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Halifax Regional workers complete leadership program

Five Halifax Regional Health System employees recently completed Project LEAD, a leadership program designed to identify and foster rising leaders within the organization. 

Graduates include Dee Gregory, RN, emergency department; Wendy Jones, human resources benefits specialist/wellness coordinator; Amy Parikh, volunteer coordinator; Linda Powell, manager, materials management and Kimberly Throckmorton, LPN, Halifax Primary Care team leader. 

The program, facilitated by Vance Midgett, manager, pastoral care and guest services, Patricia Thomas, chief nursing officer, and Tiffany Jackson, social worker, provided participants a challenging and educational curriculum focusing on the development of leadership skills. 

 “Project LEAD offers participants a broad, yet detailed overview of leadership including governmental policy, community involvement, internal and external marketing, properties and investments, creating and managing budgets, finding, hiring and retaining the best employees, personalities in the workplace, conflict resolution, performance reviews and disciplinary action, effective communication, ethics and practical leadership tips,” said Midgett. “Participants invested over 250 hours in this program.”

During the six month program the group also visited Planetree affiliate Fauquier Hospital in Warren attended the Legislative Issues Conference in Richmond where they also met with Delegate James Edmunds II, Delegate Tommy Wright and Senator Frank Ruff, and they also met with Glen Dubois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and Larry Sartoris, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. 

In Washington, D.C. they met with Joan Lewis of the American Hospital Association, Representative Robert Hurt and assistants to Senators Webb and Warner.

 “One of the most interesting aspects of the program,” said Midgett, “is the inclusion of 24 hours of shadowing staff in departments unfamiliar to the participants. It provides an excellent opportunity to gain insight on what others are experiencing on a daily basis, and, for the entire group, it was an eye-opening experience.”

The program culminated with case studies completed by each participant and presented to senior management, as improvement projects capable of implementation.

Dee Gregory’s case study “We’re in this Together–Breast Care Clinic” researched the development of an on-site all inclusive breast care clinic including screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, biopsies, surgery/treatment and follow-up.  

 “A breast care clinic,” Gregory said, “would remedy the fragmented care that many women in our area experience.” 

Wendy Jones’ project considered the implementation of a pay for performance system linking employee pay to job performance.

“These programs are carefully developed to attract and retain high performing employees,” Jones said, “and offer incentives to motivate and reward improved performance throughout the organization.”

Amy Parikh’s case study looked at restructuring and reorganizing the volunteer services to be better prepared to meet the needs of the organization. 

“Orientation, standardization, recruitment and retention are crucial elements of a successful program,” Parikh said. “My case study focused on issues that I believe can have a positive impact on this organization and the community it serves.”

“Let’s Talk Trash,” the case study chosen by Linda Powell, looked at recycling. 

“Ninety-nine percent of the deliveries the Materials Management Department receives on a daily basis come in cardboard boxes,” Powell said. “This could be recycled to help meet our organizational goal to plan and implement an environmentally safe supply/recycle program.”

Kimberly Throckmorton’s case study looked at the need for additional psychiatric services. 

“This would be beneficial not only to our county,” Throckmorton said, “but to several surrounding communities.” 

 “An organization performs only as well as its leaders,” Midgett said. “Project LEAD has given each participant an opportunity to learn and to know that their opinion counts.”