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Dedicated LifeBridge Health Employees Embrace Decades of Service

Posted Aug 31 2012 6:00am

A lot can happen in a decade: Nieces and nephews who were clamoring for action figures and Power Wheels are now too cool for anything except the newest iPod; and a lot of our friends will switch jobs more than once. According to bizcommunity.com , an online business journal, the average American will have between four and seven careers in his or her lifetime. Though much will change in LifeBridge Health staffers’ lives, many of us will buck this trend by making the place we clock in our home away from home.

“In order to last at any company for a significant number of years, you must be willing to embrace the number of changes that happen over time,” says Margaret Morgan-Lamb, director of patient accounting at Levindale ; she was hired in 1999. Nancy McNeill came to Sinai five years earlier, but she’s borne out the spirit of Margaret’s advice: She started as a cashier and has steadily advanced to her current title of cash control processor. Nancy has very simple, but very wise, advice for anyone who’d like to ring in many a new year at LBH: “Remember the reason you were hired; we all have jobs to do and every job has its share of ups and downs.”

Throughout her 16 years of service, Robin J. Frisby has been motivated by the prospects for personal and professional development, citing tuition packages as an incentive. Robin’s journey – from the badge office to security and customer service – is a testament to the value of keeping your nose to the grindstone and your heart open. “Take heed and listen to your supervisors, and always do a little more than you’re expected to,” she counsels.

A quick glimpse through any LBH service awards booklet will tell you that our employees are hardly job-hoppers – there are pages of folks marking 10th and 20th anniversaries – they’re leap-froggers jumping up through the ranks. Sheri Waters, assistant to Northwest Hospital President Brian White, entered her 35th year with the hospital. She’s transitioned through community services and marketing before landing in the executive suite, and she’s learned a lot along the way: “Be a great team member and have a great attitude; embrace the values of caring, respect and teamwork.” Though her title has shifted, her love for Northwest Hospital remains steadfast: “The best part of working at Northwest has been the family atmosphere, being a part of a growing institution over the years and the great employees that I have had to work with.”

Tina Kummelman has a unique understanding of how to become a long-term employee: She’s been with LifeBridge Health for 11 years and is now the human resources manager for Levindale and Courtland Gardens . “You have to find your home,” she says. “Find the people you can excel with.” Supervisors who become mentors and co-workers who become allies are real treasures, and finding them requires digging.

You don’t need a shovel to find your chest of gold; join a committee. Tina started as a guest relations associate, and her time with Levindale’s Employee Activities Committee connected her with staffers in different departments and helped her get her name out. These relationships have served her well, especially during a stint at Northwest Hospital that Tina says really helped bolster her skills. “It’s important to build relationships,” she adds. “Identify someone who can help you grow; someone who you’d want to emulate, someone who you want to help succeed.”

For Renilda Tijones, who came to Sinai Hospital in 2002, success comes in seeing problems as opportunities. “Rather than complaining about what’s not working, ask about different committees and groups that are in your unit and join them,” she advises. “Your suggestions and observations can go a long way.”

Renilda is part of a group of Filipino nurses who arrived at Sinai around the same time, and she’s been an inspiration for those who have come after her. Recently, her cohorts held a celebration called “Unity in Diversity: Working Together through the Years.” The group shared traditional dishes, rocked out with karaoke and posted a map of the Philippines so they could show their colleagues where they’d come from. “Strive to connect with the people that you’re working with,” says Renilda. “Make yourself count.”

With our peer recommendation programs, robust employee activity committees and ample educational opportunities, LifeBridge Health certainly makes it easy to do just that.

-Laura Bogart

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