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Safety spotlight: building a healthy and safe culture for HCA Healthcare’s workforce

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Male and female doctors discussing while standing in ICU. Healthcare workers are protective workwear. They are at hospital.

June is National Safety Month, created by the National Safety Council to keep each other safe – from the workplace to anyplace. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the annual observance, Ryan Sledge, vice president of workforce health and safety, celebrates and reaffirms HCA Healthcare’s commitment to creating a safe and healthy workforce for all HCA Healthcare colleagues.  

At HCA Healthcare, a culture of health and safety is critical to the care and improvement of human life. During the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month, I would like to take a meaningful pause to celebrate the work that has been completed and look to the future of workforce health and safety at HCA Healthcare.

When healthcare workers feel safe and protected in their working environment, they are able to focus on patient care and collaborate with their colleagues. HCA Healthcare has expanded our workforce health and safety program to help ensure that the organization is continuously supporting a safe and secure work environment for our colleagues. The goal of the expanded program is to identify risks and employ proactive safety measures to reduce job-related injuries and illnesses.

Continuously improving safety

Workforce health and safety is a priority for HCA Healthcare, and COVID-19 amplified our efforts to keep HCA Healthcare colleagues healthy and safe while caring for patients. Early in the pandemic, HCA Healthcare implemented an enterprise-wide universal masking policy, which was put in to place prior to CDC guidance. And, in partnership with employee health, infection prevention, nursing and others at onsite vaccination clinics, we have prioritized COVID-19 vaccinations for our workforce. As of June 29, 2021, HCA Healthcare has administered more than 401,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to HCA Healthcare colleagues and affiliated patient care workers.

Physical safety is only part of all that comprises safety at HCA Healthcare. Mental and emotional wellbeing are involved in creating a safe workplace for all colleagues. Resources like Nurse Care and the HCA Rewards Wellbeing Hub are available to colleagues in need.

Building on HCA Healthcare’s foundation of compassion, inclusion and respect, we’ve expanded several diversity, equity and cultural competence initiatives across our organization. These initiatives include establishing an Executive Diversity and Inclusion Council and growing our BRAVE Conversations program, a platform designed to facilitate interactive, innovative and safe ways for HCA Healthcare colleagues to share their thoughts on issues that may be difficult to discuss.

A culture of health and safety is not built from corporate initiatives alone. It is dependent on HCA Healthcare colleagues who carry out the mission every day.

Chris Kadlecek, director of occupational health services at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, supported bridging employers’ medical and regulatory health screening needs with services provided from St. David’s HealthCare’s clinics and hospitals. With the onset of the pandemic, Chris championed streamlining and standardizing the employee health process for colleagues at St. David’s Medical Center.  “I am excited to see the momentum gained in the HCA Healthcare Workforce Health and Safety initiatives. Our colleagues are the heart of healthcare and what better role than to keep the heart healthy. I am fortunate to work with a tremendously talented group who embody ‘Care Like Family’ in caring for our workforce,” Chris said.

Three healthcare colleagues smiling at the camera

While National Safety Month represents one month out of the year, I am mindful of the continuous work that occurs every day. I am proud of the collaboration and coordinated effort of our colleagues during the past year and the expansion of the workforce health and safety program that is to come.

To all of our HCA Healthcare colleagues, thank you for your hard work and determination to value and promote workforce health and safety in all that you do.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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