Connect Live @ Adventist Health

Connect Live | January 13, 2022
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In this week's episode, we get to know Adventist Health CEO Kerry Heinrich and what his first 100 days at the organization will look like. Additionally, learn about COVID booster requirements, and one powerful thing that compels people to give.

How do we talk to and with each other? How do we maybe do less telling? Because communication isn't just about sharing information. It's a two-way street. How do we ask more questions?

Joyce Newmyer: Welcome to Connect Live at Adventist Health. I'm Joyce Newmyer, the Chief Culture Officer at Adventist Health, and your host for Connect Live. Live this week, COVID-19 boosters, the first 100 days, and the joy of giving. COVID-19 boosters: Three weeks ago, the California Department of Public Health issued a health order requiring COVID-19 booster vaccinations for all healthcare workers by February 1, 2022. Adventist Health is supportive of this mandate and will require all of our California associates, vendors, contracted staff, students, and volunteers – clinical and nonclinical – with limited, approved exceptions to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine or a booster by February 1, 2022.

Our mission of Living God's Love calls us to do what we can to protect the health and well-being of our associates and communities. The recent surge, the highly contagious Omicron variant, and the number of people who remain unvaccinated make it essential that our team members receive the booster as soon as they are eligible. Thank you to everyone for supporting this action. Today, I'm delighted to welcome our first-time guest, and soon to hopefully be a regular, Kerry Heinrich, Chief Executive Officer for Adventist Health. So, Kerry, welcome. We're glad you're here.

Kerry Heinrich: Great to be here, Joyce.

Joyce Newmyer: I know last week we had planned for you being here, but the perils of travel these days, it's not easy. So I'm glad nothing prevented the appearance today.

Kerry Heinrich: It's great to be here. Snowstorms do just cause a little bit of a challenge when you're supposed to be on camera, but wonderful to have that chance to be here, to say welcome to our viewers, to the wonderful family of Adventist Health.

Joyce Newmyer: Well, Kerry, I know you've been on our board for over seven years, but many of our viewers don't know you. So can you tell us a bit about you and your family and perhaps things you enjoy doing.

Kerry Heinrich: Wow. Joyce, if my kids were answering that, they'd say, well, dad, you wear a suit, you go to work. We don't know what you really do. So don't put everybody to sleep answering that question. A little bit about my family first. My wife is a dentist. That's how we ended up in Loma Linda. She went to Dental School at Loma Linda. Then we promised ourselves we'd leave as soon as she graduated. That was 38 years ago. My son finished medicine at Loma Linda, second-year resident at Mayo Clinic on a pathway towards cardiology as a fellowship. And my daughter a week ago started nursing school at Loma Linda. So ties to Loma Linda, no question about that. I've had the privilege of serving on the board for Adventist Health for a little over seven years, and during that period of time served as the Chief Executive Officer at Loma Linda for the hospitals within the Loma Linda system. So I'm thrilled to be here, thrilled to have a chance to talk with you and get to know each other a little bit.

Joyce Newmyer: So tell us, why did you want to be the CEO for Adventist Health?

Kerry Heinrich: Well, that question comes with some context. I've had the privilege, as I said, of serving on the board of Adventist Health. So in the last six, seven years, I've had the opportunity to watch the company, to watch it grow, to watch it’s strategic direction, actually even get to vote on that once in a while at the board. But most of all, the answer to your question is I love the company, I love the people. I think the single most distinguishing factor in my decision to come to Adventist Health is the people and the interest in growth and development of healthcare, both on the care side of that equation and on the well-being side of that equation.

Joyce Newmyer: I think those are great reasons to want to be more tightly tied into our mission and what we're doing here. So what are your priorities as a leader, a husband, a father, a man and faith. How do we know what your priorities are? So we can anticipate you.

