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The Catalyst

MUHA Communications Corner - CAG

The Communications Advisory Group has been researching employee preferences regarding how clinical leadership communicates a range of clinical and non–clinical news and data, and it is already creating significant change within the medical center.  

The CAG, formed last December by medical center Chief Executive Officer Dr. Patrick Cawley and chaired by Chief Operating Officer Matt Wain, is comprised of representatives from all areas and all levels of the medical center.

The goals of the Communications Advisory Group are to 1) identify topics of interest and concern to employees, 2) serve as on ongoing “focus group” to determine the medical center’s communications needs from the employee’s perspective, and 3) solicit and report employees’ perspectives concerning communication methods and content.

CAG members want the committee to be seen as a credible, trustworthy, effective venue for employee issues and concerns. Therefore, the CAG must:

  • Identify employee issues and concerns
  • Improve existing communications devices now, while developing a major overhaul
  • Provide employee–to–leadership channels
  • Devise methods to segment messages by importance and relevancy to specific work areas or job functions

Have your voice heard through the Communication Advisory Group. Speak to the CAG members in person, email CAG members individually, or email Get to know your representative, and let them know what’s on your mind!

Name    Department    Email Address

  • Beth Burton    MUSC-P/East Cooper
  • Megan Fink    CS / Epic
  • Kelly Hedges    Volunteer Services
  • Betty Kaup-Stuart    CS / Surgery
  • Amber Patterson    HV / Cardiac Care Unit
  • Tom Robinson    Institute of Psychiatry / Marketing
  • Sally Shields    Women’s Care
  • Kristen Stoltz    CS / Lab (Outreach)
  • Faye Connor    DDC
  • Johnetta Buncum    MACC / 8 West
  • Andrea Coyle    CS / Administration
  • Michelle Foreman    Human Resources
  • Marc Gerber    SACC
  • Laura Haley    Children’s Hospital / PCICU
  • James “JJ” Johnson    FS / BioMed
  • Janie Miller    MUSC-P / West Ashley
  • Julie Rhone    Ambulatory Care

The CAG is looking for nominations to replace two members (and chairs of workgroups) who have left, and to ensure that it is inclusive of all employee functions.  

The original notion of “advising” has grown into “action.”

As a result of CAG recommendations, Town Hall meetings have been restructured to be more relevant and accessible. Cawley and Wain will present the medical center-wide Town Hall meetings, and administrators will present service line–specific meetings that help employees better connect the dots between the overarching issues and what they do in their jobs every day. Town Halls are offered at times convenient for evening and night shifts, and for those who cannot leave the unit, town halls are recorded on Tegrity for later viewing. All employees also will have direct access to leadership with a follow–up session to discuss and clarify topics discussed in the Town Halls. Cawley and Wain will host this Employee Q & A Forum on Oct. 21.

Each unit or area is asked to select one or two high performers to represent the concerns of that unit and to take back answers to people’s questions. Be sure your unit has representation.

Other work groups within the CAG are hard at work as well.  

The Social Media Workgroup has identified and is testing business–friendly social media to improve two–way communications between leadership and employees, using Yammer and Lync. Yammer is essentially a closed, secure Facebook for businesses. It allows for communications and collaboration across a large audience or small workgroups such as units or IMPROVE teams. Lync is a multifunctional tool that is part of Office 2013; its features include video conferencing, chat groups and instant messaging. Lync is being pushed out by OCIO to all Lynx desktop computers and employees are able to access Lync from Outlook through one button, eliminating the need for a separate login.

The Mobile Applications Workgroup has worked with OCIO to purchase mobile app development software, enabling us to communicate through smartphones and tablets.

The Web Workgroup is coordinating large–scale, MUSC–wide web projects to improve the functionality of the clinical patient and academic sites, as well as the intranets that employees use to find information they need.

You may have recently been surveyed about your MUSC email habits by the CAG’s Email Workgroup. This group, comprised of an interprofessional team of MUHA employees and interns, roamed the cafeterias and floors of the main hospital, ART and other various departments/facilities, collecting information from MUHA employees, which will be used to make suggestions to senior leadership on ways to improve current email mass communications.

Thanks to those who gave feedback. Some ideas include consolidating emails to reduce frequency, identifying subject matter by relevancy to clinical or non–clinical staff and providing links to archives so employees can check back when they have time to read topics of interest. A best practice other organizations use is to include in the subject line an indication of why the recipient is receiving the email. For example:

  • FYI if it’s for information only;
  • ACT if the recipient is to take an action based on the information included;
  • REPLY if the email is soliciting ideas, suggestions or decisions.

The Promotion Workgroup’s purpose is to spread news to all employees about CAG initiatives and ensure that all employees know how to channel their communications ideas (via The Catalyst, Broadcast Messages, social media postings, etc. ) to leadership.

March 9, 2015



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