Shark Week!

The-Great-White-Shark-000044158484_LargeI have an obsessed fascination with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel every year. My family knows that during this week I try to align family schedules to allow us to watch this marathon as much as possible. It is hard to believe that so many intriguing television shows can be created around one topic. I admit it makes me timid to go in the ocean, especially when you hear about the unusual flurry of attacks this year in North Carolina. I still don’t buy into the comment the expert always makes that sharks aren’t interested in humans. They insist it is a case of mistaken identity and that they would rather have a high fat seal. My take is that I enjoy eating a small Cornish game hen as much as I do a large plump turkey so why would a shark respond differently?

An aerial view of Chippenham Hospital

An aerial view of Chippenham Hospital

Johnston-Willis Hospital's emergency room entrance

Johnston-Willis Hospital’s emergency room entrance

The most interesting aspect to this year’s media stories has been the first responders and hospitals that cared for these patients in the emergency situation. While I understand that a shark attack is very rare, emergency care and trauma is not. This year we increased our Trauma levels at both Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals to best serve our community.  We forget how amazing emergency providers are who are on the ambulances and helicopters and in our ERs. Our hospitals have made great strides over the years to grow with the needs of our community. A few weeks ago I announced our construction of a new Emergency Room called Swift Creek ER on Hull Street in Midlothian. The clinical care done in our facilities is continually impressive. It could not be done without the talent of the entire care team.  We have seen 3,000 more patients in the first 6 months of 2015 compared to the same time period last year. That takes us to 69,000 patients in our ERs in the first 6 months. During that same period we experienced close to 1,000 more ambulance drop offs – a 9% increase. The CJW team has a lot be proud of in the care of these patients. Drs. Scott Hickey and Kevin Norieka, our medical directors, do an exceptional job ensuring the highest quality of care at our facilitators. Thank you to the whole team for helping make us a premier medical center.

2015 Employee Satisfaction Results

During the month of May, we conducted our annual employee engagement survey at Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals (CJW). 2,727 (87%) of our employees took the survey. I appreciate the high participation rate as it gives us an accurate and well-rounded picture for employees’ perception about CJW as a place to work. Our vision and goal is to be the employer of choice for healthcare in the Richmond Metropolitan area. We recognize we can only achieve this through continually listening to your feedback and making changes where appropriate to positively impact both the work environment and our patients’ well-being

There is much more work to be done, however the 2015 results showed improvement from the 2014 survey. We specifically focused efforts in three priority areas developed from last year’s survey results. Those targeted goals included:

  1. Improve employees’ ability to share their voice
  2. Improve senior leadership’s availability and approachability
  3. Improve employees’ perception of appropriateness of staffing and workload

Below are the CJW aggregate results from the survey. Each director has their respective departments results. Our expectation is that over July and August these are openly shared with all staff. The most important piece is that leaders work collaboratively with their department’s staff to prioritize their focus areas and build meaningful action steps to improve the work environment.


We will continue to utilize a number of different avenues to gather your feedback including, but not limited to, CEO town hall meetings, senior leadership departmental rounds, staff meetings, huddles, employee focus groups, the blog, and the “Ask Tim” link on the intranet.

I appreciate your participation in the survey and look forward to working collaboratively to make CJW an exceptional place to work.

Taking Stock after the Tragedy in South Carolina

This week headlines were focused on the devastating massacre in Charleston, SC. Nine innocent people were killed at the hands of young psychotic man named Dylann Storm Roof. My heart goes out to those families and the community that will forever be impacted by his senseless act. There was, understandably, no shortage of media coverage on the tragedy. What stood out most in the stories from the major networks and newspapers were the ones that shared the victims’ individual stories. There are powerful teaching moments to be gleaned from the fallen victims who made a substantial impact both within their close knit families and the broader Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. What resonates with me is the pervasive message of resilience and determination from the community to not only reflect and understand, but also, perhaps most importantly, to heal and move forward. It was a great reminder of the importance of surrounding ourselves with loved ones who we share deep personal connections through the best and the worst of times. It ultimately comes back to a focus on building and maintaining a strong culture.

