On January 9, the class of Leadership Venango met at UPMC Northwest for an enlightening session about achieving a healthy community. Joyce Morgan, Director of Patient and Community Relations and Diabetes Center, and Cheri Siverling, Director of the Family Birthing Center, shared some of the struggles Venango County faces from a healthcare standpoint. UPMC Northwest conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. The hospital identifies three areas of significant health needs of our community. Resources and programs then center around these areas. Currently, the areas of focus are diabetes, respiratory diseases, and maternal infant health.
Joyce highlighted the Better Breathing Clinic and Smoking Cessation classes that UPMC offers, as well as the opportunity for individual instruction with a Diabetes Educator. Cheri discussed the high occurrence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in Venango County. NAS is a group of problems associated with withdrawal that occurs when a baby has been exposed to certain drugs in the mother’s womb. Sadly, Venango County is the 3rd highest county for infants diagnosed with NAS, according to the PA Healthcare Cost Containment Council Bulletin in December 2018. Many services are available to help these families through Human Services and Community Services.
Following Joyce and Cheri, Aaron Rosen, Senior HR Consultant for UPMC, shared insight on creating a healthy work community. Aaron shared UPMC’s five core values they expect each employee to uphold. They build the culture of UPMC Northwest around these values and they are what they look for when hiring a new employee or evaluating current employees. Aaron stated: “You must create an environment that employees want to work in; when you have happy employees they inherently give better care to the patients.”
The class then took a quick tour of the new Hillman Cancer Center, TeleMed unit, and Stroke unit and got to hear about the successes of each. Though UPMC Northwest is located in a smaller community, they offer many state-of-the-art services to their patients and are on the cutting edge of new technology.
Brian Durniok, President of UPMC Northwest, spent some time with the class following lunch. He discussed his management style, the importance of delegating, and how he empowers his employees to make quick decisions. The class was able to spend some time in a dynamic discussion on current affairs of the hospital and healthcare in general with Brian.
The class ended the day with Joe Croskey, who is a Mindfulness Coach and Assistant Professor at Clarion University. Joe led the class in meditation and breathing exercises and talked about how to be a mindful listener. He spoke on the importance of self-awareness and emotional intelligence, and reminded the class to be intentional with themselves and others.
The 2019 class of Leadership Venango will meet again on February 13 at Venango College. For more information, visit leadershipvenango.org
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s February 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.