Building a Leadership Team at a Rural Medical Facility

August 15, 2016

Building a Leadership Team at a Rural Medical Facility

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and Andalusia Health have successfully obtained an innovations grant of $33,100 awarded through the Alabama Community College System.

The grant will be used to fund a one-year professional development program with the goal of improving the leadership and management skills of 25 department heads and other managers within Andalusia Health.  Also participating in the program will be 15 other employees who have demonstrated the desire and potential to become the leaders of the future. 

This program will be the initial professional development initiative of the Andalusia Leadership Academy, an innovative learning platform created by Andalusia Health in 2016 to address opportunities for leadership development at all stages of employment at the hospital. 

According to John Yanes, CEO of Andalusia Health, “leadership at all levels of an organization is fundamental to individual and organizational success”.  “Andalusia Health is fully committed to creating a continuous learning culture and we’re very pleased that we can partner with our local community college to reinvest these funds in the local community and achieve this objective.”

This leadership academy will become an integral part of the organization and will remain in place after this grant project is completed, he said.  Their mission will be to continue to develop and deliver professional development opportunities and serve as a vehicle for promoting continuous improvement within Andalusia Health.

According to Jimmy Hutto, Associate Dean of Adult Education & Workforce Development,

LBWCC and Andalusia Health have been partners in the training and development of medical professionals since the hospital’s opening.  Andalusia Health provides clinical sites for students in LBWCC’s programs in practical nursing, registered nursing, emergency management services, surgical technology, and diagnostic medical sonography.  In addition, staff members from Andalusia Health sit on advisory committees for these programs. 

“We are very pleased to be able to further solidify our partnership with Andalusia Health,” said Hutto.

Andalusia Health is dedicated to making communities healthier, and this means continually evaluating their workforce to identify opportunities to provide better professional development programs. Through these programs, they strive to deliver high quality patient care, support physicians, create excellent workplaces for employees, take a leadership role in the community, and ensure fiscal responsibility. 

The partnership with LBWCC, and the development of Andalusia Leadership Academy, will provide an opportunity for motivated employees to pursue and achieve promotions within the organization.   

Ms. Bobbie Meyer, Senior Director for Support service who is spearheading this effort for Andalusia Health, noted,”often employees with good clinical skills are promoted to leadership positions without the appropriate technical skills required to successfully navigate a management role”. “The Andalusia Academy will provide a framework to train prospective directors and foster essential managerial skills.”

Andalusia Health launched its leadership development efforts in 2015 with quarterly leadership development seminars. That will now be expanded utilizing the instructional resources available through LBWCC, which will promote continuous learning.  This will help position Andalusia Health for future success as an institution where people choose to come for healthcare, physicians want to practice, and employees want to work, said Yanes. 

The proposed innovative one-year program will include basic and intermediate courses in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.  Basic courses are 16 contact hours in length and intermediate courses are 14 contact hours in length.  These courses will be delivered on-site in the hospital’s training center. 

Also included in the program will be quarterly retreats for current and potential leadership personnel.  These one-day retreats will be conducted away from the workplace and each will feature a four-hour seminar on a topic critical to the development of the leadership team.  Each retreat will also include a time for networking and reflection on the day’s training session and how the information will be applied in the daily operations of the organization.