Posted 9/23/2013 12:00 am
Staff members at Mercy Health Northwest Arkansas Communities in Rogers know they have important duties to perform each day. The people they care for are sick. They’re afraid. They want to get well and become independent again.
The mission statement of Mercy includes “bringing to life the healing ministry of Jesus.” But being the face of recovery and providing a stable environment in which to heal each day takes a toll on the health care workers. Mercy Health recognizes this and goes out of its way to insure that its employees remain ready — physically, mentally and spiritually — for the job.
That means employees need to be happy and secure. Mercy Health offers a variety of ways to keep its work family together. And one of its secrets is in creating a loop where employees help each other, bringing up the spirits of both the helpers and the helped. For example, Mercy has set up a special crisis fund to assist workers who find themselves needing some extra financial help. Not only is it available to Mercy employees, but it’s also funded by Mercy employees.
“We have a Mercy Way drive once per year where co-workers can set up paycheck deductions to go to the crisis fund,” says Courtney Guppy, senior human resources manager at Mercy. “We also get one-time donations from co-workers and external groups as well.”
All a coworker feeling a pinch needs to do is fill out an application which goes to a committee set up to review what help can be provided based on the situation. It can work as a loan or as charity.
The fund, combined with perks like free counseling, gives workers plenty of breathing room to handle emergencies of their own while handling the emergencies of the public. In turn, this empowers the employees to add perks to the stays of their patients.
“We had a patient come in who had just lost a family member and was in for their own surgery,” says Guppy. “She was very upset and nervous. Our surgery staff, when taking her back to surgery, saw a double rainbow out of the hospital and rolled her bed over to the window so she could see it. They then began singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ The patient said this calmed her down and made her feel her lost family member’s presence.”
It goes back to Mercy’s goal of making a presence felt. Because of that, Mercy Health Northwest Arkansas Communities goes out of its way to make sure its employees’ needs are taken care of.
Toe Tapping Time
Medical staffers at Mercy Health Northwest Arkansas Communities stay on their toes for most of the work day. Keeping those toes and the rest of the body fit goes a long way toward successfully treating patients. In that vein, Mercy also goes a long way toward promoting fitness in a fun way.
“We do many things throughout the year to promote wellness, but every May there is National Employee Health and Wellness Day,” says Courtney Guppy, a senior manager of human resources at Mercy.
Mercy Health circles this day and always prepares something special. One year, employees performed a total of 56,000 jumping jacks. The next year, a hula-hoop competition was arranged. Last year, Mercy jumped in on the flash mob craze with all employees at every location dancing to an original song.