Four ways we’re working to create America’s healthiest communities

We are blessed with one of the most profound missions in the country. There is nothing greater than the opportunity to serve others and show them love, respect and compassion at a vulnerable time in their lives. Our Mission is the reason many of us choose to work at Providence. We all want to be part of something bigger and use our talents in ways that will touch lives and make the world a better place.

Having been part of the fabric of the American West for 159 years, the question for us now is: How will Providence continue to evolve with the times to create the healthiest possible communities and ensure that anyone who needs our help gets it? Our approach is four-fold.

  1. Becoming the best place to work and strengthening our core operations

We want Providence to be a place where people thrive in their careers. This year, we put greater emphasis on creating a great caregiver experience. We focused on professional development, launched a groundbreaking program to offer free or discounted medical premiums to more eligible caregivers and ramped up hiring to meet staffing needs more quickly. We also stayed focused on the basics of patient safety and quality, implementing the best practices of high reliability organizations. In addition, we began organizing specialty institutes across Providence, which will ensure people receive most care close to home while also having access to the full resources of our five-state system if they need highly specialized services.

  1. Leading the digital revolution

Technology offers incredible potential to deliver our promise to “know me, care for me, ease my way” in ways we never thought possible. Providence is poised to lead a digital revolution in health. The pioneering spirit of the Sisters of Providence is alive and well as we pursue new ways to deliver health services, from virtual patient visits and mobile health apps to “wearable” technology. That same spirit is also driving us to better know the individuals we serve, so we can support their journey through life and health, and build enduring relationships.

  1. Shifting from health care to health

Like other health systems, Providence has traditionally focused on treating people when they’re sick. Now, we’re putting more energy than ever into keeping our communities healthy. While the concept of population health is not new to Providence, we are more intentionally coordinating expertise and resources across our organization so we can better understand and meet the health needs of the populations we serve. From the frail elderly and young mothers to Fortune 500 employees and the uninsured, we want to be a partner for life and make health affordable and accessible for all.

  1. Going deep in our communities through innovative partnerships

Creating healthier communities, together, requires strengthening the continuum of care to meet the needs of the whole person. It also requires innovative partnerships. A new collaboration with Walgreens, for example, is one way we’ll reach more people and deliver services more conveniently. We’re also excited about a proposed partnership with Irvine Calif.,-based St. Joseph Health. Mental health is one of the first issues we intend to tackle together. With our country in the midst of a behavioral health crisis, we believe that, together, Providence and St. Joseph can be a catalyst for change and can help bring innovative solutions to the forefront.

It’s about simplifying health for everyone

The simple pleasure of good health is something everyone deserves, and as we contemplate the future, it is up to us to help more people achieve and maintain it. It will require reducing the barriers to critical resources, hiding the complexity in the health system and thinking of new ways to deliver services. One caregiver from Alaska summed it up perfectly by saying, “Love is simple. Kindness is simple. Health care should be simple.” I couldn’t have said it better. When we think about our strategies for the future and where Providence is going, it comes down to one fundamental concept: simplifying health for everyone. This is an exciting time for Providence, and the future is bright. Thank you for being part of this journey and for all for you do for those we serve.