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Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Message from HR: Important reminders about our new benefit plan year

Monday, July 1, marks the beginning of the new fiscal year and the effective date of the Ballad Health benefits you selected during open enrollment. The premium deduction for benefits will occur on the July 5, 2024, paycheck. Here’s some important information to review. MEDICAL – The Ballad Health Choice, Ballad Health Bronze and Ballad Health PPO medical plan deductibles and out-of-pocket accumulators start over on July 1. Remember: Choice and PPO deductibles are increasing. To view the provider directories and the benefit tier/level of each provider, you’ll want to create a member account on the BlueCross BlueShield website (bcbst.com). When you create an account, you will also be able view your claim information, including how much deductible and out-of-pocket has been met, and you can also print a temporary ID card and order replacement ID cards. Additional medical plan information, including plan documents, are available on the Ballad Health intranet by clicking on Ballad Health…

Benefits & HR
Leadership profile
Leadership profile

Lisa Carter: Always on course

There was a time when Lisa Carter considered becoming a professional golfer. She had the talent, the drive and the training to make her favorite sport her career. Then something called her in a different direction, down a path that led to her current role as president of Ballad Health’s Southern Region, where she oversees the operations of 10 hospitals. “I can remember sitting with my dad and having conversations about if that was something I wanted to do professionally, play golf,” Lisa says. “But there was always something making me think I wanted to do something where I could make the biggest impact and really help people. I just wondered what that would look like.” Lisa won the Tennessee high school state championship in 1990, when she was known as Lisa Phipps and was playing for Happy Valley High School in Elizabethton. That earned her a scholarship to Tennessee Tech University, where she won…

Leadership profile
Leadership profile
Leadership profile

Isaac Mitchell: One step at a time

We value our leaders across Ballad Health. Without them, we couldn’t do our job of improving the health of our region. But there’s more to these people than just the title they hold with Ballad Health; they live in our towns, contributing in ways that stretch beyond the walls of our hospitals, and they enjoy what the region has to offer. They choose to live and work in the Appalachian Highlands, just as they choose to serve in healthcare – a profession built around helping people. To showcase these leaders, we’re doing a series of profiles to help team members across our organization, and people throughout the community, get to know them a little better. We hope you’ll take the time to read about these hardworking and talented people to learn what they do with Ballad Health, what they enjoy doing outside of work and what inspires them in life! Though Isaac Mitchell’s father and grandfather…

Leadership profile
Team Member Kudos
Team Member Kudos

Ballad Health’s Pam Austin again receives statewide CIO recognition

For the second straight year, Ballad Health’s Pam Austin was selected as a finalist for the Tennessee CIO ORBIE Awards, which honor chief information officers across the state who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. TennesseeCIO is an organization that connects, recognizes and inspires leaders in the field. The awards recognize technology executives for leadership, innovation and excellence – as selected by their CIO peers. Austin, senior vice president and chief information officer for Ballad Health, was one of four finalists in the Large Corporate category (up to $2.5 billion in annual revenue), along with Haden McWhorter of Premise Health, Joel Tracy of IMC and Mike Ward of Covenant Health. IMC’s Tracy was chosen as the ORBIE winner for the category at the annual Tennessee ORBIE Awards in May. NOTE: Eastman’s Aldo Noseda, who serves on Ballad Health’s board of directors, was the overall winner in the Global category of the 2024 ORBIE Awards. During…

Team Member Kudos
Ballad Health
Ballad Health

Ballad Health-ETSU partnership creates Highlands Sports Medicine, enhancing sports medicine in region

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.— The continued close collaboration between Ballad Health and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) will now bolster sports medicine services across the region, with the introduction of Highlands Sports Medicine. A member of Ballad Health Medical Associates and powered by ETSU Health, Highlands Sports Medicine will bring ETSU Health’s current BucSports Medicine clinic into a growing network of sports medicine care that includes existing Ballad Health Medical Associates Sports Medicine practices in Johnson City and Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Click here to read the full press release announcing the opening of Highlands Sports Medicine. What services do they provide? Highlands Sports Medicine serves patients of all ages, helping them achieve their optimal physical well-being through a commitment to comprehensive care and a range of services that includes fitness, strength and conditioning training; sport-specific training regimens; sports physicals; injury prevention and rehabilitation for sport or recreation-related injuries; and access to skilled orthopedic surgeons. Additionally,…

