University HealthCare Alliance

July 10, 2020

Building the UHA Culture (2020)

UHA’s goal is to build a company culture of diversity, inclusion, trust, and respect. In keeping with this spirit, leaders from throughout the UHA community continue to share their insights into building the UHA Culture. 

Read this year’s contributions:

Rochelle Noone | Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion

“It is with both sorrow and hope that I write this message for our Culture Corner. Sorrow at the state of our country and hope for a better future. As an African American woman from the south, I am well aware of the racial issues in our country, as they have plagued me for my entire life.

“It is all too familiar, as I drive down the street and see a black man pulled over, I can’t help but wonder if he will make it home to his loved ones. Each time my husband leaves the house, I am afraid for him. I am anxious for my neighbor, my brother, and myself. While we can make a difference more broadly, we can also make a difference right here and now at UHA. We do this by treating one another with respect and valuing what each of us brings to the table. Let’s embrace our uniqueness and create opportunities for cultural awareness. Let’s encourage one another to speak about our experiences and listen with open hearts.

“I have been very fortunate to work in environments that value diversity and commit to fostering an atmosphere of belonging. Watching the Stanford Healthcare community take a knee was one of the proudest moments in my career. Our leadership team at UHA supports the Inclusion, Diversity, and Health Equity initiative. These symbolic gestures and substantive programs create hope for the future. Things will change–one person, one department, and one organization at a time.”

Bryan Bohman | Chief Medical Officer

“We are all incredibly lucky to work in healthcare.  Producing widgets and gadgets is honorable work, of course, but providing the best care to our patients is just so much more intrinsically motivating and rewarding.  Healthcare attracts amazing people who want to serve humanity, and UHA aspires to a corporate culture that cultivates and nourishes that desire.  

“Trust, respect and diversity are key elements of that culture. Just as trust is crucial to effective clinical interactions with patients, so it is the driver of a healthy corporate culture.  Quality of care and clinical safety are enhanced in a clinical environment where a diverse team interact respectfully with patients and with each other, and where every member of the team feels fully empowered to bring their own unique perspective and to express their own opinions.  It’s no different in the administrative arena, where “speed of trust” (as described in Stephen Covey’s work) is the single most critical expression of a healthy corporate culture. 

“Our goal is a trusting, mutually respectful environment that lifts up every UHA employee and provider and extends from the smallest UHA clinic through every administrative office and all the way to our board room.”

Dionne Hunte-Macon | Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives

“Being a woman of color in a corporate environment, I deeply understand the value of feeling safe at work. That’s why I do my best to embrace and embody trust, honesty, respect, support, and inclusion. I consciously strive to create safe spaces with my employees and even with my own bosses. I personally want everyone that I get to work with to know that I respect and support them enough to be honest and invite their honesty as well. It begins with me believing that I am an individual contributor committed to the greater good of us all.

“When I’m trustworthy, honest, respectful, supportive and inclusive, it gives others permission to be more comfortable at work and take liberties to be the same. The contagious nature of these values gives us all an opportunity to impact our corporate culture, as we continually make UHA an even better place to spend our day.”

Solomon Zoubi | Regional Administrator, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group

“In every aspect of our personal and social lives we are challenged to be patient and respectful of others; imagine driving on any busy Bay Area highway or shopping at any crowded grocery store with your family; how would you like to be treated? How much control do you have over people’s conduct at any given at a busy highway or Costco? 

“Now think of your workplace; if you know and feel that your workplace is safe and respectful, how would that impact your daily outlook? Does coming to work for your team or patients feel merging into a busy highway, checking-out at busy Costco on a Sunday, or going into an amazing relaxing Spa? We should thrive as leaders to make all our teams and patients feel the harmony of an amazing spa, by creating respect and trust for all within our workplace. 

“We are fortunate to live in the Bay Area, as one of the most diverse parts of the country, that diversity makes us stronger, better, and more compassionate. A culture of respect and trust creates an atmosphere for all team members, leaders, and patients to thrive. It promotes harmony and reduces burn out. I am so proud to be part of this organization and believe fully in the vision of respect and human appreciation.” 

Michelle (Chelly) Winkler | Director of Operations, Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group

“I believe everyone within the organization plays an inherent role in UHA’s culture of trust, honesty, respect, support and inclusion. Much like a puzzle piece or building blocks, each of us are important and vital to the role in day-to-day work life. Entering work each day knowing that we have teammates, peers and advisors who support us, and our decisions, should encourage us to do our best every day.

“Daniel Coyle, in his book The Culture Code, says: “Culture is not something you are – it’s something you do.” What, then, can we do to ensure UHA maintains a Culture of Safety?

“We build a Culture of Safety by learning to trust one another. A strong team is an incredible machine, especially when something doesn’t go right. In other words, a strong team proves itself when something goes wrong. Knowing coworkers trust one another, share vulnerabilities, provide honest and open feedback in a respectful manner, support each other’s decisions and include appropriate people in decision making creates a remarkable environment to be in. We must feel connected and trust one another to feel safe.

“We have the opportunity to work this way. Connect with your peers; network with those you don’t know; share your uncertainties and your ideas for improvement; express gratitude for those who make work better on tough days; focus on the process and not the person. UHA’s Culture of Safety starts with each of us, and together we have the opportunity and privilege to create the culture we desire.”

Click here to view last year’s submissions.