Let’s celebrate a great year. Share your 2014 success stories.

As 2014 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to celebrate all that we have accomplished over the last 12 months. It has been a remarkable year for Providence.

We welcomed new members to the Providence family: Pacific Medical Centers in Seattle, Saint John’s in Santa Monica, Calif., Kadlec in Tri-Cities, Wash., and Inland Health Services in Spokane, Wash.

We launched innovative models of care with two major employers: Boeing and Intel. We brought on new skills sets from the technology sector, from companies like Amazon, to help us deliver care digitally and more conveniently, and we established a venture fund to co-develop new technology with promising start-up companies.

We also attracted nationally recognized physician leaders. Ira Byock, M.D., the country’s leading expert in palliative care, joined Providence this year to start our new Institute for Human Caring. In addition, we partnered with Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., to bring the power of molecular medicine and gene sequencing to every cancer patient at Providence.

Serving more people in need

More important, we served more people at the most vulnerable times in their lives. Our hospital days increased by 62,000 this year compared to 2013, and clinic visits were up by 800,000 compared to the previous year. At the same time, we improved utilization to ensure patients receive care in the most appropriate clinical setting. We also continued to provide programs for poor and vulnerable populations across the communities we serve.

But those are just a few of the high-level highlights from the year.

Now, it’s your turn to share

There were many, many more accomplishments at the department and unit level, with teams across our five states continuously pushing themselves to improve the way they do things on behalf of those we serve.

This week on the blog, I would to love hear what you are most of proud of this year.

  • What were the success stories from your team or department?
  • Did you and your colleagues set a goal and exceed it?
  • Did you come up with a new and better way to do something?
  • How did you support the Mission this year?
  • What moments inspired you and reminded you why you work at Providence?

I encourage you to take a moment to share your success stories from 2014 in the comments section below because I want all of us to celebrate and recognize one another’s accomplishments. Looking at all of our achievements collectively helps us appreciate the power of what we can do together.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and hope you find time to relax and recharge with family and friends as we wind down the year. A special thank you to those who are working over the holidays to care for our patients. Thank you again for a great year, and I look forward to seeing you in the comments below.


  1. Researchers at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center in the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence have long believed the key to ending cancer lies within our immune system. Dr. Walter Urba has led this work at Providence in Oregon for nearly 22 years. Two decades ago, only a handful of research centers across the country were dedicated to this work. In December 2013 the journal “Science” named Cancer Immunotherapy “breakthrough of the year” and our donors responded with great passion and support.

    In March 2014, a generous donor couple offered to match dollar for dollar — up to $1 million — that the Foundations in Oregon could raise toward cancer research. We exceeded this match, raising more than $1.3 million in less than 60 days.

    Without visionary pioneers like Dr. Urba, without donors who stand by and invest in innovation, and most importantly, without patients who have the courage and faith to try something new to win, cancer immunotherapy would not be the new standard of treatment it is becomming today.

    Providence can be proud of its people, and proud to be part of this world-changing, life-saving achievement.

  2. It has been a year of many blessings and accomplishments for Mission Integration and Spiritual Care at Providence Newberg Medical Center in Newberg Or. Several efforts have been made to enhance our Mission effectiveness and centeredness to reveal God’s love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable through our compassionate service.
    Our patients were provided compassionate spiritual care and have given us great reviews on our patient satisfaction scores. Daily reflections have been made available for caregivers and our patients.
    We celebrated the Missioning of our CEO Lori Van Zanten with several of our sponsors and regional and local team leaders along with several leaders from our community. Table of the King and Mission Week 2014 were hallmarks of our Mission activities along with several community outreach projects in the Yamhill Service area to create a healthy community together.
    At Providence Newberg Medical Center our caregivers and leaders participated in formation opportunities locally, regionally and as part of the Providence Leadership Formation program.
    An extensive effort this past year was made in 2014 to reorganize and restructure our Faith in Action program. It will now be called Community Connections and is expanding to more effectively meet community needs according to our Community Health Improvement Plan.
    Mission integration spearheaded the MARTII implementation for Language Interpretive services for PNMC, which is on demand video conferencing system for interpretive services. This effort is focused on breaking down cultural and language barriers, meeting a defined community need.
    We look forward to the future and 2015 with hope in this time of rapid change and transformation in healthcare.

