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Crouse Health: Culture, Quality, and Financial Health

by Lindy Gullett, PhD

Today, we're on a trip to Upstate New York, where we'll learn more about Crouse Health. Serving the greater Syracuse area, Crouse Health is a leading care provider with a mission to provide the best in patient care and to promote community health. With its focus on work culture, it's no surprise that Zippia ranks Crouse as one of the five best places to work in Syracuse.

Diving Into The Values At Crouse Health

Values that drive a mission.

With over 3,100 employees in its hospital and medical practice, Crouse isn't a small organization, but it is committed to having a strong, healthy company culture that permeates every part of the organization. In early 2004, a team of committed, engaged, and passionate employees from all levels of the organization came together in "think tank" sessions to identify values and behaviors that would form the foundation for the hospital's culture. The Crouse values are not just words on paper. They provide the framework for how the team provides care and services to their community. They are tools to help staff work as a team, to guide them, to help them problem solve and challenge themselves constructively, always with one focus always at the forefront: Crouse's mission of providing the best in patient care promoting community health.

Finding Power in Simplicity

A snapshot of Crouse's values.

Crouse's values are simple yet powerful. First, Community. Every member of Crouse's staff works together to serve their internal and greater community. Second, Respect. They treat each other and patients with honor, dignity, and trust. Third, Open and Honest Communication. Crouse has a culture of transparency. Fourth, Undivided Commitment to Quality. Leaders in several medical specialties, Crouse is committed to providing patient-focused, leading edge care. Fifth, Service. Crouse knows that they exist to serve the needs of their patients, physicians, employees, and community. Sixth, Excellence. Crouse is a creative innovator always on the hunt for the next program that will help them serve patients and their community in newer and better ways.

Workmates posing.

Bringing Quality Care

A drive to be the best.

Founded over 130 years ago as a women and children's hospital, Crouse Health is renowned for its neonatal intensive care unit that cares for babies from 17 counties in upstate New York. The NICU is complemented by a strong maternity service unit that delivers over four thousand babies a year. That's more than any other hospital in upstate New York and over 60% of all babies in Onondaga County. They are also home to the largest substance abuse treatment program in upstate New York, and they have a world-class diagnostic and interventional cardiac service program. More recently, Crouse launched a neuroscience program that helped them recruit some of the best neurosurgeons in the Northeast. Crouse Health is the right place for team members who want the opportunity for thoughtful, strategic innovation that truly helps improve patient care.

In the outdoors.

Balancing Quality of Care, Financial Health, and Culture

A culture built from the ground up.

Back in 2001, Crouse Health filed for Chapter 11. It was a dark period for the hospital, and it took two years to come out of bankruptcy. When they emerged, Crouse didn't just sit back and relax. They actively decided to build a culture, build a system that was robust and strong. Their business decisions are strategic. When they opened a new neuroscience program, they ran the numbers to make sure that it was the right decision. When they developed their organizational culture and values, they did it to make sure that they could attract the best talent. Director of HR John Bergemann says, "We do feel that our culture is a major and significant differentiator for us in the marketplace. This is a competitive marketplace for talented and mission-focused employees. We do have employees who we bring on who have worked at other area hospitals, and they say that 'it just feels different at Crouse.'" Every time Crouse Health makes a big decision, they ask: How will this affect the quality of care? How will this affect our financial health? And how will this affect our culture?

Together.

Leading by Example

Transparent and thoughtful leadership.

Crouse's healthy organizational culture and focus on quality service starts at the top. The senior leadership team all truly values patient care. In particular, CEO Kimberly Boynton has a reputation for being approachable, transparent, and committed to caring for patients and staff. Kimberly doesn't even have an office. She works out of the administrative area with everyone else. Physicians know that they can just walk down and sit down in front of her desk to talk with her. As part of the two-day new hire orientation, Kimberly does a 20-minute presentation, getting in front of the new hires right away and letting them know that they can reach out. After 90 days, every new hire is invited to have breakfast with Kimberly. She asks: How is it going? Are we inspiring you? What do we need to do better? What did they do at your last workplace that was better? Then she sits down with the leadership team and says, "This is what I heard from the new hires. How can we fix it?" Kimberly also hosts a quarterly coffee hour in the hospital cafe. During coffee hour, anybody can come down to the cafeteria and grab coffee with Kimberly and other members of the leadership team. There is no agenda, and it's very informal. It's truly an opportunity for all team members to ask questions, express concerns, and get help.

Showing off a snack.

Company Values

  • C Community
  • R Respect
  • O Open and Honest Communication
  • U Undivided Commitment to Quality
  • S Service
  • E Excellence

Benefits

  • Competitive Wages
  • Welcome Package for New RN Grads
  • Low Cost Insurance
  • Growth Opportunities
  • Tuition Reimbursement