Good morning from beautiful Newport, RI!
 

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I have known Diane Daiber for some time now, and always enjoy working with her, if for no other reason than her passion for our work is unflagging. Currently the Coordinator of the SANE program at Hilllcrest Hospital in an eastern suburb of Cleveland, OH, she is also the OH IAFN chapter president. Thanks, Diane for agreeing to share some thoughts with us this morning!
 

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I am thrilled to finally have a bit of bandwidth at my disposal now that I am laying over in the Amsterdam airport. So just a quickie for you before my flight boards for Washington--this from our colleagues in the EMS community. EMS Magazine had an article on employee retention in their October 2007 edition (updated in July 2008), and I thought it was interesting how many of their suggestions apply to us, as well.

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Sorry everyone, but the internet access I have at my disposal here in Italy is a tad inconsistent. To call it spotty would be optimistic. I have lost 2 posts so far and am throwing in the towel before my laptop becomes a flying projectile, hurled from my 2nd floor window. Assuming my chances for posting don't improve I will be back in the states Thursday evening and promise to catch you up upon my return. Thanks for your patience!

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Today marks the 1st in what I hope to be a weekly series here at the Sustainability blog: a Q&A with a coordinator from a well-established program. A little something to inspire and reenergize for our Fridays. I can't imagine kicking off the series with anyone other than my good friend, Jennifer Pierce Weeks, coordinator of the The Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, CO and current president of IAFN. She inspires and reenergizes me on a regular basis, and more importantly, she keeps me laughing.

I'm teaching a seminar all day today in Chicago so I will be making today's entry a brief one. Before I head out the door, I'd like to introduce you to a document that can be incredibly useful in mapping out collaboration strategies. Many of you, particularly in the advocacy community are already familiar with Collaboration Math, from the Prevention Institute.

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As I mentioned in yesterday's post, not all sustainability issues are about money. Some of them are about staffing. Keeping good people on your roster is one of the biggest challenges for many programs; staff turnover is high in this line of work. So how can we effectively maintain our numbers and stave off the burnout that so frequently contributes to this problem? Here are some suggestions to consider:

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I love getting an opportunity to peruse other people's work on the topic of sustainability. And the nice folks at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS) have obliged me by publishing their Sustainability Toolkit for Grassroots Programs (PDF).

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We talked a little bit last week about leadership and succession planning. This week, let's talk about leadership and skill sets. Specifically the qualities that effective leaders possess. The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE--funny) puts out an annual competency self-evaluation (PDF), "designed to help healthcare executives identify their areas of strength as well as areas that they might want to include in their personal development plan.

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One of my closest colleagues is positively phobic when it comes to writing. She is literally paralyzed when someone tells her to put something in writing. Her writing process is probably akin to my drywalling process--that is to say, nonexistent unless you consider surrounding yourself with the appropriate tools and then sitting in the midst of them muttering and wringing your hands a process.

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