  3. As many of you have observed, pharmacists role in public health response is under-recognized and under-utilized at a local and federal level. In 2014, Global Humanitarian Pharmacists Network was formed by three clinical pharmacists from Providence St. Peter Hospital: Vidya Nair PharmD, Courtney Sellers PharmD and Matthew Gardner PharmD. The organization was formed to provide access to chronic care medications to displaced disaster survivors during emergency response. The goal of this initiative is to provide access to chronic care medications so that patient’s health is maintained and prevention of ED visits for chronic medication refills or disease exacerbations secondary to loss of access to medications during disasters. The initiative is being piloted in the state of Washington currently in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Washington State Pharmacy Association, Rx Response and Washington State University, College of Pharmacy.

    Plans are underway to start a formal “drill” process with the DOH to integrate pharmacists in emergency response framework at a state level. WA state DOH is currently in the process of creating a mechanism for WA state pharmacists to be registered as state emergency responders. College of Pharmacies are also bolstering their pharmacy curriculum by introducing emergency preparedness in their program. More exciting developments to ensue in 2015! Thank you to all the mentors within Providence Health System that helped with actualizing this vision. Happy New Year everyone!

    • M.R.C. Medical Reserve Corps is a national emergency prepardness ready to respond and have been trained to any type of catastrophic or minor community needs We currently have volunteer MDs, RN, MSW;s and Pharmacist. We have a active group in Clark County and would love to have Portland Providence responders.

  4. Having worked in the POP II building in Portland for a majority of my time at Providence, I passed by a series of posters probably more than 15-20 times a day. In fact I passed by them so often that they became scenery rather than a reason to pause and reflect on their meaning. They were posters of our core values and vision statement. While I whole-heartedly endorse and believe in our mission, vision, and values, I also know how quickly they can become rote words on a wall.
    In March of 2014 I accepted the call to become a manager for the California region and in August, transplanted my family from Portland to Los Angeles. For my wife and daughters this meant coming to a place where they knew no one and had very little bearing. In fact, for my youngest daughter she arrived in California with exactly five days for my wife and I to figure out where she was going to be enrolled for high school. Since I was working in Burbank we were able to get an out of district transfer for her to attend school in the Burbank Unified School District (one of the best in the state). But my daughter also wanted to check out Providence High School, since she had read a lot about it online. So we visited. We met the admissions counselor, the front office staff, and several of the teachers in that visit. While I am a Providence employee, and therefore eligible for a discount to the high school, due to the sheer expense of the move, we didn’t really think we could afford to put my daughter there, especially since she now had three days to make a decision.
    Repeatedly during the visit the same questions was asked of us: “what can we do to get your daughter to attend?”, “how can we help?”, and “what do you need?”, every question ripe with the inclination that this staff cared about my daughter and family and would do whatever necessary to secure a spot for her. In the interest of brevity, my daughter is now a sophomore transfer at Providence High School in Burbank…and it has been the most fulfilling experience of her life. Providence has a special program for transfer students to “ease their way” into their new school. She has bonded with her other transfer students (some from as far away as England). My daughter has been supported, encouraged, stretched, loved, and cared for beyond her wildest dreams. She is active in Drama (working with talent from Disney and Nickelodeon), her grades are astounding, and she feels as though she has found acceptance, being a shy 16 yr. old from Oregon. This could not have been possible if the staff at Providence High did not take absolutely to heart “know me, care for me, ease my way”. This is a vision they live out every single day and I am so grateful to them. I cannot simply pass by the posters in our ministries now without being reminded of this real world example of our vision as People of Providence.

    • Lance – Thank you for the personal sharing. It’s stories like yours that make it easy for me to come to work every day!

  5. With the consolidation of inpatient surgical services to the Colby campus of PRMCE, the surgical unit receives post-operative patients from the trauma team, urologists, general surgery, gastroenterologists, and gynecology. There is greater knowledge needed on the part of the nurse in order to affect evidenced-based safe care of the varied populations. Of particular concern is working within the nurse’s knowledge base and skill, and with the recent addition of gynecology patients, there was a need for more training.

    For example, a patient presented to the floor with an ectopic pregnancy. The more conservative treatment involved giving chemotherapy injections every morning in order to induce spontaneous elimination of the contents from within the fallopian tube. No nurse on the surgical unit had training in the proper handling or administration of chemotherapy. Many nurses expressed their concerns to their charge nurses. Some were sympathetic and called for the charge oncology nurse to come to the surgical floor to administer the injection, and some told the nurse to just give the injection. One nurse called the pharmacist to inquire about her safety and the safety of the patient in giving the medication, and the pharmacist agreed that a trained chemotherapy nurse should administer the medication. There are other non-oncology diseases in addition to ectopic pregnancy that may be treated with chemotherapy or biotherapy on the surgical unit. These are autoimmune hepatitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, thrombocytopenia purpura, and multiple sclerosis (Muehlbauer, 2012). The change project involved training nurses, particularly charge nurses, in the safe handling of chemotherapy drugs in order to provide safe and timely administration of chemotherapy medications. It also involved adding this to the job description for the nurse working on the surgical unit.

