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Inspiring Stories Of Employees Making A Difference

Smart, Collaborative People Challenge Each Other Every Day at CalvertHealth

“It makes me excited to come to work knowing I’m going to help someone and make them feel better,” said Shante Jones, who has been a registered nurse at CalvertHealth Medical Center (CHMC) since 2013. “At the end of the day, making our patients feel good is what makes me feel good.”

Eight years ago, the 42-year-old mother of three was a recent nursing graduate from the College of Southern Maryland starting a second career. Today, she is a valued peer who works side-by-side with her colleagues on one of the medical/surgical floors to care for medical-surgical patients.

“At first, I was very shy and nervous,” said Jones. “But the people here are encouraging and it has made me stronger and more confident. My skill set has grown as a result.” In July 2017, she was recognized for her exceptional patient care with the “You’ve Made a Difference” award, CalvertHealth’s monthly employee recognition program.

She went on to add, “I feel valued at CalvertHealth. Members of leadership walk the floors and they actually know your name and talk to you. You don’t feel like a number. You feel like a person because they know who their staff is and that makes you feel good.”

Workplace of Choice

“We do offer competitive salaries and exceptional benefits, but I believe what sets CalvertHealth apart is that we do think of each other as family,” said Vice President for Human Resources Lisa Broome. She said this was never more evident than during the coronavirus pandemic.

This sentiment was echoed by registered respiratory therapist Sharon Pitts Short. “In my 30+ years of health care, there have been many memorable experiences,” said Short. “But COVID has risen to the top for many reasons. It has been an emotional roller coaster, but the way the CalvertHealth team pulled together to support and protect each other through the uncertainties has been inspiring.”

Allie Hummel, RN, L2, agrees. The relationships she has built over the years with co-workers is her number one reason why she enjoys working at CalvertHealth. “We are like a family,” she said. “We may not be the biggest hospital around but I would argue we have the biggest heart.”

A sense of teamwork and camaraderie permeates the culture at CHMC. Broome believes this supportive environment plays a major factor in the longevity of employees at CalvertHealth. “I am truly amazed how many employees we have with 20-plus years with the organization,” she said. “To me, that’s just impressive.”

Opportunity to Grow

“We know we need to attract good people,” said Broome, “so we also have professional development and growth opportunities.” CalvertHealth offers special training programs to enhance employee skills, which in turn facilitates advancement. There is also an emerging leaders group who collaborate on specific projects to make recommendations to the leadership team at CalvertHealth.

“There is definitely a strong focus on growth in the organization,” said Faye Scott, who started her career as a food service worker in the cafeteria and then transitioned to the coffee bar.

Her most memorable experience was when she won the “You’ve Made a Difference” award in January 2017. “I felt like all my hard work and my ideas to increase sales were noticed. More importantly, what my co-workers said about me touched my heart,” said Scott.

According to Wendi Thompson, Human Resources Business Partner, CalvertHealth’s outstanding reputation for quality care and patient safety has been significant in attracting applicants.

CalvertHealth Medical Center achieved the highest performance among all Maryland hospitals for clinical care, patient safety and patient perception based on 2019 data released by the Hospital Services Cost Review Commission.

“We literally have people reaching out to us from other states who are moving here and because of our reputation, want to find employment with us,” said Thompson.

Making a Difference

“I just love to feel like I can make a difference, however small, every day,” said Community Wellness Manager Erin Farley, “whether it’s helping people navigate the hospital’s services, listening when someone needs an ear or helping co-workers assist students with professional development.”

Andy Cooksey, who has worked in plant operations since 1994, went above and beyond to design a computer stand for an OB patient who was on bed rest, allowing her to work.

“Seeing my ideas put into action, teams pulling together to help someone out, and the miles of smiles means everything to me,” said Cooksey.

For others, it’s providing much-needed support during a difficult loss. Farley still remembers holding the hand of the sweet, elderly lady as she said good-bye to her husband of many years. “She was so appreciative as I sat with her time and time again.”

Behavioral Health Clinical Coordinator Susan Mattingly, RN, will never forget the family who lost their young child in the ER in 1996. “It meant a lot to me to be able to help them get through that difficult time,” she said. “They sent a peace lily a week later to say thank you for all that I had done for them.

“One year later, on the anniversary of their loss, I received another peace lily from the same family,” recalls Mattingly, who has worked at CalvertHealth for 24 years. “They thanked me again for what I had done for them and wanted me to know they hadn’t forgotten and that they were doing okay.”

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