I have the great honor and opportunity to see how a strong culture directly impacts patients in need every day at Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals (CJW). Most hospitals across the country have skilled clinicians and support teams that care for their patients, but not every hospital has a strong culture that binds the associates together in a meaningful way to deal with the most adverse situations. I am convinced that competent clinical skills are not enough without a strong and vibrant culture. The positive impact on our patients and their families is born from a supportive and healing culture of 3,000+ employees finding common bonds and a shared purpose for helping patients during their crisis.

In recent months we have been talking about our six core beliefs of simplify and focusing on what matters, living excellence every day, shattering silos to do what needs to be done, creating wow so patients remember us, owning the challenges until they are surmounted, and deciding what needs to be done and not waiting for permission. I am proud to see how CJW’s culture, which is created and owned by our employees, exemplifies those core values. The events this week in Charleston are another reminder that putting family first is a critical imperative for us all. Most of us think not only of our blood relatives as family, but also our work family, who we often spend more waking hours with each day. It is our culture that enables patients to heal when it is possible or pass with respect and dignity when it is not.

Thank you for what you do to make CJW a special place in our community.

Expanding Emergency Services: Swift Creek ER

214023 Hancock Village 3 214023 Hancock Village 1 214023 Hancock Village 2This week we finalized the purchase of land on Hull Street/Rt. 360 for our new Freestanding Emergency Room to be named Swift Creek ER. We intend to immediately start construction on the 11 bed state-of-the-art facility in the next few weeks. The location is directly in front of Hobby Lobby (outside Rt. 288) where the Swift Creek reservoir crosses Hull Street. The 10,000 square foot center will include a traditional Adult ER, a dedicated Pediatric ER with separate entrance and waiting, state of the art CT scanner, behavioral health capabilities, and tele-medicine linkage to Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals (CJW). We expect the center to open shortly after the New Year in 2016. This location is important as it sits in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas of the greater Richmond metropolitan region. This service means that emergency care, when minutes often make a difference to clinical outcomes, will be closer to home. These patients can rest assured that, should they need hospital admissions, they can be immediately linked into one of our two campuses at CJW. Swift Creek ER will always be staffed by board-certified emergency medicine providers 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Pediatric Care: Keeping It Close to Home

On the front page of today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch is an article about the demise of the collaborative effort between VCU and Bon Secours to build a freestanding children’s hospital. During my three years in Richmond, I have continually shared my perspective that this proposal was not viable including an Op Ed published in the newspaper on June 30, 2013.

HCA looked at this proposal multiple times to assess whether there was a compelling clinical and financial argument to centralize pediatric services in one place. After a comprehensive and systematic review of the data, it became clear that the proposal of collapsing services across the region to build an independent freestanding hospital would not improve the pediatric care in the market. Moreover, it would come at great financial cost. If the new hospital was built, it would require significant subsidies in perpetuity by the Commonwealth of Virginia (in other words, the tax payers), philanthropists, and cost shifting to insurance companies at the expense of insured individuals and companies across the region. The final conclusion was that the greater Richmond area only had the inpatient volume to fill a small, 100-bed hospital (less than half the size of most freestanding children’s hospitals) and, importantly, that the economics of the enterprise would not be viable for on-going operations. A hospital this size would not be able to offer the requisite pediatric sub-specialty services because patient volumes and research funding would not be there to support it. By comparison, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a nationally recognized pediatric hospital, has more than 500 beds and serves a far larger metropolitan area.

The clinical case was also not compelling. Advocates for a new children’s hospital continually suggested that tertiary and quaternary (high-end) services would be available in the market because of the construction of a new facility. The reality is that 95% of pediatric services are available in our community today. HCA is proud to cover all geographic sectors of Central Virginia with 76 level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care beds, 12 Pediatric Intensive Care beds, 32 pediatric beds, and 8 Pediatric-Ready Emergency Rooms. These services are supported by highly skilled pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, pediatric sub-specialists, pediatric intensivists, and pediatric emergency room physicians. I believe these services have a long-standing history of making a difference in our community, including our most recent annual volumes of almost 1,000 Neonates, 45,000 pediatric ER patients, 6,500 newborn deliveries, 2,000+ pediatric admissions, and tens of thousands of outpatient visits. Building a freestanding children’s hospital would not have better served those patients who have unique medical challenges. Clinical evidence shows these patients are most appropriately served by national centers of excellence that have vast experience treating them.

