Lead by Example

by Dr. Mike Cruz
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Personal integrity drives organizational integrity.

Lead by example... a great motto to follow if the example is a good one. When the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis came to Peoria, little did they know that the work they were doing to comfort and heal would lead thousands to serve with the greatest care and love. But that is exactly what happened.

What began in a two-story home back in 1876 has grown into an 11-hospital healthcare system with two nursing colleges, dozens of medical group offices, outpatient facilities, home health agencies and hospice programs. It couldn’t have happened without great leadership. It couldn’t have happened without the leadership the Sisters have dutifully provided and willingly given.

They’re quiet, but mighty leaders. In fact, at the highest level, five of our Sisters sit on the Governing Board that has oversight of all the OSF boards with significant reserved powers. It’s because of their vision and dedication to innovation that we have things like CT scanners. That may seem commonplace these days, but back in the ‘90s, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the state to get one—the Sisters made that decision. Because of them, in January of this year we were able to begin using a brand-new Intraoperative MRI Operating Suite, or iMRI. We are one of only two hospitals in the state to have this technology, which gives neurosurgeons the ability to scan patients during surgery and see a detailed image of their progress in real time. The Sisters also made that decision, and countless others that have made OSF HealthCare a leader in innovation and serving those in need.

They have a vision for growth and taking care of people that extends past patients and medical equipment. The Sisters know that unless our more than 19,000 employees believe in the mission as well, growth is stunted. In 1989, they began a Ministry Development Program that is key to developing our OSF leaders and their commitment to the mission. Well over 2,000 employees, who we call mission partners, have completed the program. And there are other programs available to our mission partners in non-leadership roles to enhance the part they play in serving in the spirit of Christ.

Sister Judith Ann, chairperson of the board and Major Superior, has this to say about leadership: “Leadership is about enabling others to flourish. Leadership is standing on solid ground, on beliefs that enrich the lives of those you lead. Leadership is about service that comes from the heart and is directed outward. Leadership is about personal integrity that drives organizational integrity.”

It’s hard to argue with that. And here at OSF, we see it every day. A lot has changed over the years. In Peoria, we’ve gone from a small two-story home to a nearly 50-acre campus with 2.3 million square feet of building space. That just doesn’t happen without good leadership. It happens with strong vision and the values to back it up. We have both at OSF HealthCare. iBi

Dr. Mike Cruz is president of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

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