Ballad Health
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health announces new Center for Early Learning in Kingsport

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Following through on its commitment to enhance access to high-quality childcare across the Appalachian Highlands, Ballad Health has unveiled plans for a new Center for Early Learning on the campus of Indian Path Community Hospital in Kingsport. The Ballad Health Center for Early Learning in Kingsport, expected to open in early 2025, will transform an existing building at 2020 Brookside Drive, on the hospital campus, into a state-of-the-art childcare facility. This addition will significantly increase childcare capacity for both Ballad Health team members and the local community. The center is part of Ballad Health’s broader initiative, announced in early 2022, to invest up to $37 million to establish up to 11 new childcare centers across the region. “Addressing the childcare shortage is critical for families in our region,” said Anthony Keck, chief population health officer and executive vice president for system innovation for Ballad Health. “Parents know how important early learning is…

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Don’t Take the Bait: The threat of malvertising and dangerous ads

Malvertising is a relatively new type of cyberattack that injects digital ads with malicious code that can infect your device. Interacting with these ads can download malware directly to your phone or computer or may direct you to a dangerous site that uses other methods to steal your information. Criminals may disguise their webpage as a trusted site (spoofing) or use a variety of social engineering techniques to manipulate victims to give up information. Malvertising could also be embedded into QR codes and result in automatic downloads from malicious websites. This form of cyberattack is difficult to track down and often difficult to detect, since infected ads may appear legitimate. Malvertising can appear on otherwise legitimate websites as well. Sites like The New York Times, the BBC, Spotify, Forbes and the NFL have all had users attacked through infected ads. Unsolicited emails In addition to website advertisements, you may receive dangerous ads directly to your…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

Seasoned healthcare leader selected as new chief financial officer to serve Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties

NORTON, Va. — Ballad Health has selected Phillip Childree to serve as the new chief financial officer for the health system’s hospitals in Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties. He succeeds the role previously held by Steve Sawyer, who retired in December 2023. With more than two decades of extensive experience in healthcare finance, materials management and revenue cycle, Childree is based at Norton Community Hospital, overseeing operations for that facility, as well as Lonesome Pine Hospital, Lee County Community Hospital and Dickenson Community Hospital. In his new role, Childree will be responsible for developing and implementing financial strategies tailored to the Southwest Virginia market, including demographic considerations and specific healthcare needs of the community. This includes managing budgetary processes, optimizing revenue cycles and identifying cost-effective solutions to enhance operational efficiency. Additionally, Childree will collaborate with local leadership to navigate regulatory compliance and establish financial practices that prioritize the long-term viability of each community hospital within…

System Updates
Leadership profile
Leadership profile

Tammy Albright: Striving to build champions of life

We value our leaders across Ballad Health. Without them, we couldn’t do our job of improving the health of our region. But there’s more to these people than just the title they hold with Ballad Health; they live in our towns, contributing in ways that stretch beyond the walls of our hospitals, and they enjoy what the region has to offer. They choose to live and work in the Appalachian Highlands, just as they choose to serve in healthcare – a profession built around helping people. To showcase these leaders, we’re doing a series of profiles to help team members across our organization, and people throughout the community, get to know them a little better. We hope you’ll take the time to read about these hardworking and talented people to learn what they do with Ballad Health, what they enjoy doing outside of work and what inspires them in life! Tammy Albright has had a…

Leadership profile
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Check out the fun from the Balladeers’ third annual Dollywood Day!

The Balladeer Children’s Program enjoyed its biggest and most successful event yet, the third annual trip to Dollywood, which took place May 11. Complimentary admission tickets were provided for every child in the Balladeer Children’s Program, along with a $10 meal voucher, redeemable at any of the restaurants or food stands inside of Dollywood. About 700 Balladeer children attended the Dollywood Day event, with approximately 2,000 people at Dollywood on behalf of the Balladeer Children’s Program. The weather was perfect and Balladeer t-shirts were spotted all over the park (the result of a Balladeer t-shirt sale in April, specifically so families could purchase shirts and have them in time for Dollywood Day). This time of year, Dollywood hosts the Flowers and Food Festival, and there were over half a million flowers and topiaries on display in a wide variety of shapes (bears, peacocks, beekeepers, and even Dolly Parton’s mother stitching the iconic Coat of Many…

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

‘Get Rid of the Stupid Stuff’ initiative will make Epic more efficient for all our users

