FOCUS: How We Live and See the World

by Dr. Keith Knepp, UnityPoint Health – Peoria , UnityPoint Health – Peoria

It’s no surprise that as a healthcare system, we are committed to our mission: to provide outstanding healthcare. At UnityPoint Health, we are individuals from all walks of life united by one purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. In one way or another, we’ve all been called to serve and help others. While this may be the case for most healthcare organizations, we set ourselves apart by what makes us truly unique. It’s how we deliver our mission. Our commitment to our mission led to the implementation of our system-wide FOCUS values.

It’s been about two years since we introduced FOCUS values to our organization. New strategies and operational practices often take a while for an organization to become accustomed to, but that was not the case with our FOCUS values. Adopted with overwhelming enthusiasm and acceptance, they have become a core element of our workspace culture, playing a vital role in assisting with the selection of hiring employees, evaluations and promotions.

For new employees, training includes a FOCUS values orientation. From day one, our staff meet our executives, physicians and leaders, who go on to share stories on how these values are meaningful to them personally. We challenge ourselves constantly to ensure we deliver FOCUS each and every day. It’s important for us to create a nurturing space and share a transparency among our staff and executives.

FOCUS is an acronym representing Foster Unity, Own the Moment, Champion Excellence and Seize Opportunities. We define them as our everyday responsibility and duty.

  • Foster Unity—because we believe everyone at UnityPoint Health plays a vital role in providing the best experience for our patients. We believe everyone’s unique set of skills and outlook on life are valuable. It’s our goal to ensure a sense of teamwork in our departments and teams to provide an encouraging atmosphere for staff to flourish with their skills, share their strengths, and support collaboration among each other.
  • Own the Moment—because we want to make sure we take responsibility of our individual actions. Owning the moment means taking time out of your busy schedule to brighten someone’s day with even the smallest of gestures. It means flashing a smile to a patient as you cross paths in the hall, holding the door open for a fellow employee, or taking a few minutes to show someone the way instead of telling them how to get there. We also translate this as a willingness to jump into action and offer solutions to improve an operational process or task.
  • Champion Excellence—because we want to be able to continuously exceed expectations in our work performance and care delivery. By championing excellence, we learn from our mistakes and strive to improve practices, but most importantly, we celebrate our successes and put people first. Our patients are our top priority, but we realize that in order to give the best version of ourselves to our community, we must also take care of each other. Celebrating our successes lets us show our appreciation for one another and gives us the opportunity to acknowledge people’s great work.
  • Seize Opportunities is about embracing ideas and prospects to grow, innovate and improve as professionals and team members. We want to create a workspace where leaders want to lead, physicians want to practice, and staff want a career. Encouraging innovation and flexibility with the changing times empowers our staff to feel they are part of something bigger—that UnityPoint Health isn’t just a place to work, it’s where they have a voice and the power to make real and lasting change.

An organization’s purpose is defined by its mission and vision, but its values are delivered by the actions of its leaders, providers and staff. There is no greater joy for me as a leader than to see a thriving and supportive culture. As leaders, we aim to help our teams reach their full potential and succeed. This became an opportunity for not just our leaders to lead, but our entire staff to feel they can inspire others.

We were excited to see how eager, ready and proud our staff were to honor our FOCUS values. To be honest, what makes me most proud is knowing UnityPoint Health is a family of selfless, compassionate and empathic healthcare professionals. FOCUS is the written mantra of how we live and see the world. iBi