So where does that leave us today? HCA Virginia, which includes Chippenham Hospital, Johnston-Willis Hospital, John Randolph Medical Center, Henrico, Parham, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospitals, and our free-standing ERs at West Creek and in Hanover are stepping up to give parents choices close to home in a coordinated and integrated fashion. Patients who come into our hospitals electively or emergently can trust our doctors, nurses, and other providers to give them the highest level clinical care in a compassionate manner. We will connect those patients to the best resources in the country, should it become necessary, but most often we are able to keep that care close to our patients’ homes and in coordination with those patients’ primary care physicians.

I look forward to moving on from the community discussion of a building a future children’s hospital to a conversation of building on the great success of the services in our community today in both a clinically smart and coordinated manner. I am proud of our care team, proud of our clinical results, and proud to be surrounded by clinicians who make a difference to the health and well-being of children every day.

CEO Video Blog

This week, Brandon & I do things a little bit differently with our first-ever video blog. Let us know how you like it in the blog comments.

Thank You to All of the Mothers!

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. If you are a mother, or are still fortunate to have your own mother in your life, I hope you were able celebrate in some way. At Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals (CJW), we celebrated those mothers who had to work with a free meal in our cafeteria. I am fortunate to not only have a fantastic mother in Maryland but to also be married to a great mother of my three children. So this week, instead of talking about anything related to work, I thought I would just share some simple messages about their respective mothers from the young children of the administrative team at CJW. I have left the language in their exact words.

Max, Georgia, & Ava with mom, Holly

McManus Family

Max McManus (age 11): “She is nice and kind. She does so much for me. I love that every night she tucks me in and says I love you and that she cares so much about my diet and she makes sure I’m healthy. She is the best mom ever.”

Georgia McManus (age 9): “My mom is sweet, kind, and caring person. She is so supportive, especially when I need her most. She can also be very energetic person; she is always ready to have fun with her kids! She is an amazing and wonderful mother. My mom makes me happy and sometimes laugh a bit too when I am sad or depressed. I actually had a lot of my good memories with her (and also my father). My mom has played a very important role in my life and she always will. I am so glad she is my mother.”

Ava McManus (age 7): “She takes me where I want to go. She helps me with my homework. She helps me pick out what to wear. She supports me! She helps me when I’m hurt! She reads to me! She tucks me in at night! She cooks dinner for me! She snuggles with me! She cares for me every day!” (I like the exclamation points)

Gibby & Moss with their mom

Haushalter Family

Moss Haushalter: (Age 6) Son of Brandon Haushalter CEO of Johnston-Willis: “I love everything. I love kayaking with mommy and I love how she always thinks about me and takes care of me. I like how she always reads me stories before bed. I really like her hair.”

Gibby Haushalter: (Age 2): “I love mommy.”


Christianson Family

Caden Christianson (Age 6) son of Chippenham’s Chief Operating Office, Chad Christianson: “She is so sweet to me and she’s beautiful like a flower and she lets me go on rides and gets me Legos.”

Chance Christianson (age 3): “(I love her) because she is pretty and makes me pancakes.”


Hawkins Family

Dallas Drake Hawkins (Age 9) son of Roy Hawkins Johnston Willis’s Chief Operating Officer: “What I love most about my mom? Well I love the way she smells and especially the way her pillow smells. I love her crazy hair. I love her food mostly her wings. Oh and did I mention I love the way she treats me? I love that she takes me special places and surprises me. When she is on vacation, I always think about her and she always brings me back stuff. I will always love you mom. #1 mom — Bianca Hawkins.”

What is the best thing your children ever said about why they love their mother?