Get Rid of the Stupid Stuff (GRoSS) is an initiative we’re doing to improve the efficiency of our Epic electronic health records system and make life easier for all our Epic users. When a team member finds an issue in Epic, they can report it immediately through the GRoSS submission form. The initiative is brought forward by the Nursing Productivity/Satisfaction End User Group and is aimed at identifying anything in Epic that is poorly designed, unnecessary or nonsensical – thereby streamlining workflows and getting rid of unnecessary hurdles. This campaign is a direct response to feedback from our nurses and clinicians via surveys from our nursing and physician end-user groups, and it is a project that has been implemented with great success at other healthcare organizations across the country, such as Novant Health, Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Health System. The process When a team member finds an issue, they can report it immediately through…

IT & Epic
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

April for the Balladeers included picnics, a theatre performance and more!

The Balladeers had a big month in April, with a schedule for this summer that includes baseball and swimming. The Balladeer program, a free benefit for Ballad Health employees, is intended to strengthen family bonds and relationships among our Ballad Health family. Activities include visits to area attractions, picnics in local parks, holiday celebrations and activities, sports activities, discount tickets for attractions or events, treats, take-home projects and much more! IMPORTANT NOTE: The Balladeer Children’s Program is for Ballad Health direct hires who have children between the ages 3-18 years old living in their household. They MUST live with you to qualify for the program. Read more about eligibility requirements at the end of this article! Check out the updated Balladeer Children’s Program site on the Ballad Health intranet. If you’re interested in joining, see the information at the bottom of this article! April events Family picnics – We hosted two family picnics in April – one in…

Benefits & HR
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health expanding teleneurology services to cover all our facilities; rollout begins May 14

Ballad Health is partnering with a company called Sevaro to expand our teleneurology services so they are available systemwide, rather than only at some of our facilities. A phased rollout begins Tuesday, May 14. This expansion will allow more patients to remain close to home for specialist consults, and will limit unnecessary transfers and potentially shorten length of stay. Neurology deals with diagnosis and treatment of conditions and disease involving the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. There is a high demand for neurologists in our region and a shortage of clinicians, so deploying teleneurology offers access to neurology services that would not be possible if it weren’t for telehealth solutions, particularly in our rural areas. What’s changing Currently, half our facilities have teleneurology services, which are offered by UVA, Vanderbilt, Novant and SOC. Many of these groups only perform telestroke, which leaves a gap in other neurological services. Once the…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Holston Valley Medical Center completes region’s first cardiac ablation procedures using innovative FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Holston Valley Medical Center is the fourth facility in Tennessee — the first in East Tennessee and among less than 150 facilities nationwide – to successfully perform cardiac ablation procedures using the innovative FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System. This achievement marks a significant advancement in cardiac care and offers patients a unique alternative to caring for atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm. Unlike traditional ablation methods, which rely on extreme temperatures to eliminate abnormal heart tissue, the FARAPULSE™ Pulsed Field Ablation System utilizes tissue-selective, non-thermal electric fields to precisely target affected areas while preserving surrounding structures, enhancing patient safety and expediting recovery. “We are proud to offer some of the world’s leading cardiovascular care right here in the Appalachian Highlands, bringing innovative treatments to local heart patients,” said Love Hobson, vice president of cardiac services for Ballad Health. “It’s an enormous benefit to our local communities that…

System Updates
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

As we recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month, remember our EAP is there for you

We all know that taking care of someone’s physical health is crucial, but it’s equally important to prioritize mental well-being. As we recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a good time to think about our own mental health and what resources are available to us as Ballad Health team members. About mental health Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. Mental illness can also increase the risk of many physical ailments. Mental Health Awareness Month was created to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. It is also important to continue eliminating any stigma associated with mental illness and getting treatment. Like with any illness, the key is early recognition and appropriate treatment. Employee Assistance Program Ballad Health offers team members and their…

Benefits & HR
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health, Niswonger Foundation make lifesaving investment to enhance availability of kidneys for transplant, reduce costs of care

New procedure gives hope to thousands of people awaiting transplant, supports Ballad Health’s goal of saving 100,000 years of life over the next decade while reducing cost for individuals, employers and taxpayers JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — More than 100,000 people are currently on the national transplant waiting list for a kidney. While waiting, most must rely upon expensive and invasive dialysis services to remain alive. Sadly, while so many people are waiting for a kidney for transplant, more than 8,500 kidneys donated in the United States each year never reach a recipient and are discarded. On April 20, a team of perfusionists from 34 Lives, a Ballad Ventures portfolio company, used a combination of 34 Lives technology and logistics to rescue a human kidney that had originally been deemed not usable for transplant. The rescued kidney was successfully transplanted into a recipient who had been on dialysis for almost two years and has now been…