Kerry Heinrich: Well, the stodgy answer to that question is, well, we're going to focus on strategy, which we will. We're going to focus on operation, which we will, but what I really care about and what motivates me is taking care of people, both taking care of our workforce, the people that make this company work, and the people that we care for, both in the care division and in well-being. A company is really just a collection of its people, and its personality, its drive, its focus, its ability to achieve is all about its people. So philosophically as a leader, what I care most about is our people and creating an environment where our associates, each person within our company, can thrive. And that allows us to help those that we care for, those that we interact with, to see who we're about and realize we're not just another company.

Joyce Newmyer: So true. So tell us more about what your hopes and dreams are for Adventist Health.

Kerry Heinrich: I think, first of all, to truly make our message resonate with our associates and our patients, those that we come in contact with, our mission, why we do what we do to inspire health and healing and hope, those words matter. For all of us, when we face tough times, the concept of hope is the difference between being able to forge a pathway forward versus becoming discouraged and really, really frustrated with where we're at in life, and our ability to inculcate the message of hope is what I think makes Adventist Health and faith-based healthcare matter. It's not just a business for us. It's a mission. It's something that really resonates with who we are as people. And if we can send that message and leave that message to our patients, our associates, everyone will be more than just another company.

Joyce Newmyer: I couldn't agree more with that. We've talked for years about how one of our differentiators at Adventist Health is hope. And so I love to hear you talking about hope and how important it is to our identity. So you and I've talked about this. I know that you have some very specific goals and plans for your first 100 days as our new CEO. And I think it's exciting. So can you tell our viewers more about that?

Kerry Heinrich: Well, I've had the privilege of being on the board of Adventist Health, but that's sort of looking at the company at 80,000 feet. What I want to do and intend to do, will do, is go to every single market. I want to meet with leadership in every single market with medical staff leadership, those that are engaged and truly invested in each of our hospitals, in each of our markets. I want to meet with local board leadership community members that are engaged and part of our hospitals. I've had the privilege of meeting the leadership team in our well-being division and listening to their goals and their aspirations. It's one thing to hear it. It's one thing to Zoom back and forth, as good as that is. There's nothing like physically being on the ground and meeting people, seeing the location, having a sense geographically where it sits. All of that is because I care about our people. I care about our mission and it helps me understand the needs in each of the respective markets.

Joyce Newmyer: I know that people are very excited about this tour that you're going to be on and about your visits to the local markets. There's nothing like face-to-face time with people to learn about an organization. And so we are very excited that you're going to be doing this, and we're excited about your vision. We're excited about your leadership, and we hope you feel welcome as you join us in a new capacity. I know you've been part of us for a long time, but we sure appreciate you taking the time today to share a bit about your vision and consider that you have an open invitation to Connect Live at any point in time.

Kerry Heinrich: Thank you. And actually, I'm going to take you up on that because COVID has done so many damaging things. The most of which is, it has separated us in so many ways. And this is just a little bit of my chance to try to connect, to try to get to know the people of this company. What I hope in the future, I'll have a chance to do live Q&A. I love that. I love being able to connect with people. Hope we can do that soon.

Joyce Newmyer: I do, too. And we have some experience in facilitating that and we will be more than happy to do that. So thanks again for being with us today.

Kerry Heinrich: Thank you, Joyce, pleasure.

Joyce Newmyer: Our final story today is the Joy of Giving. We recently sat with Betsy Chapin Taylor, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Adventist Health. True to her field, she is an expert in all things giving. We asked Betsy, why do people choose to give to healthcare? The answer is simple: It's because of the caregivers. She shared that people almost always give out of gratitude for care that they've received and that they talk about things like the hope that was extended to them. They talk about the ability to get back to the life that they wanted. They talk about the ability to do things like walk their daughter down the aisle. Healthcare fulfills a sacred trust as people place their bodies and their hopes in the hands of our providers and our caregivers. And when people give to support that work, they're supporting something truly special. You can read this story and many others at Friends, thanks for Connecting Live. And we'll see you here again next week. Until then, let's be a force for good.