HCA Virginia - February 25, 2019
by FXBG Lifestyle

The leadership team at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center doesn’t rest on their laurels. Yes, they have rich career histories and each bring something truly special to the facility, but they see the importance in continuing to better themselves and encourage the same in their teams. The corporate culture at Spotsylvania Regional focuses on being the best to give patients the absolute highest quality of care—this means going the extra mile, putting in additional hours, and staff and leadership constantly working to better themselves. The directors at Spotsylvania Regional are committed to leading by example, positively representing the hospital, and carrying out the core values and mission of HCA Virginia. I recently sat down with four members of the leadership team at Spotsylvania Regional to find out more about what brought them to the medical center and how they work to carry out a very specific corporate culture.

David McKnight – Chief Executive Officer

David McKnightDavid McKnight joined HCA Virginia nine years ago. He came to Spotsylvania Regional as Chief Financial Officer in November 2015 and in June he became CEO. He has been integral in helping develop and maintain the culture at Spotsylvania Regional that revolves around superior patient care, directors working together, and leading by example.

"If we can come together for the common goal of the patient and work as a team, it will truly change the culture."

On transitioning into the role of CEO at Spotsylvania: “It really works for me. I’ve worked in non-profit and for a public company—HCA is the best of both worlds. It’s a very protocol-driven company but it’s also patient-centric. For me it’s the perfect balance. I love rules and knowing where the guardrails are but at the same time it’s very compassionate. We are truly dealing with people, which is what I love.”

On the small-town feel of Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania: “I grew up in a very small town and then moved to Roanoke, Va., after college. Then I moved to Richmond where I would never run into the people I [knew because] work was in one area, I lived in another, church in another; they never collide. Here, they do. You see the same people downtown that you see at the hospital, that you might see at church, that you see at the grocery store … that’s the part I love. It’s that perfect blend where it’s not actually a small town but its small enough where you get to know the people.

On the importance of growth: “I think because the hospital started small there is so much of its culture that’s [about] personal touch. [The team is] rolling up their sleeves together because they helped build the hospital. And we have a good complement of those who have been here from the beginning and those who came after. You have those with a new perspective, but then you also have the standpoint of the people who put the first brick down. We’re going to work on this together. We want to keep moving the ball forward. I believe you’re either going backward or going forward; you can’t just stay still.”

On teaching others about leadership: “I tell each of the directors to be the CEO of their respective units and to really own it. Know your business. [They have to be prepared] for the next step but also need to be able to articulate their needs, what their shortfalls are, what their opportunities are, and to work right beside their staff. Their staffs have to see them rolling up their sleeves. The best mentors I’ve had are the ones who believed in me, who invested me, and who worked with me side-by-side. I learned from them and I didn’t want to let them down.”

On goals for hospital directors: “If the directors truly take ownership, [it won’t be] just a job. I want it to be something where they want to thrive: they want to be the very best, they want their departments to be the very best, and they want to invest in their people. For the directors, as a team, I want them to be cohesive. They all bring a different element and they’ve all got different backgrounds. If we can come together for the common goal of the patient and work together, it creates a positive community culture for everyone at the hospital.

On treating patients like family: “I truly believe we’ve got to put ourselves in the situation of the patient. I tell the staff that usually if there is a breakdown in service it is due to communication. We need to treat every patient as if they were our mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa because if we do, everything else will work out. If every nurse does that, every tech does that, everything else will fall into place because we’re going to give our families the very best care.”

One Yellow Car On the yellow car: At a recent conference, hospital leadership was taught to think about something or someone they are grateful for every time they saw a yellow car. Because seeing a vehicle in this color is a rarity, it’s an opportunity to really stop and think. “We want to make sure that we stay humble. When you consider patient care, if you go into it truly grateful for your health and think how it could be you in that bed, that changes your mindset. At our own director’s conference, I gave everyone a yellow Matchbox car. I wanted to let the directors know that we’re grateful for them and to encourage them to pass the idea forward. I think sometimes we get too complacent; we don’t tell people enough how much we appreciate [them].”

On having fun: You’re only as good as your team; I think I’ve got a phenomenal team. We’ve been very selective with who we bring on. If we’re here on a Friday night and we’re working late, we still have fun doing it. We have to have fun; we’re here too much not to. But it’s what we love, being together, and we love seeing the results.”

Ryan DeWeese - Chief Operating Officer

Ryan DeWeeseOn working for SRMC: “From the first day I arrived I knew there was something different and special about this Facility. The caring and compassion our staff show our patients every day is truly second to none. Being a part of shaping a Culture of Excellence is truly a rewarding feeling. This is my Family and truly feels like home.”

On peer relationships: “Relationships and trust are everything in an organization. Without these two elements, no team will succeed. I can honestly say we have a team of leaders who are trusting of one another and consistently go above and beyond to support one another. This is what makes the Culture at our Organization so special. We are here to care for our patients and each other.”

