Magazine article Talent Development

University Health System

Magazine article Talent Development

University Health System

Article excerpt

Development and retention of capable employees are two of the most pressing issues confronting any healthcare organization. At University Health System, the hospital district for Bexar County, Texas, an impressive record on both fronts attests to a superbly conceived talent management strategy and a savvy training organization eager to exploit every learning opportunity.

The institution's new era began officially in 2005, when George B. Hernandez Jr. was promoted from executive vice president to president/CEO at the San Antonio--based multifacility health system. Hernandez says he has always been impressed with the legal profession's dedication to continual learning, and decided to instill that culture at the 3,400-employee operation.

"I set the parameters of what I wanted in educating the workforce, and then relied on the system's experts to make it happen," he says. Enter Theresa Scepanski, vice president of organizational development, and Jacque Burandt, administrative director of staff development.

Led by the two executives, the organization created its Institute for Leaders, a multitiered leadership development program open to all supervisory employees, to create successors to fill the leadership pipeline. Programs operated by the institute are the Performance Leadership Academy (PLA), Management Development Academy (MDA), Directors' Mentoring Program, and Leadership Academy for Physicians.

Training initiatives provided by each program develop individuals with communications and leadership skills so that they can address the board, manage budgets and other financial matters, and master project management assignments, says Hernandez. "These are some of the biggest challenges in healthcare," he reports.

The MDA develops the skills of team leaders, supervisors, managers, charge nurses, and patient care coordinators through a competency-based two-year curriculum. …

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