2015 Young Leader Award Winners

Luke McDaniel, Quality Analyst, Fairfield Memorial Hospital was named ICAHN's 2015 'Young Leader' during ceremonies held November 11th at The Crowne Plaza, Springfield. Lauren Carroll, RN, MSN, Physicians Specialty Clinic, Fayette County Hospital, and Craig Hitchens, RN, MSN, House Supervisor, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, were named runners-up.

"Every year I'm amazed at their stories. This year was no exception," said Angie Charlet, Director of Quality and Education Services. "Every one nominated is truly a winner in our books. They are all role models, agents of change, and health innovators who not only shape policy for their respective hospitals but also engage others in successful teamwork. They should all be very proud."

Shown above are Craig Hitchens, 'Young Leader' Honorable Mention; Luke McDaniel, 2015 'Young Leader' Award Winner; and Lauren Carroll, 'Young Leader' Honorable Mention.

2015 'Young Leader' Award Winner
Luke McDaniel – Fairfield Memorial Hospital

The employees and medical staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital are honored to be blessed with the leadership of Luke McDaniel. Luke is a young man of character and integrity. He is passionate about his work in quality, in which he is detail-oriented and will search for the root cause of an issue and put together a well, formulated process to address future needs. Luke is genuine and sincere, and he has what some describe as the “It” factor, which is hard to define but prominently visible and palpable in those who possess this innate quality. He takes great pride working in healthcare and makes it his mission every day to be a positive influence with his work as the Quality Analyst. He vacillates between the world of in-depth analysis and the reality of application. His most successful leadership project is in reducing readmissions. He is the Boost Chairman and has successfuly led our team to be ranked 12th out of 202 hospitals in the lowest readmissions in the state of Illinois. Our program has been greatly enhanced by the following interventions which contributed to our reduced readmission rate: stratification of patients at high risk for readmission, our post-hospital transitional (Care Check) program, and changes in the discharge phone call program. Luke rewards staff for their efforts in innovative ways, such as when we had our first 17 days without a readmission, pizza was ordered for all of the staff with the number 17 displayed in pepperoni. Luke has been integral in leading our organization to great compliance with many quality improvement initiatives by energizing our staff to want to succeed. He has been able to express how important complying with the various state and federal safety and quality initiatives is and how important it is for each staff member to uphold these standards. We hold daily huddles on our Acute Care Unit, and Luke is able to help bring together in one place the many disciplines that are involved inour patients’ care. Luke has also been tasked with the responsiblity of improving staff’s compliance with the Hospital Compare Initiative. Staff’s documentation of a patient’s influenza and pneumococcal vaccination history has improved ten-fold. We have also observed an increase in compliance with discharge instruction and patient education for CHF patients. Under Mr. McDaniels’ guidance and leadership, we were able to be in the Top 20 scoring hospitals though the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), which resulted in a financial boaost to the hospital. Luke was also the recipient of an all-expense paid trip (sponsored by the HEN) to the National IHI convention as recognition for his effort in HEN’s quality initiatives. It is rare to find someone that everyone can agree is an asset to an organization, but our staff and our organizational leaders will quickly tell you what a phenomenal young man Mr. Luke McDaniel is and how lucky we are to have him on our team.

2015 'Young Leader' Honorable Mention
Lauren Carroll – Fayette County Hospital

Lauren began working in 2012 as a staff nurse on our Medical/Surgical Unit as a new graduate RN. We quickly realized Lauren possessed valuable critical thinking skills and was able to handle any situation she was presented. She demonstrated innate leadership skills well beyond her years as a new RN. Lauren volunteered to assist in any RN role needed, including learning our Outpatient Nursing RN position and our Specialty Clinic RN position. While learning these additional roles/job duties, Lauren maintained her role as an RN on our Medical/Surgical Unit. Her flexibility and eagerness to learn was much appreciated and admired. After an unexpected Leave of Absence by our Manager of the Physicians Specialty Clinic, Lauren graciously offered to assist in the clinics in covering the open RN role. She quickly brought a positive and calming effect. Lauren rose as the natural leader of the department and set expectations for other clinic staff members to provide the highest level of service to our patients. In April 2014, Lauren was appointed as the Manager of the Physicians Specialty Clinic. Since she began this new role, Lauren has successfully initiated the following clinics: rheumatology, endocrinology, OB/GYN, general surgery, ENT, and a wound care clinic (all ‘start up’ clinics). Our volumes have reached over 1,000 patients served each month by our specialists in our Physicians Specialty Clinic. Lauren maintains open communication with each physician and their staff to ensure time at our clinic is optimal. Lauren also knew a requirement of being a nursing leader at Fayette County Hospital was to obtain a BSN degree. Lauren completed her BSN degree from Indiana Wesleyan University this past spring. Lauren is an active member of our hospital’s Nursing Shared Governance Coordinating Council. She has participated in teaching our annual Nurse Competency Education, and she was instrumental in the implementation of our bedside reporting process. Lauren ‘owned’ the process, provided education to our nursing staff as well as policy development for this new process, which was implemented this spring. Lauren goes above and beyond all the time and is one of the most caring and compassionate people you will ever meet.

