Describe your responsibilities and a typical day.
My main overall responsibility is compliance; that’s why we’re all here, to ensure Joint Commission readiness. In my region, I don’t have a manager or a supervisor, so I fill those roles in addition to my role as director. My day-to-day responsibilities include the hospital safety huddle and three department safety huddles. I conduct the safety walks for the Medxcel construction team because we don’t have a construction project manager physically located here. I deal with the contractors and any issues that come up. I manage anything within facilities that flares up, those unexpected things that happen in a hospital each day. My team consists of six HVAC and maintenance technicians and one facilities coordinator.
Describe the path you took to arrive in your current role.
I started my career in HVAC working for my father and then at a hospital in Tulsa where I was an HVAC tech from 2008-2012 and then promoted to team lead in 2012. In 2015 our manager left and I took on some of the managerial duties. When I learned about Medxcel coming on board I asked what I could do to be prepared for a future with Medxcel because I saw that there was going to be a lot of opportunity. I had already enrolled in school and continued to work towards completing my bachelor’s degree in business management. When we transitioned to Medxcel I was promoted to the manager position in Tulsa. There was no full-time regional director at that time and the location here in Kansas was preparing for a Joint Commission survey and there was no director in place to help lead those efforts. Medxcel asked me if I would come here temporarily to help them get through the survey and I did. I felt as someone who moved from an HVAC tech into a leadership role, it was important for me to take every opportunity offered to me in order to prove myself. I saw this as a great opportunity to show what I could do here. The hospital president really liked me, and we did really well on the survey, so I applied for the Director position and got it.
What types of training and development has Medxcel offered to you?
I’ve taken advantage of the tuition reimbursement offered by Medxcel and I found that my business education really helped prepare me for leadership roles. With my background as a technician, I wasn’t as experienced in writing reports, and my education taught me a lot about things like reporting, finances, and budgeting. I’ve also learned so much from my leaders. In Tulsa my director conducted weekly leadership development trainings and anyone in the hospital was welcome to attend. I’ve taken advantage of the Harvard Manage Mentor courses Medxcel offers through myLearning; they’ve been very helpful to me. I’ve finished all the modules in there and I often revisit them as refreshers. Medxcel has paid for me to attend ASHE and take training courses there. I’ve completed the Certified Healthcare Facilities Management (CHFM) training course and I hope to take that exam this year to obtain my certification.
What is the best part of your job?
I take a lot of pride in this hospital and our team feels that its successes reflect on us. I enjoy mentoring others. There’s another leader in Tulsa that I’ve encouraged to take a path into leadership that is similar to mine. He was a carpenter when he worked for me and now he’s a supervisor. I’ve also got associates here that are attending school and doing leadership training. I think that probably the very best part of my job is positively influencing others who may think they’re stuck in the position they’re in and showing them that they are not. There’s so much opportunity at Medxcel and they off the support and benefits to help you along your career path.
Which of Medxcel’s Core Values speak to you the most?
Medxcel’s Core Values of Integrity, Wisdom and Creativity are critical to me. I put so much stock in integrity and honesty. I think wisdom follows that and there’s a lot of creativity required in our roles because we face so many unique problems each day that require creative solutions. I believe that if you exhibit those three behaviors, the other Core Values will fall into place naturally.
What is the most unusual thing that’s happened to you during your time at Medxcel?
Looking back I feel that being asked to come here to Kansas to oversee their Joint Commission survey was unusual, and a turning point in my career. I came here on January 2, 2019, and at that time our site historically had among the lowest Joint Commission scores in the hospital system. So I came here in January, and we went through Joint Commission the third week in March. We had only 19 total findings, one medium risk, one widespread risk, and 17 low/limited risk. That really showed me that in a short period of time we were able to accomplish so much. We’re a relatively small facility, but our scores were so good that during the exit interview, Joint Commission took 30 minutes to explain what a great job our facilities team had done, and that a hospital our size would normally expect to average 40-60 findings on a good survey. So I’m very proud of that project and the work we did. When I arrived, the books were in chaos. The technicians were doing a good job but there wasn’t consistent leadership here. Apparently my leadership qualities fit in well with the team here and I ended up staying. We’ve continued our good work; in 2019 and 2020 we’ve lowered our budget spend by $700,000 through insourcing a lot of the work. Consistent leadership and the support of Medxcel’s resources has helped a great team become even better.
What would you say to someone who asks you if you recommend working for Medxcel?
I can’t say enough good things about working for Medxcel. What other company provides career pathing the way Medxcel does, where someone like me who started as an HVAC tech can eventually become a Facilities Director? Regardless of what stage of your career you’re in, whether you’re a tradesperson or not, there is just so much opportunity here, in variety of positions, career pathing, and even locations if you want to move somewhere. Medxcel offers so much that most typical jobs can’t offer.
Is there something you’ve learned in this position that you didn’t expect?
I’ve learned that there’s a lot more work and responsibility in this job than I thought there was. When you’re an HVAC tech, you look at all your leaders and you think they’ve got it made, that they just walk around and don’t do anything. I now realize that every mistake I made as a tech, it impacted my supervisor, manager, and director. In this role, you’re not only dealing with your own mistakes and responsibilities, but you’re also dealing with the impact of mistakes of the hospital staff and your team, and that’s been a real eye opener for me. The weight of everything in this hospital is on me and it directly impacts the care we provide to our patients. There’s nothing weightier than hospital compliance and safety.