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YOUNGSTOWN HHMP wins coveted status



Published: Fri, August 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



HMHP officials say the accomplishments will improve their ability to retain and attract employees.

THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN

By WILLIAM K. ALCORN

VINDICATOR HEALTH WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Humility of Mary Health Partners is the first health-care system in Ohio, and one of only 56 nationwide, to become a magnet hospital, a designation that recognizes "sustained excellence in nursing care."

HMHP, designated a magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, also received the Best Practice Award for Cultural Transformation from the American Hospital Association's Healthcare Human Resources Society.

The HMHP health system includes St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, HM Home Care, HM Home Therapies, Hospice of the Valley, The Assumption Village and Humility House.

What it means

Hospital officials say the accomplishments will improve their ability to retain and attract employees, particularly nurses, as well as attract patients.

The recognitions say "right here is the best around," said Chris McCarty, HMHP marketing and public relations director.

The Best Practice award recognizes HMHP's three-year program on creative approaches to human resource programs aimed at improving employee morale and productivity, the ability to retain and recruit employees and its financial performance, officials said.

Michael Rowan, president and CEO, said that in 1999, HMHP confronted several workplace challenges, including labor issues, employee dissatisfaction and retention and recruitment difficulties.

"A key challenge was to convey to employees that senior leadership was committed to this initiative and that our philosophies were not just some program of the week," said Molly Seals, senior vice president of human resources.

What program includes

HMHP's program includes a human resources service-call center; an employee career center to provide training and counseling to employees not happy in their current role; tuition reimbursement and support for employees changing careers; flexible schedules to help employees balance school, work and family; an investment of $8 million into a revamped compensation program; an employee suggestion program; "Good Manager" and "Good Employee" programs; education activities for staff members; and improved two-way communications tools.

In addition, HMHP developed a measurement tool to assess the program on an ongoing basis, and in June, Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) honored HMHP with its Human Resources Award of the Year for this measurement tool, which is now used as a model for other CHP affiliates.

The Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program is based on quality indicators and standards of nursing practice as defined in the American Nurses Association's Scope and Standards for Nurse Administrators (1996).

Kay Hunt, director of organizational education and manager of the magnet project, said the designation is important because magnet hospitals are known to have "raised the bar" in nursing care, and to give nurses real input into decisions affecting patient care and their workplace.

Bonnie Perratto, vice president of nursing, said that in magnet hospitals nurses are participants in managing their workplace.

alcorn@vindy.com




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