2015 'Young Leader' Honorable Mention
Craig Hitchens – St. Joseph Memorial Hospital

Craig Hitchens joined St. Joseph Memorial Hospital as a newly graduated staff nurse on the Medical/Surgical floor. Over the course of the next year, he used the variability of a general medical floor to hone the skills he had learned while earning his BSN. When asked to crosstrain to the SCU department, he quickly accepted the challenge that came with an expanded patient population. After a year, he was recognized by his peers within the hospital as a nurse with leadership potential and he was given the opportunity to train in the Emergency Department. He immediately recognized a passion for ED nursing and has been there for the last three years. Craig has become an integral part of the Emergency Department at SJMH though his outstanding work ethic and his willingness to help wherever needed. When the opportunity presented to assume a leadership position within the newly formed Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) ED Shared Leadership Committee, he volunteered his time and energy to assure this new venture would be successful. Shortly after joining Shared Leadership, Craig was nominated by his peers to assume the role of Chair of this group of frontline ED nurses, ED mangement, and ED physicians. Under his tenure, the group has been instrumental in improving the working conditions for ED staff, making significant improvement to the EMR and addressing key safety and quality concerns within the three Emergency Departments across our system. The work of this committee has driven patient satisfaction efforts while striving to positively influence the patient experience. Throughout all of his work, Craig has kept the committee focused on moving forward by chairing monthly meetings and maintaining ongoing communications with the membership. His leadership effectiveness skills were so obvious to the committee that when his term was up, he was unanimously re-appointed to continue in the role. Due to his role as Chair, Craig also represents SJMH by serving on the SIU Leadership Council where he interacts with the leadership of other committees to help determine and shape future direction for all of SIH.

Mickie Hodge – Formerly of Paris Community Hospital

Mickie Hodge is a nursing leader driven to make a difference. She promotes a high degree of morality, harmony, and teamwork, and her energy is motivating and inspiring. Her positive energy has been the catalyst for hosting the well-attended and hospital sponsored ‘Back to School’ Program and Health and Wellness Expo, which included collaboration among the PCHFMC communityand the fire and police departments, Illinois Department of Transportation, local businesses and the recreation center, and Shriners. Mickie was also responsible for initiating the now annual ‘Nurse Twilight Walk.’ During this event, luminary bags, illuminating names of active, retired, or fallen nurses, line the courhouse lawn, and a special proclamation is given to all nurses by the Mayor, with speeches from other dignitaries. Five hundred bags are displayed annually, and it has become a revered event, all due to Mickie’s vision. Her personal values align perfectly with the organization, making her the leader that everyone wants to be or should be. Her staff respects her and conveys a willingess to work efficiently and effectively to do a good job. She excels at effective collaboration with physicians and nurse practitioners in order to achieve excellence for patient care, and she even steps up to work on regulatory topics and to do some policy writing. She puts the patient first in every decision made and she leads with the premise of how her actions would impact patients. Mickie is an asset for our Family Medical Center where she positively manages patient flow, scheduling processes, physician scheduling, and staff scheduling. She excels at achieving outstanding results, she works with staff and patients to see the situation through to the end, and then continues to follow up on projects to ensure success. She is highly regarded by staff and physicians alike, is 100 percent engaged, and is constantly seeking ways to support the community and the hospital.

Derek S. Johnson, Sr. – Franklin Hospital

In 2002, Derek Johnson was appointed to Franklin Hospital’s Board of Directors and in 2003, he was named Board Chairman, a position he held throughout most of the 2000 decade when he resigned in anticipation of leaving the Board and joining Franklin Hospital as part of its Senior Management Team. During his years on the Board, Derek was closely involved with our new CEO at that time, Hervey Davis, in the transition of leadership of the hospital from Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH). Their strong desire was to keep the doors open in spite of no cash, outstanding debt, and no equipment which resulted in securing a USDA loan for $4 million to keep the hospital open and begin its movement forward. Over the years, the hospital continued to improve but in spurts as income and cash fluctated greatly. Derek continued his push from the Board Chair to improve our customer service and make the patient the center of all we do. He helped administration in bringing new doctors on board; he helped in transferring ownership of our LTC facility to another owner to improve our finances; and he continued to push for better patient care. Having earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University in the late 1980s, having been Board Chair for a dozen years, and helping to improve our facility over 10 years from the Board’s vantage point, he felt the desire to move into hospital leadership directly to make an even stronger impact. Since joining administration, Derek has been assigned management responsibilities for our Rural Health Clinic locations; primary physician/provider liaison with our employed and contract providers; oversees our IT Department, our Maintenance and Engineering Department, and our Materials Management Department. He is also our Marketing and Public Relations person, and is our Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act Designee. He oversees our building and remodeling project with our rotation through all areas of the hospital, working side-by-side with directors, managers, and staff in learning their jobs. He knows the cooperation and coordination needed in healthcare and sees first-hand how much our hospital people truly care about helping our patients and their families. In 2016, we anticipate Derek will become our Chief Operating Officer and continue his learning curve about hospital operations and the leadership of such an organization. Derek has been a good addition to our Senior Management Team and continues to shine as he moves even further into this demanding, yet very rewarding calling.

