Nationwide Children's Hospital is a product of its location in Columbus, Ohio. Our community is often described as a quintessential Midwestern city, but the influence of place goes beyond that simple characterization. We have something here we call the "Columbus Way," an expectation of caring for others, of collaboration, of being intrepid, of openness that transcends the individual and informs this community's organizations. Nationwide Children's and our values are manifestations of the Columbus Way.
Nationwide Children's is regularly ranked as one of the best places to work in the United States and consistently named to the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of best children's hospitals.
How have we achieved these distinctions? I believe the answer is our "One Team" values. While Nationwide Children's has always abided by them, my leadership team and I specifically articulated these values soon after I joined the hospital in 2006. They are:
- Do The Right Thing
- Create a Safe Day Every Day
- Promote Health in Ourselves and Our Community
- Be Agile and Innovative
- Get Results
Do The Right Thing
This value governs the rest, and is sometimes stated in the form of a question: "What is in the best interest of the child and the family?" The first value is the answer, and the other four more fully describe what the first value means.
Create a Safe Day Every Day
Nationwide Children's began a transformational effort to eliminate preventable harm in 2008. Richard Brilli, MD, our chief medical officer, brought a laser focus on the culture change needed to reduce errors, engaging everyone within the organization in our comprehensive safety program called Zero Hero. We transparently acknowledge serious safety events, track them, and develop systems to address them.
Promote Health in Ourselves and Our Community
Elite academic medical centers must go outside their walls to address societal issues that interfere with children's ability to reach their full potential. Among the most important initiatives we have created are Partners For Kids and Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families.
Partners For Kids is one of the country's largest pediatric accountable care organizations, taking on full financial and clinical risk for over 320,000 children in Ohio. It is the only pediatric ACO for which peer-reviewed data shows a bending of the health care cost curve.
Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families is our program to address social determinants of health. Focused on the areas surrounding our campus that are characterized by severe socioeconomic challenges, the project has attracted public and private partners. Perhaps the clearest demonstrations of its impact are the 331 homes that have been improved or built since 2008, but the program also emphasizes workforce development, neighborhood security, educational opportunities and health and wellness.
Be Agile and Innovative
We have implemented unique programs to better serve our patients, such as significant investments in genomics, including tissue banking, sequencing capacity, analytical talent, and most importantly, integrating clinical and research efforts into one unit. We have also recognized the growing gap between the behavioral health needs of our community's children and available services. We have developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to address the problem by dramatically expanding inpatient, outpatient and crisis capacity, investing in staff, facilities, research and advocacy.
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's has experienced double digit growth in funding over the past several years. This success is due to creating an infrastructure conducive to competitive grant applications, providing the resources to conduct innovative science, and making investments in programs ranging from injury prevention to tissue engineering.
A recent highlight was the phenomenal result of our gene therapy trial treating infants born with spinal muscular atrophy. This study was voted by the readers of Science as the 2017 Breakthrough of the Year and has been licensed to one of 13 startup companies, generating millions of dollars to support our programs.
Achieving Our 'One Team' Values
These values have taken hold here because of the emphasis we place on them. They are introduced to potential faculty early in the recruitment process. Employees are annually assessed on how well their behaviors reflect the values and we encourage new hires to call out managers and executives if they are not demonstrating the values.
As a result, we have a mission-driven staff who choose to pursue their professional aspirations at Nationwide Children's, in part, because of these values. Our One Team culture makes our success possible.
Learn more about Nationwide Children's strategic plan here.