System Updates
From the CEO
From the CEO

A message of gratitude from our CEO for National Nurses Week and Healthcare Week

NOTE: This message was emailed to all Ballad Health team members on Tuesday, May 7, from Alan Levine, CEO and president of Ballad Health. Dear colleague, This is always a special week for Ballad Health, as we take some time to recognize our extremely special nurses and all those team members who support the important clinical work we do to serve our patients. May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week and also Healthcare Week! Over the past several years, you’ve found the courage and faith to weather the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the face of healthcare across the globe. And while many think “COVID is gone,” we know the lingering impact of it better than anyone. The indelible impact of the historic labor shortages has affected no group of people more than those who work in healthcare. What inspires me is that, despite the burden the shortages have borne on each of us, we all…

From the CEO
System Updates
System Updates

A National Nurses Week message from Dr. Lisa Smithgall

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare. As we recognize National Nurses Week, here’s a message from Ballad Health’s chief nursing executive, Dr. Lisa Smithgall, honoring the dedication, compassion and tireless commitment of each and every member of our nursing staff.

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health leaders celebrate the reopening of Lee County Community Hospital on national stage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Several Ballad Health leaders journeyed to Chicago to present the story of reopening Lee County Community Hospital during the 2024 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Congress on Healthcare Leadership. Shared with hundreds of national healthcare leaders, the presentation — given by Shannon Showalter, vice president and chief executive officer for Ballad Health operations in Lee, Wise and Dickenson counties; Mitch Kennedy, RN, associate vice president and administrator; and Stacey Ely, managing director of community and government affairs — shed light on the remarkable resilience of both the Lee County community and Ballad Health in reviving access to healthcare for rural communities. “Sharing the story of Lee County Community Hospital is critical in spotlighting the transformative power of community-driven healthcare initiatives,” Showalter said. “It underscores the significance of proactive collaboration and innovation in addressing the unique challenges faced by rural healthcare systems. We hope that by sharing our experience, it will…

System Updates
Team Member Kudos
Team Member Kudos

Spotlight on Indian Path Community Hospital’s Transitional Care Clinic

KINGSPORT – We want to shine a spotlight on the incredible work being done at the Transitional Care Clinic (TCC) at Indian Path Community Hospital! The TCC is a one-of-a-kind clinic that serves our community and helps bridge the gaps between hospital, primary care and infusion needs. This dedicated team goes above and beyond to provide crucial support and care to patients transitioning from hospital to home or transitioning from one care setting to another. Ballad Health is always looking for new ways to care for the community and is proud to offer much-needed services. The Transitional Care Clinic started as a project to help reduce readmissions due to no follow-up care after hospital discharge. It started operating out of two rooms and has since grown to 20 rooms. TCC provides hospital follow-ups, infusions, nurse visits and pre-op clearance for orthopedic patients, among other duties. It is TCC’s goal to prevent patients from having to…

Team Member Kudos
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Organizational Development offering ‘Choose Your Adventure’ series of classes starting in May

From May through August, Ballad Health will offer a series of career development and training classes called “Choose Your Adventure.” These classes can help people get along better, resolve or avoid conflict, and create a happier workplace. The classes are appropriate for all Ballad Health team members, from frontline to leadership, and they are being offered “a la carte” – in other words, all sessions are optional. You can take any or all of these classes. The topics include: Creating a Culture of Trust Emotional Intelligence Creating a Culture of Engagement The Secret to Getting Along: Conflict Resolution Creating a Culture for Managing Change Civility in the Workplace Two topics will be covered each month from May through August. (See the schedule chart below for which courses are offered in each month.) Other key facts about the “Choose Your Adventure” series: Both monthly topics will be offered in a live, in-person classroom environment, and one…

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Phase 2 update of time clocks is underway; here’s what you need to know