Chelsea Musgrave – Clay County Hospital

The Clay County Hospital Onboarding Team has worked diligently to completely revamp the onboarding process for new employees. Chelsea Musgrave has led this team and has dedicated herself to reducing first-year employee turn-over a well as general turn-over. The revamped onboarding process starts the moment the employee is brought in for an interview and continues through their first year of employment. The objectives of this plan are to: attract, retain, and reward the best employees; reduce turnover by 5%, compared to 2014; reduce first year turnover by 10%, compared to 2014; and increase the engagement of employees. Chelsea was instrumental in implementing strategies for ‘hiring the best,’ which includes peer interviewing and a behavioral interview approach; orientation and onboarding, which includes treating employees right and with respect in the critical early stages of employment; training and development, which includes on-the-job training opportunities, cross-training employees in multiple departments and positions, and leadership training for managers; recognizing a healthy work/life balance; and awards and recognitions, including ‘Making a Difference’ nominations, the ‘Employee of the Month’ program; Employee and Leader of the Year Awards; and Provider of the Year Award. Chelsea’s focus was on making sure everything was part of a complete and overarching strategy that remained steady for each employee. Those strategies were deemed to assist in the creating the type of inviting work environment needed to succeed in recruiting and retaining the best employees. Chelsea’s most significant contributions have to be her dedication to reduction in turn-over, facilitation of grant programs to assist funding in hospital development projects; and in taking the initiative to assess employee needs.

Danielle Stevens – Wabash General Hospital

Danielle Stevens started working for Wabash General Hospital in March 2014 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and CFO. By late summer of 2014, Danielle was asked to take on additional responsibilities and was offered the role of the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator. Through both of these positions, she has been able to coordinate and participate in many events throughout the hospital and within her community. This includes being co-captain for our ‘Relay for Life’ team and the ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’ team. She was also heavily involved in starting a project to raise funds to purchase more than 120 Thirty-One bags for the hospital’s oncology patients. It was Danielle’s responsibility to secure funding from the Foundation Board to include several items with this bag, which she accomplished. Danielle has brought many new and innovative ideas to her hospital and its service community, but giving these bags to the grateful oncology patients has been one that brought particular joy to both the patients and to their families. We are grateful for Danielle’s contribution.

Taylor Sweeting – Illini Community Hospital

Taylor Sweeting is a positive voice for Illini and Pike County. He loves to leave things better than he found them. At Illini, he has taken on a leadership role in training staff in CPI (crisis intervention). He has set aside his work agenda to assure all employees were trained in a few months’ period. Especially in preparation for the opening of our geriatric psych unit, he has done additional trainings with the psych team, ED, and building services teams to assure we are ready for the kinds of patient situations that are likely to arise in behavioral health. In Taylor’s community, he has been involved in his church youth, youth sports, and in developing support groups. In the church, Taylor has led youth events, Bible study, Sunday school, and been involved in camps and special youth events. He has shown love and compassion to the young people involved, encouraged them to give their best, and been a role model in perseverance. In this comunity, Taylor has started the ‘Puzzle Box’ support group for individuals and families with children who have autism. Watching Taylor embrace his own autism and allowing it to be a positive instead of a negative has been amazing. He knows his own idiosyncrasies, but instead of allowing them to set him apart from others, he uses them as an example of coping and maximizing the potential of all things. He has been involved in the ‘Big Brother/Big Sister’ program. In the Illini community, Taylor has been a valuable part of the team that raises money for the Employee Crisis fund. He isn’t afraid to ask people for donations or to participate in a fundraiser. Any fundraising efforts that he has been a part of have been a great success. Taylor is positive, fun to work with, and truly dedicated to the well-being of the patients and his co-workers. He always has a smile and an encouraging word for people in the halls of Illini. Taylor’s ability to take his own disability and make it a positive is inspirational. When he talks about adolescents with depression, the challenges of autism and the stigma that goes alongside being ‘different,’ he is speaking from his own experience. He is accepting of all and can see abilities that others of us may not notice. He is willing to do things on his own time to encourage and facilitate success in others. This is evidenced with his care of patients in his role in care coordination. For example, he took a client to a professional baseball game because he knew it was one of the client’s favorite things, but not likely something the client would be able to do on his own. Taylor takes the time to work with the kids in the community, attending their events, and encouraging them to give their very best in all they attempt. He gives without expectations. He is a leader that has taught me to be more accepting, more positive, and more giving. We could all learn from Taylor’s example.