Avera McKennan is making sure hospitality is part of your hospital stay extending to your family and friends. As Nancy Naeve Brown tells us they even created a new position and filled it with a guy who is known for running hotels.
Many of you probably recognize Tom Bosch. He has been the General Manager of the Holiday Inn City Centre in downtown Sioux Falls for the last 13 years, but his career in hospitality management extends 23 years. Avera McKennan thought he was the perfect person to bring on staff to make sure they are emphasizing hospitality at the hospital.
Michelle Lavalle is the Senior VP of Strategic Marketing and Communication at Avera McKennan. She says, "What we know in healthcare is when people come to the hospital they expect to be cured, that we have the all the tools they need for healing, but now they expect there is a hospitality element so it's like staying in a hotel."
Tom Bosch, VP of Hospitality Services says, "When you look at hospitality it derives from hospital and that is really to look at the meaning of that is to care for others, offer a level of personal care so I see my role as serving others whether it be patients, families or employees."
As vice president of hospitality services Bosch's main responsibility is to oversee food services, housekeeping, security and valet drivers. The same services that are duplicated at hotels. The same departments that make a noticeable impression on all that stay or visit in either place.
Bosch says, "The bottom line is people are people. People want to be taken care of. They want to feel like they matter and that they make a difference and that's the impact we have."
All around the Avera McKennan campus you'll see Always posters. This one says I'm one of 6800 plus working for you. They are real employees look it's Kelly Rum on the poster and Kelly Rum in the kitchen at the Prairie Center.
Lavalle says, "The Always Campaign is really an employee pride campaign that focuses on staff and what they do here in terms of how they "always" take care of patients, always meet their needs. People's expectations have really really grown from what it was a number of years ago. I think they expect when you pick up a phone like you do in a hotel and call room service or call for an extra pillow that that responsiveness is there.
Lavallee says adding a hospitality position fits so well in Avera's mission to care for life because taking care of people; mind, body and spirit is what they do best so why not bring in the guy who's the best in the business at doing that.