Novemberr 2019, Volume XXXIII, No 8

interview

 

 

 

The anatomy of rebranding

Thomas Schrup, MD, MBA

CentraCare

Please tell us a little about the scope of CentraCare. How many clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and communities do you serve?

CentraCare is a growing health system comprised of eight hospitals, more than 30 clinics, 11 senior housing facilities, and eight long-term care facilities across Minnesota. Our hospitals are spread across central, west central, and southwest Minnesota, serving St. Cloud, Long Prairie, Melrose, Monticello, Paynesville, Willmar, Redwood Falls, and Sauk Centre.

CentraCare has recently undertaken a rebranding initiative. What can you tell us about the rationale and goals of this process?

Our rebrand was more than logos and color changes. It was centered around who we serve—our customers—and our commitment to caring for them the best we can. First, we wanted to better understand the people who make health care decisions. These individuals not only manage their own lives, but those of their family, including any health care needs they have. So we spent time looking at how we can make their lives easier and the health care experience more convenient. Our ultimate goal is to provide a great experience—one that includes exceptional, quality care delivered when and where they need it.

What were some of the steps involved in the rebranding?

It was a multi-year effort with several steps, all aiming to connect our culture, purpose, and, ultimately, our brand. It started in 2016 with an investment in our culture and how we treat one another as employees. Our culture is really the foundation because it sets the tone for how we work together, and it’s been transformational for us. Then in 2018 we started having conversations around our purpose, both at an organizational level and with employees. We wanted to better understand our collective “reason why.” What motivates us? Why do we do this work? What is our purpose? Those conversations helped us define our purpose as: “To listen then serve, to guide and heal. Because health means everything.” The natural next step was to look at how we express who we are to the communities we serve through our brand identity. We introduced our new brand in summer 2019 and it will continue rolling out over the next year.

Just because you don’t live near an urban center doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to great health care.

What new things do you tell your physician staff about relating with other members of the care teams?

I think that we all understand that health care is a team sport—now more than ever. Healthy team dynamics are the foundation of safe, high quality care. This is really what our culture work is about. All teams and organizations have a culture. The choice is really whether you pay attention to it and shape it. We promote healthy thinking practices, such as assuming positive intent on behalf of others, as well as approaching situations with curiosity rather than judgment. When practiced with consistency, these habits become the norm and support healthy interactions.

How do you integrate the historical roots of the communities you serve into providing health care close to home?

We serve a large population across an even larger geography. From St. Cloud to Redwood Falls and from Monticello to Willmar, every community is unique. Like most large organizations, I suspect, we constantly manage the polarity of integration across the organization with supporting local autonomy where appropriate. As part of our rebranding work, we sought to honor the history and intent of the founders of each of our sites and their communities. Once again, it gets back to purpose.

What are some of the unique issues posed by providing health care in Greater Minnesota?

We have an incredible opportunity to provide exceptional care throughout Minnesota. Just because you don’t live near an urban center doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to great health care. That’s what we’re trying to do. Through CentraCare and Carris Health, we are connecting more health care resources across the state so that it’s more convenient for people to access the care they need. As we expand, we know that every community is unique and different, so we need to start by understanding their specific health care needs. Then it’s about working to address those needs in the smartest way possible. That might mean we have a specialist on site, or perhaps we leverage telehealth. Whatever the solution is, we work with that community so that it makes the most sense for the people we’re serving.

Please tell us about the CentraCare Foundation and some of its top priorities.

We are incredibly blessed to have such a phenomenal foundation which is extremely active. They are leading efforts to partner with the communities we serve to support many projects, including:

  • Community capital campaign to support the St. Benedict’s Community, which includes nursing homes, assisted living, memory care apartments, and more ($5 million goal).
  • Wellness capital campaign to support services in Long Prairie ($4.5 million goal).
  • Capital campaign to support the care center community in Sauk Centre ($3 million goal).
  • Community capital campaign to support the emergency department in Monticello ($1 million goal).
  • Annual community campaign focused on suicide prevention and awareness.
  • Ongoing special events including the annual Holly Ball to benefit cancer and hospice services, Spring Fling event to benefit pediatric and senior services, and CentraCare Earth Day Run events to support youth wellness (total combined goal: $1 million).

You have been personally very involved in volunteer work through Pathways 4 Youth, which serves young people experiencing homelessness. Please tell us about this work.

I learned about Pathways through my Rotary Club, which was the driving force in its creation. It is a resource center for youths experiencing homelessness between the ages of 16 and 24. It is not a shelter, rather a support center where youth can get a hot donated meal, wash clothing, take a shower, and pick up donated clothes, groceries, and toiletries. Ultimately the goal is to support the youth in securing stable housing and a career path. I provide medical services there once weekly. Importantly, I have found my computer more useful there than my stethoscope. Because most of the youth have had some contact with CentraCare, I can make real time referrals into a medical home, to specialists, or to therapists.

What are your key focus areas as we approach 2020 and beyond?

Of course, we will be paying attention to the shift from volume to value and population health, but we will also continue to invest in culture and physician leadership. I am a firm believer in the adage that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. In addition, I don’t think that anyone believes that the pace of change in health care is likely to slow. As a result, we will need to be resilient and nimble in the coming years in order to be successful. In addition to our cultural investment, we have developed a robust physician dyad leadership structure. We feel that these foundational investments will support our successful navigation of the turbulent waters ahead.

Thomas Schrup, MD, MBA, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Officer at CentraCare, a health system with 13,000 employees serving Central Minnesota. As a pediatrician at CentraCare for 25 years, he has served in a number of leadership roles while continuing his practice serving families across Minnesota. Dr. Schrup co-led CentraCare’s “Our Best Begins with Me” culture transformation as the organization aims to set a new standard for employees working together in meaningful ways. 

