West Penn Allegheny Health System: One Purpose, One Mission

I think the purpose statement and mission
statement are very important, and they’re important for this reason: they talk to the
people here and describe why they’re here and what they do. The reality is that the purpose and mission
statement were not brought to the organization by someone on the outside. The purpose and
mission statement were developed by the people here, because they’re an expression of why
we’re here – our purpose statement – and what we do every day – our mission statement. I really believe we have great potential as
an organization, as a system, but only if we truly do come together and operate as an
entity committed to these principles – committed to clinical care, education, and research.
I believe our organization together can become greater than the sum of every one of our parts.
I believe that this purpose and mission statement speaks to that. It’s the right expression
of why we’re here and what we do. I see it lived every day in the activities
of people in our organization. And it’s one of the main reasons why I decided to come
here and move my family to western Pennsylvania, because I believe in the medical care that’s
delivered here, I believe it’s among the finest I’ve seen and certainly the best in the marketplace
here in western Pennsylvania. The issue is how do you see the mission statement
come to life, how do you know it’s come to life? And I have a very simple way to determine
whether or not you’re fulfilling that: “Do the right thing.” You know you’re doing the
right thing if you have the best interests of the patient in mind. Consistently throughout my time here I’ve
seen time and time again the multitude of awards by national organizations for the quality
care that’s delivered at our hospitals. Forbes Hospital in the top 5% of HealthGrades. Alle-Kiski
Medical Center consistently mentioned as a HealthGrades top performer. Both West Penn
and Alllegheny General, Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals – and it’s not really Top 100, it’s
Top 30 University Medical Centers – the only two medical centers in western Pennsylvania
and in Pittsburgh that are university-based that were named Top 100 Hospitals for Cardiovascular
Medicine. That’s concrete evidence to me of how we perform every day. The assets of our organization are our people.
They’re not the bricks and mortar and not the building. The assets are the people that
deliver on the mission statement, and so they are more than just words. They come to life
every day. I see examples of it all throughout the system – in the eyes of patients, in the
eyes of residents and nursing students who are ultimately trained to go on to become
the next generation of caregivers, and in the eyes of those people who are conducting
the research work that really adds to the body of knowledge that advances the science
and improves the human condition. Well, there’s certainly some risk in putting
your purpose and mission statement out there for the public to see. You have to live it
every day and you have to make it work. But I’m confident that given our history and what
I see here day-to-day we are making it work. When patients walk through the door and they
see that purpose statement and that mission statement they’re realize that we just don’t
talk the talk, we walk the walk here at West Penn Allegheny Health System. I am not worried
in the least that we will be able to deliver on the promise of those words. I believe that
all our people will also accept that responsibility and and carry it proudly in their day to day
activities here throughout the health system. We’ve managed through the difficult times
and we will certainly do so through the better times that are coming in the years ahead.

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