Every organization has values. Great organizations are intentional about their values. Intentionality means choosing values that reflect not just who we are but who we want to be, and then acting on those values. It is consistently acting on those values that is hard.
As a national medical group caring for more than 32 million patients each year and working to improve the health of our communities, we aspire to show up every day living six values:
- Care Deeply – Serve patients, partners, communities, and each other with empathy, compassion and respect
- Inspire Joy – Seek fulfillment and the joy of medicine, appreciate others, celebrate wins and promote wellness and belonging
- Be Curious – Embrace learning, seek out diversity of thought, listen openly, ask questions and ask for feedback
- Pursue Extraordinary – Challenge the status quo, champion change, innovate and constantly aim higher
- Embrace Teamwork – Work cross-functionally, break down walls, develop others, be inclusive and unite to improve patient health
- Instill Trust – Have the hard conversation, presume good intent, honor commitments and do the right thing for patients and each other
Values take root when the majority of the members of a community embrace and act on the values. That means we need nearly 20,000 teammates to opt in. We need 20,000 of us to choose not just to embrace but to act. Why is that hard?
Let’s talk about Caring Deeply. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have emphasized the need to care for and protect our clinicians, our patients and each other. As an organization, we are now being confronted with a difficult choice to act on our value of Caring Deeply. The evidence is clear that taking the COVID-19 vaccine helps to protect our clinicians, our patients and each other. And it does so with very little risk to oneself. We made the difficult choice as an organization to require the COVID-19 vaccine for all of our teammates – knowing that this decision would not be popular with some of our teammates. Why did we do it? Because it’s hard to argue that we are caring for and protecting our clinicians, our patients and each other if we did not do it.
And yet, for many people, taking this action is hard. Why?
Being asked to get the vaccine can feel incongruent with our deeply held American value of personal liberty. Two things we value – personal liberty and caring for others – have come into conflict, and we are struggling to reconcile them. Vaccination calls on us to act with the knowledge that we are trading some personal liberty in favor of the common good. Will we act?
Taking the vaccine can also be uncomfortable. We naturally fear what we don’t know. While the vaccines have been thoroughly tested and the data showing that the risk of not taking the vaccine is substantially greater than the risk of taking the vaccine, we are still taking it for the first time. While the data may not justify the fear, fear has never been subject to data. Vaccination calls on us to act despite our discomfort. Will we act?
Let’s Care Deeply. For our teammates, loved ones, patients and community members.
When we do, I want you to envision this: the difference we’ll make in keeping millions of people healthy, safe and alive.
I encourage you to check out the values below, reflect on what they mean to you and incorporate them into your daily actions.
This blog is one of the many ways I want to connect with you and discuss matters impacting us, our patients and the healthcare system at large. My hope is that we can continue to instill trust within one another and work toward an even more caring and supportive environment that celebrates everyone’s perspectives and contributions.