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interview

 

 

 

The anatomy of rebranding

Thomas Schrup, MD, MBA

CentraCare

Please tell us a little about the scope of CentraCare. How many clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and communities do you serve?

CentraCare is a growing health system comprised of eight hospitals, more than 30 clinics, 11 senior housing facilities, and eight long-term care facilities across Minnesota. Our hospitals are spread across central, west central, and southwest Minnesota, serving St. Cloud, Long Prairie, Melrose, Monticello, Paynesville, Willmar, Redwood Falls, and Sauk Centre.

CentraCare has recently undertaken a rebranding initiative. What can you tell us about the rationale and goals of this process?

Our rebrand was more than logos and color changes. It was centered around who we serve—our customers—and our commitment to caring for them the best we can. First, we wanted to better understand the people who make health care decisions. These individuals not only manage their own lives, but those of their family, including any health care needs they have. So we spent time looking at how we can make their lives easier and the health care experience more convenient. Our ultimate goal is to provide a great experience—one that includes exceptional, quality care delivered when and where they need it.

What were some of the steps involved in the rebranding?

It was a multi-year effort with several steps, all aiming to connect our culture, purpose, and, ultimately, our brand. It started in 2016 with an investment in our culture and how we treat one another as employees. Our culture is really the foundation because it sets the tone for how we work together, and it’s been transformational for us. Then in 2018 we started having conversations around our purpose, both at an organizational level and with employees. We wanted to better understand our collective “reason why.” What motivates us? Why do we do this work? What is our purpose? Those conversations helped us define our purpose as: “To listen then serve, to guide and heal. Because health means everything.” The natural next step was to look at how we express who we are to the communities we serve through our brand identity. We introduced our new brand in summer 2019 and it will continue rolling out over the next year.

Just because you don’t live near an urban center doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to great health care.

What new things do you tell your physician staff about relating with other members of the care teams?

I think that we all understand that health care is a team sport—now more than ever. Healthy team dynamics are the foundation of safe, high quality care. This is really what our culture work is about. All teams and organizations have a culture. The choice is really whether you pay attention to it and shape it. We promote healthy thinking practices, such as assuming positive intent on behalf of others, as well as approaching situations with curiosity rather than judgment. When practiced with consistency, these habits become the norm and support healthy interactions.

How do you integrate the historical roots of the communities you serve into providing health care close to home?

We serve a large population across an even larger geography. From St. Cloud to Redwood Falls and from Monticello to Willmar, every community is unique. Like most large organizations, I suspect, we constantly manage the polarity of integration across the organization with supporting local autonomy where appropriate. As part of our rebranding work, we sought to honor the history and intent of the founders of each of our sites and their communities. Once again, it gets back to purpose.

What are some of the unique issues posed by providing health care in Greater Minnesota?

We have an incredible opportunity to provide exceptional care throughout Minnesota. Just because you don’t live near an urban center doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to great health care. That’s what we’re trying to do. Through CentraCare and Carris Health, we are connecting more health care resources across the state so that it’s more convenient for people to access the care they need. As we expand, we know that every community is unique and different, so we need to start by understanding their specific health care needs. Then it’s about working to address those needs in the smartest way possible. That might mean we have a specialist on site, or perhaps we leverage telehealth. Whatever the solution is, we work with that community so that it makes the most sense for the people we’re serving.

Please tell us about the CentraCare Foundation and some of its top priorities.

We are incredibly blessed to have such a phenomenal foundation which is extremely active. They are leading efforts to partner with the communities we serve to support many projects, including:

  • Community capital campaign to support the St. Benedict’s Community, which includes nursing homes, assisted living, memory care apartments, and more ($5 million goal).
  • Wellness capital campaign to support services in Long Prairie ($4.5 million goal).
  • Capital campaign to support the care center community in Sauk Centre ($3 million goal).
  • Community capital campaign to support the emergency department in Monticello ($1 million goal).
  • Annual community campaign focused on suicide prevention and awareness.
  • Ongoing special events including the annual Holly Ball to benefit cancer and hospice services, Spring Fling event to benefit pediatric and senior services, and CentraCare Earth Day Run events to support youth wellness (total combined goal: $1 million).

You have been personally very involved in volunteer work through Pathways 4 Youth, which serves young people experiencing homelessness. Please tell us about this work.

I learned about Pathways through my Rotary Club, which was the driving force in its creation. It is a resource center for youths experiencing homelessness between the ages of 16 and 24. It is not a shelter, rather a support center where youth can get a hot donated meal, wash clothing, take a shower, and pick up donated clothes, groceries, and toiletries. Ultimately the goal is to support the youth in securing stable housing and a career path. I provide medical services there once weekly. Importantly, I have found my computer more useful there than my stethoscope. Because most of the youth have had some contact with CentraCare, I can make real time referrals into a medical home, to specialists, or to therapists.

What are your key focus areas as we approach 2020 and beyond?

Of course, we will be paying attention to the shift from volume to value and population health, but we will also continue to invest in culture and physician leadership. I am a firm believer in the adage that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. In addition, I don’t think that anyone believes that the pace of change in health care is likely to slow. As a result, we will need to be resilient and nimble in the coming years in order to be successful. In addition to our cultural investment, we have developed a robust physician dyad leadership structure. We feel that these foundational investments will support our successful navigation of the turbulent waters ahead.

Thomas Schrup, MD, MBA, is the Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Officer at CentraCare, a health system with 13,000 employees serving Central Minnesota. As a pediatrician at CentraCare for 25 years, he has served in a number of leadership roles while continuing his practice serving families across Minnesota. Dr. Schrup co-led CentraCare’s “Our Best Begins with Me” culture transformation as the organization aims to set a new standard for employees working together in meaningful ways. 

interview