Ballad Health team members at some facilities will soon see a minor change to time clocks, as we are replacing 121 of the current time clocks around the system with the most recent Intouch model. See the schedule below for when affected facilities will make the transition. From a user perspective, these new models are essentially the same as the current 4500 version, but they feature a touch screen instead of buttons. Each affected facility will only have one time clock down at a time while they are being replaced, and the downtime for each clock is estimated to be 20 minutes. Why are we doing this? The company that maintains firmware for our time clocks has discontinued updates for the 4500 models. We are phasing out the old models for security and maintenance purposes. Facility schedule Below is an approximate schedule with the affected facilities and the expected installation periods. IT will send out…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

Get to know common pathogens through our Bug of the Month series; for April, it’s measles

Did you know there are more than 1,400 known species of human pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa? Each month, our Ballad Health infection prevention team is highlighting one of those pathogens that you might encounter in your work. See what you know, or can learn, about these “bugs” through our “Bug of the Month” series! If you have questions or want more information, please reach out to your infection preventionist. Click here to see the flier below in PDF format.

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Don’t forget: If you’re signed up for MyChart, you’re eligible to win a $500 Visa gift card!

Through Friday, June 28, all registered MyChart for Ballad Health users – both new and existing – will be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card. Ballad Health is drawing a winner each week, so don’t delay – sign up for MyChart today! How to sign up for MyChart You can sign up for MyChart through the Ballad Health app. (NOTE: This is a separate app from the Ballad Teams app.) Download the Ballad Health app by following the instructions matching your device: For iPhone and iPad users: Go to the App Store At the bottom, click Search In the search bar, type “ballad health” Look for the Ballad Health icon Follow the directions to download the Ballad Health app Open the app and select “create account” For Google Android phone and tablet users: Go to Google Play Go to the Apps section In the search bar, type “ballad health” Look for the Ballad…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

National study: Ballad Health, ETSU Trauma consolidation saves hundreds of lives

Study shows “significantly decreased” death rates and decreased transfers to other facilities from the most serious traumatic injuries since consolidation of Level 1 trauma centers in the Appalachian Highlands JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A peer-reviewed study released on Friday, March 29, by the national publication The American Surgeon reported that after consolidation of two Level 1 trauma centers in the Appalachian Highlands, the rate of deaths among patients who were the highest level of trauma activation (requiring surgery in the first 24 hours and admission to the surgical intensive care unit) decreased by almost 24%. The study concluded the decrease in the rate of deaths was “significant,” and it also concluded that, irrespective of the level of injury, “patients in the post consolidation group, regardless of level of trauma activation, required decreased incidence of discharge to other care facilities,” such as rehabilitation or skilled nursing. For the highest acuity patients, or those requiring an ICU…

System Updates
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Balladeers ring in springtime with a host of fun activities

The Balladeers had a big month in March, filled with games and sporting events! The Balladeer program, a free benefit for Ballad Health employees, is intended to strengthen family bonds and relationships among our Ballad Health family. Activities include visits to area attractions, picnics in local parks, holiday celebrations and activities, sports activities, discount tickets for attractions or events, treats, take-home projects and much more! IMPORTANT NOTE: The Balladeer Children’s Program is for Ballad Health direct hires who have children between the ages 3-18 years old living in their household. They MUST live with you to qualify for the program. Read more about eligibility requirements at the end of this article! Check out the updated Balladeer Children’s Program site on the Ballad Health intranet. If you’re interested in joining, see the information at the bottom of this article! March events Family Game Night — About 100 people attended this event in Blountville, as families brought their own…

Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Now enrolling at Center for Early Learning in Norton; waitlist started for Abingdon location

The Ballad Health Center for Early Learning in Norton is now enrolling team members for childcare! The center has an opening date set for May 2024. Team members will learn more details, including tuition costs, during the enrollment process. There is a $50 registration fee. The Norton center will offer childcare Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with extended pickup until 7:30 p.m. for team members who prearrange that option. These hours will be standard in all Ballad Health childcare centers. The center is designed to promote the holistic development of children through play-based learning, which nurtures their early literacy, numeracy and science and social-emotional skills. By providing a strong foundation, these centers prepare children for a successful transition to kindergarten and future academic achievement. Rates Ballad Health team member rates are below. Team members pay a 30% reduced rate compared to non-team members. The rates include three hot meals a day,…

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Epic users, you can become a Smart User! Here’s what you need to know