On leadership: Being a leader in an organization is a real honor. Any time you get to help chart the course of an organization and the people in it, it is exciting and very rewarding. Servant leadership is simple; leading by example and never asking others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. I believe that is what makes our Organization special. It is not uncommon to see each member of our Leadership team working alongside staff to further the mission of our Hospital.

On serving the community: Aside from providing outstanding medical care to our community; it is not uncommon to see SRMC hosting the Farmers market or Partnering with the Local Sheriff Office during the Holidays to collect toys for various organizations. We realize that Hospitals are often a cornerstone of any community and we are honored to fill that role!

Kimberly Jarrelle – Chief Nursing Officer

Kimberly JarrelleKimberly Jarrelle started working with HCA Healthcare as a candy striper when she was just a teenager. From then on, she knew she wanted to be a nurse. After holding various leadership roles in nursing, in April she became the Chief Nursing Officer at Spotsylvania Regional.

On making patients the priority: “Ultimately, it’s all about the patients and you have to look to what their needs are. I lead by the idea that there is nothing beneath me. I jump in, I’m part of the team. And that’s what’s so nice about this leadership team: everybody shares that same passion. We expect every patient to be treated as if they’re our family. I always say, before I’m a Chief Nursing Officer, I’m a nurse and it’s all about the patients. I take it back to them.”

On leaders going the extra mile: “There have been times when we’re still here at 6:00 or 7:00 at night. You just don’t know in healthcare—if we’re getting inundated in the ER and the units are busting and we’re getting one admission after another, I’ll go and help because that’s the right thing to do. And my family had gotten used to it. As a nurse manager, or as a director, you own that unit. We empower the directors here to be the CEOs of their departments. There are times I wish I had more time with my family but I do have so much passion for Spotsylvania: the community, the hospital, and the patients here.”

Jennifer Honaker – Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer HonakerAfter enduring a car accident while working for Girl Scouts of America, Jennifer Honaker’s calling came to work in accounting at an HCA Healthcare facility. She has worked her way up from the bottom to serve as a CFO at Spotsylvania Regional.

“I just couldn’t resist this team. Knowing where we all stand and our common view on what we need to do to be successful overall and with patients—I couldn’t miss the opportunity to come here.”

On having a passion for people: “I think we share a very big passion for developing others. I can honestly say I never had grandiose dreams of being [in a leadership role] and I think that people along the way really saw something in me, and encouraged, coached, mentored, and spent that time with me to get me here. I would not have gotten here on my own. Trying to find those [kinds of] people and do that with our team is something we’re all very passionate about. It’s exciting as a leader when you see your people be successful.”

On work-life balance as a mom: “I think that being a working mom in any job comes with mom guilt—that’s a real thing! You schedule as best you can and you can try and be there but there are going to be those things that you’ll miss. My thought on motherhood is, in my heart, I know we’re all doing the best we can and we need to give grace—to other moms and ourselves! And we try to incorporate our kids as much as we can. I’ve been rounding with [my sons], Kim brings [her daughter]. You look for those opportunities where you can integrate the two and show [your family] what you do.”

Rosemary Loring – Vice President of Human Resources

Rosemary LoringRosemary Loring’s extensive career began and flourished in Philadelphia but brought her back to Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. As part of the Spotsylvania Regional team, the former lawyer sees the importance of creating a unique corporate culture which is what has helped set the hospital apart.

“Any kind of organizational culture is one of the few things that your competitors can’t replicate.”

On what comprises a corporate culture: “It’s a lot about the unwritten rules and the words and behavior that you’re not really aware of. If you’re in a culture for a long time, after a while you’re not even conscious of what the culture is; you’re just so used to working a certain way. Culture has to be consciously managed and fed properly because if it isn’t it will take on a life of its own. As leaders, we have to be conscious of our culture and make sure we reinforce all of the positive aspects we want our culture to have.”

On building the team: “We recruit on a division-wide basis. Maybe we have three really awesome candidates but we only have one opportunity—we will see if we can match those two other candidates at a sister facility. So that makes our recruiting effort for talent a lot more efficient and effective. All of our recruiting on a division basis is done online: go to hcahealthare.com and under careers you can plug in [what you’re looking for] and find out what opportunities we have across our network.” On developing leaders: “One of the things we’re working on with each director this year is to make sure they have all the leadership and skills knowledge to be able to run their departments effectively. Like most organizations we want to grow and provide great patient care, but how do you do that in a team environment? What do they need to know to show that they’re on the right path? Metrics are really important for us. For example, how do we know that we’re doing a great job and providing a great environment for our employees to feel they can provide great patient care? It’s a learning process. We’re trying to build skills so that they can continue to grow as leaders and be more prepared to take on the next level of leadership.”

On making it personal: “We want to provide a personal level of patient care that is focused so that we treat everyone as if they’re a family member or a loved one. From a cultural point of view, how do you really do that? First of all, employees or the staff really need to feel they are valued. If you want somebody to provide great care they have to know why that’s so important and how that feels. We want employees to have a voice and feel comfortable speaking up about things we can do better. We want them to know that we care about them as employees. As a facility, providing great care means we have to take care of each other and that’s really important.”