The new security director for Seton Family of Hospitals in Texas spent the latter part of the past decade gathering experience that's difficult for Outliers to imagine would be useful in even the most dangerous and dysfunctional healthcare setting—a distinction we don't believe belongs to Seton.
Outliers: Straight outta Kabul
Stanley Knee returned last year after nearly three years as a mentor to Afghan police, working as an employee of U.S. State Department contractor DynCorp International. His job was to help root out corruption and foster professional competence in the police force in war-torn Afghanistan.
Before heading to Afghanistan, Knee had been police chief in Austin, home base to Seton, which is a central Texas division of Ascension Health. “I believed strongly, as I do today, that the stronger we can make them, the safer our communities here will be,” Knee says. After coming back to Austin and flirting with retirement, Knee turned to consulting and then sought the position with Seton.
Some lessons from Afghanistan, Knee says, will indeed serve him well at with Seton. “When you travel to Afghanistan, which is a country of many different cultures, you sharpen your skills in working with people that see things differently than you do,” he says. “In Afghanistan, you're dealing with chiefs of police,” he adds. “You're really a guest in their country.”
At Seton, his security officers must be ambassadors for the hospitals. “This is an organization that is committed to service in the true sense of the word, and Seton Family of Hospitals is a faith-based organization. And so you have to realize that security is there to support that mission. You cannot create a situation that takes away from a patient's care in the name of security.”
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