There’s a great new way to improve your Epic efficiency – become a Smart User! Previously referred to as Power Users, Smart Users are certified clinicians with next-level Epic skills. Any physicians and APPs with access to the Ballad Health Epic system are welcome and encouraged to become Smart Users. The Smart User Program consists of eight core courses that will lead you deeper into maximizing your use of Epic and unlocking all of its functionality. Doing so can save you time and effort in your daily workflow and open up new options in handling patient care and collaborating with your peers. Once you complete the course, you will receive a Smart User badge and four citizenship points for Ballad Health Medical Associates (BHMA). The hour-long classes are completely free, virtual and can be completed as convenient to your schedule. Some of the benefits include: Increased efficiency – Smart Users report saving an average of…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health offering Nurse Residency, Nurse Fellowship programs to help new nurses

Ballad Health is committed to supporting new members of the nursing profession, and we offer two excellent programs to help develop nurses just joining Ballad Health out of nursing school – our Nurse Fellowship Program (formerly known as the Nurse Intern II Program) and our newly relaunched Nurse Residency Program. Applicants must have accepted an RN position with Ballad Health in order to participate. Both programs are now open for applications. Visit here to learn more about the two programs or to apply! Nurse Fellowship Program Formerly known as our Nurse Intern II Program, this program takes place during the student’s last semester of nursing school and helps prepare them to enter the workforce as new graduate registered nurses. Who’s eligible to apply – ADN/BSN students who are entering the last semester of an accredited nursing program with a GPA of 2.75 or above, and have accepted a post-graduate RN position with Ballad Health. Program…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health piloting ‘Healthy Food Box’ program at two facilities to benefit patients in need

Ballad Health’s mission is to honor those we serve by delivering the best possible care. Sometimes, that care moves beyond the walls of our hospitals. A critical component to health is having access to nutritious food – which many people in our region simply do not. Roughly 15% of residents in the Ballad Health footprint experience food insecurity.  As part of our effort to fight against regional food instability, Ballad Health has partnered with Feeding Southwest Virginia to pilot a food distribution program of 1,100 healthy food boxes to patients at Johnston Memorial Hospital and Bristol Regional Medical Center. The first phase of the pilot will run through June 30.  This work is part of Ballad Health’s Community Health Improvement Program (CHI), which works closely with regional organizations to support specific goals and strategies to improve population health outcomes for all citizens of the Appalachian Highlands.  The Healthy Food Box program is integrated into the…

System Updates
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Ballad Health team members once again can get great discounts to Dollywood, Splash Country

Dollywood is once again offering some great discounts to Ballad Health team members on admission to the theme park or to Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. All you have to do is use the special Ballad Health link when ordering tickets online. NOTE: Discount tickets are not yet available for Splash Country, which opens in May. Click here for the Ballad Health ticket discounts. One-day ticket prices (not including tax or fees) and details are as follows: Dollywood theme park Adults/ages 10-up – $48 with Ballad Health discount Children ages 4-9 – $45 with Ballad Health discount Regular prices: $92 adults, $82 children Dollywood opened for the season on March 9, 2024, and closes again on Jan. 5, 2025. Tickets are only good for this operating year (must be used by Jan. 5, 2025). Splash Country Ages 4-up – $39 with Ballad Health discount Regular Splash Country prices: Not available yet Opens for the…

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Update: Minor change coming to password requirements

As we continually keep cybersecurity at the forefront, Ballad Health is changing the password requirements for team members from a minimum of 8 characters in length to a minimum of 10 characters in length. This change ensures that our team members – and by proxy, our patients – are protected from cyberattacks. You do not need to take any action right now, even if your current password is fewer than 10 characters. This change will only apply when your current password expires and you are prompted to make a new one. The new requirements for your Ballad Health team member password are: Must be at least 10 characters in length Must contain at least one uppercase letter Must contain at least one lowercase letter Must contain at least one number Must contain at least one special character (a space counts as a special character) Don’t reuse your other passwords Remember that it is against Ballad…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

Concerned about heart disease? CT cardiac calcium screenings are low-cost lifesavers!

