In this election week, even the most avid Rick Scott baiter can take a lesson from the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. chief's handbook on how to influence public policy.
By using the grass-roots clout of 130,000 employees in 32 states and 220,000 members of its National Association of Senior Friends, the giant hospital chain has found an effective way to build its case in Washington, state capitals and local governments across the country. By lobbying, letter-writing and endorsing candidates, Columbia/HCA has found a powerful combination to woo politicians.
No hospital administrator has the sweeping potential to influence public policy the way Mr. Scott does. However, all healthcare managers can get their points across by working with national and state associations, while emphasizing the local potency of the hospital work force and its supporters in the community. Company-sponsored candidate forums and issue briefings for staff members are effective ways to build knowledge.
Or as Columbia/HCA says, "Our strength comes from the fact that we are committed to educating our employees."