COVID-19 Refocuses Hospital’s Priorities for Community and Staff

2 staff members taking a break, relaxing in massage chairs - Conway (Arkansas) Regional Health System
Photo credit: Conway Regional

On New Year’s Day 2020, Matt Troup, president and CEO at Conway (Arkansas) Regional Health System emailed all staff, highlighting goals and priorities for the year ahead. During Troup’s five-year tenure at Conway Regional, “we had worked hard to build a strong staff culture, and 2020 looked to be our biggest year ever,” he explains.

“And then, COVID-19 refocused us,” Troup says.

Early in the pandemic, Troup and his leadership team developed a three-pronged approach to overcome anticipated challenges. The three pillars: 1) serve the needs of the community, 2) serve the needs of Conway Regional staff and 3) address organizational and operational complications that might occur.

To serve the community, this approach meant being a “constant and reliable source of information” about COVID-19 and its effect on the surrounding region. This approach also called for thinking outside the box to manage the health system’s workforce, including creating new roles (such as health screener) in the organization. The leadership team looked for creative ways to make life easier for staff, including delivering meals to units, turning the staff fitness center into a day care center for health care workers’ children and setting up a relaxation room with massage chairs for staff to take breaks. The leadership team focused on developing innovative solutions and being flexible as infections trended downward and spiked upward again.

“When people are stressed, they need to be assured of their status, autonomy, relationships, certainty and fairness,” Troup observes. “Knowing that the pandemic is a stressor for our community, patients, staff and leadership team, we charted our course forward with a strong dedication to not violate any of these five areas.”

Read more about how Conway Regional reinvented what it means to serve its community and staff, in an article published in the fall 2020 issue of Arkansas Hospitals magazine.

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