One of the most important steps you can take toward staying heart-healthy is getting a CT cardiac calcium screening – and Ballad Health is offering these screenings at numerous locations throughout the region for only $49. A computerized tomography (CT) cardiac calcium screening is a simple, safe, quick and low-radiation way to find out your risk for coronary disease and sudden heart attack. Not everyone needs to take one, but many people should. See the list included below for risk factors that qualify you for a screening. If you or someone you know could benefit from this screening, please follow up. It could be a lifesaver! Important note about making an appointment In Tennessee, a physician order is not required to schedule this screening. To make an appointment, call 423.431.1709. In Virginia, a physician order is required to schedule this screening. Talk with your primary care provider to learn more. If you do not have…

System Updates
From the CEO
From the CEO

Message from the CEO: Significant new investment in nursing and nursing support

This message was emailed to all Ballad Health team members on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from Alan Levine, Ballad Health President and CEO. Dear Colleagues: As health systems throughout the nation continue to navigate the challenges of an historic shortage of nurses, Ballad Health has taken several important steps we believe will continue to help reduce the strain on our nursing staff. Make no mistake, we know that labor shortages are impacting several areas in addition to nursing, and steps have been taken, with some success, to mitigate the impact on our team. But nowhere is the national labor shortage more directly impacting patient care than in the nursing profession. The Council of State Boards of Nursing has predicted that from the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic through 2027, approximately 900,000 nurses will leave the profession.  Ignoring these predictions is not an option for us and we must continue to act. Steps we have already taken…

From the CEO
System Updates
System Updates

Are you using our new digital tools for managing your healthcare? Here’s what you need to know

Did you know we’ve introduced several new digital tools to make accessing and managing your healthcare services even more convenient? Here’s what’s new: Ballad Health MyChart: If you have yet to try MyChart, your online medical record, we encourage you to do so. You can access your medical information, message your healthcare team, manage your appointments and more! To get started with your MyChart account: Download the Ballad Health app. Open the app and select Create an Account. Android iOS Visit mychart.balladhealth.org and select Sign Up Today. Call 833-8-BALLAD to connect with one of our helpful associates. eCheck-in: Avoid the line! This feature allows you to save time by preregistering for your scheduled appointments. Before your appointment, Ballad Health MyChart will send you a text message or email indicating that your eCheck-in is ready. Text Messaging: Our new texting platform, Hello World, allows patients to receive text messages for upcoming appointments, make convenient payments and…

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Cybersecurity tip: Got a suspicious email? Use the Phish Alert Report button in Outlook

Cybersecurity is crucial to protect our health system and our patients, and phishing attacks through email pose one of the biggest risks. What can you do, as a team member, to help prevent phishing attacks? You can correctly use the Phish Alert Report button located in your Outlook email. With just a couple of clicks, you can report potentially dangerous emails to our IT Security team, giving them the information they need to defend against the effects of malicious email attacks. If you haven’t used this button, please make it a regular part of your work routine. Anytime you see a potential phishing email, please report it to our IT Security team! Remember, as a team member, you are the last line of defense for Ballad Health against email-based criminal activity. Never click on a link or open an attachment in any unexpected or unsolicited email; don’t take the bait! Note: These mobile device instructions below apply…

IT & Epic
From the CEO
From the CEO

Our Ballad Health values: How can we incorporate them into what we do every day?

When our health system was formed, Ballad Health established a set of core values, using team member input, that help guide us in how we care for the community. Over the coming months, we want to highlight these values and think about what they mean and how we can incorporate them into everything we do. As our CEO and president, Alan Levine, says, “Our values are not just words on a wall; they’re the guiding principles of who we are.” Our six Ballad Health core values, as chosen by our team members, are: Caring Creativity Faith Honesty Quality Respect Here’s a brief video message from Mr. Levine, introducing a series of upcoming messages highlighting our values – focusing on things like kindness, compassion and empathy. As you hear stories from around the system, think about how you would feel if you were the person in that story; let them serve as reminders that we should…

From the CEO
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Educating on how we use Rover, mobile devices for patient care

Many of our frontline staff, including nurses, clinicians and EVS technicians, make use of mobile devices in their daily workflow. It is an important part of patient care. But there may be times when patients and visitors – or even fellow team members – notice these caregivers using mobile devices (such as smartphones) during work, and they incorrectly assume the team members are using them for personal, unrelated purposes while on the job. For this reason, we will be branding Rover-equipped devices to make them more recognizable, promoting their use, helping team members discuss the devices with patients and letting team members know how to recognize official Ballad Health devices. Our Epic Rover devices Many Ballad Health-owned devices are equipped with Epic Rover, a software that allows team members to perform a variety of functions quickly and conveniently, without ever having to leave patient rooms. These devices facilitate instant reports on patient room availability, bedside…

IT & Epic
Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion

Ballad Health now using BridgesEAST as provider for American Sign Language interpreters