    This was completed in 2014 with annual updates for nurses to be current in their knowledge base for caring for the varied populations on the medical-surgical unit.

  6. The State of Washington granted our Certificate of Need for a Hospice Care Center in Snohomish County and the plans are in the works to open November 2015.

  7. As many of you may already know, after nearly two years I am leaving my position as Chief Executive of Swedish, Seattle for a new position at Dignity Health. Beginning in 2015, I am assuming the role of SVP of Operations for the SF Bay Area Region. This move is bittersweet for me.
    I am very proud of the Culture of Safety that we have worked on at Swedish over the last six years. We began this large project when I was Chief of Staff. It was, and is, a cultural transformation. We begin every meeting with a Safety Story to remind us of our most treasured value: the safety and well being of every patient we serve. Over the last few years we have dramatically decreased serious safety events. There are numerous examples of nurses, technicians and other caregivers speaking up to intervene on behalf of the safety patients. We reward those who speak up and this has made all the difference.
    Secondly, it was rather recent that the two downtown Seattle campuses functioned as two separate entities. They competed with one another and the patients did not benefit from this approach. Over the last couple of years we have treated these campuses as one. We thoughtfully developed systems to ensure that resources, efforts and decisions were aimed at collaboration. The goals of reduced waste, better quality patient care and thoughtful stewardship have been accomplished. One example is our ED: we have one ED department downtown, and one ED medical staff over both campuses. This has been a tremendous win for our patients.
    Last but not least, I am most proud of the relationships that I have developed over the many years with the physicians, nurses and other caregivers, not just at Swedish, but throughout Providence. I am tremendously proud of all that you have done to care for our communities. I will always consider myself a person of Providence as I hold dearly the mission and vision that we have worked to preserve. I will proudly read about the successes that I know all of you will accomplish. The impressive leadership of Providence has provided me with important teachings that I will carry with me throughout my career. It is with tremendous gratitude that I bid you all farewell: may our paths cross again!

  8. Providence St. Joseph Care Center in Eastern Washington serves the needs of our community by providing Transitional and Long Term Care to an extremely vulnerable population. As a team in 2014, we overcame a challenging 3 year history of non-compliance related to DSHS Surveys. We were successful this year due to great cooperation and teamwork from all departments – everyone was rowing in the same direction. I was so pleased as a manager to see all our caregivers embrace the Core Value of Excellence in every action they took over the past year to make our Ministry what it is today. I want to extend a special thank you to Robert Hellrigel for providing us with the tools for success and warmly engaging our Mininstry through consistent encouragement and strong leadership. The success of this year will afford us the opportunity to continue to reveal God’s love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, through our compassionate service. Thank you!

  9. Providence Little Company of Mary and IS Highlights:

    Implemented : Terarecon 3D imaging solution
    Implemented : Room Service CBORD
    Implemented : EPIC for LCMT and TCU
    (new charting, new hardware, bar code scanning, CPOE)

    Meaningful Use 2 – $6 million for CA hospitals
    Endoworks- New GI system
    and scopes to be put in 1st Quarter 2015
    ScottCare- New Cardiac Rehab
    equipment and system 1st/2nd quarter 2015

    IS Events-Non Project

    5S clean up as a team
    Recycling IS project
    Spring/Summer BBQ – Thanksgiving Brunch
    Adopt a Family
    South bay Can Drive
    Selfie #iSupportOURmission Week

    Migrations to Avaya Phone System
    St. Johns Medical Center
    St. Josephs Medical Center
    Trinity Care Cerritos
    Carson Care Station
    PMI Ophthalmology (Dr. Dugel)
    PMI Primary & Endocrinology (Dr. Armato & Ruby)
    Community Health (Wilmington)
    CMS Upgrade (to include St. Johns and Tarzana to virtual server)
    Intellidesk Upgrade

    Providence Esperanza Tijuana trip

    Our Mission

    Help build homes for families in need

    Visit the sick in their facilities (HIV/T.B.) and help them

    Spend time with deportees from the United States

    * On this trip we collected and donated enough money to build a morgue in a facility.

    • Alexander – Great list. It helps us appreciate all that IS does for our ministries. Also, I love the work you’re doing to support the Mission. Much to be proud of. Thanks for all you do.

      • Thank you for the great opportunities here in Providence.