at low cost for flu shots, shingles vaccinations, and other similar preventive steps.
Creating this new partnership required more than public relations activities and a new building. Physicians in the community were contacteddirectly and asked to talk with their patients about the wellness program when giving routine physicals and when other contacts took place.Advertising the system and its benefits would take place for the next year. The St. Mary’s Wellness Center would sponsor closed-captioning ofthe news on two local television stations, which would provide daily reminders of its existence to viewers.
When explaining the new program to community members, two points were to be emphasized. First, real wellness, such as lowering bloodpressure, eating fewer fatty foods, watching calories, engaging in mild exercise, and working to manage stress, offers direct benefits to theindividual. As time passes, a person who actively engages in preventive steps would be far less prone to endure diabetes, some forms ofcancer, heart problems, and other maladies.
Second, the program should assist in cutting health care costs. This benefit extends to both the patient and the hospital. When communitymembers actively work to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they can expect to pay less for health care and lose less time to sick days away fromwork. The hospital benefits by reducing the need for expensive treatments and recoveries from various illnesses. As one board member put it,“This new vision for our organization cre-ates a win–win situation.”
Write a mission statement that reflects this new direction for St. Mary’s.
Write a vision statement reflecting the new mission statement.
What type of strategy did the leadership team at St. Mary’s pursue?
Which organizations in the community might view the wellness center as a new form of competition?
What factors described in this chapter might affect the implementation of this new strategy?