Here’s an important update for all team members who could be involved in assisting patients and visitors with interpretive services: BridgesEAST is now the exclusive provider of onsite/in-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for all Ballad Health facilities. BridgesEAST is a nonprofit organization that has been providing interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing for nearly 100 years. Here’s the key information you’ll need when requesting an ASL interpreter: For scheduled appointments, do one of the following: Email www.bridgesfordeafandhh.org/bridgeseast Call 423-818-1222 For emergencies: Call 423-780-0008 (available 24/7/3665) Questions: Andrew@bridgesfordeafandhh.org To learn more about interpretive services provided by Ballad Health, visit our Interpreter Services site on the intranet, available via intranet main page > Departments > Interpreter Services. Thank you for helping us serve our patients and community with interpretive services! To view the flyer below in PDF format, click here.

Diversity & Inclusion
Sharecare
Sharecare

Did you know Ballad Health offers up to $250 per year/per team member to shop at Sharecare.com? Register now to learn more!  

Sharecare is a digital company Ballad Health partners with to administer the B-Well wellness program. This platform will help you as a team member manage all your health in one place, no matter where you are in your health journey. Registering is simple and the steps are listed below. Visit balladhealth.sharecare.com to register and create a user ID and password or log in to the Ballad Teams app. Take your RealAge® Test as guided through the Sharecare platform. If you’ve already registered for Sharecare, simply log in and retake the RealAge test. Download the Sharecare app to your mobile device or tablet from the App Store or Google Play. Visit the Rewards page to see available challenges and how to earn rewards. Live better, longer using tools and resources from Sharecare. Once you register and download the Sharecare app, you can complete incentive activities to earn up to 250 points equating to $250 to spend…

Sharecare
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Cybersecurity tips: Protect your mobile devices from cyberattacks

October is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Cybercrimes are a constant threat, and health systems are among the most frequently targeted entities. To keep our health system and our patients safe, we’ll be sharing information on some of the most relevant cybersecurity topics each week in October. Mobile device use is on the rise and so is the number of cyberattacks. As you may know, Ballad Health uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an important tool to protect personal devices from hacking. Hackers are developing more sophisticated malware targeted toward smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Here are 20 tips to help safeguard your device, yourself and others. Wi-Fi Don’t allow your device to auto-join unfamiliar networks. Always turn off Wi-Fi when you aren’t using it or don’t need it. Never send sensitive information over Wi-Fi, unless you’re absolutely sure it’s a secure network. Apps Only use apps available in your device’s official store — NEVER download…

IT & Epic
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Cybersecurity tip: Consider using a passphrase instead of a password

October is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Cybercrimes are a constant threat, and health systems are among the most frequently targeted entities. To keep our health system and our patients safe, we’ll be sharing information on some of the most relevant cybersecurity topics every week in October. Check back here soon for more great information. Passphrases One of the easiest ways to make your accounts more secure is to use a “passphrase” instead of a password. A passphrase is a series of words with spaces between, like “Tuesdays are usually rainy” or “pleasant autumn arbor walk.” Passphrases are much harder to guess and hack than passwords, and they have the added bonus of being much easier to remember. Creating a great passphrase Here are some tips for creating a top passphrase: Longer = more secure. Your Ballad Health passphrase must be at least 8 characters, but 10-16 is better, and you can go even longer than…

IT & Epic
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Check out the enhanced Balladeer Children’s Program site on the intranet

For team members who are members of the Balladeer Children’s Program, or who are interested in joining the program, check out the updated page on the HR site of the Ballad Health intranet! The Balladeer site has new content, including new discounts for members, an “FAQ” page and information about our Balladeer Children’s Program leaders, Shawna Gragg and Annie Davis. You can also see a collection of all Balladeer Children’s Program articles we’ve posted to Ballad Health News, describing the great activities the club has been up to since it was created more than a year ago. The page also contains contact information and the events calendar, as well as access to enrolling. You can find the page by going to the intranet main page > Human Resources > Balladeer Children’s Program. NOTE: The page can only be accessed from a Ballad Health network device. What is the Balladeer Children’s Program? The program, a free…

Benefits & HR
Team Member Kudos
Team Member Kudos

Use our ACTS of Service to recognize team members who deserve thanks for a job well done!

Did you know Ballad Health has a way for you to recognize fellow team members who do great work? It’s called ACTS of Service recognition, available on the Ballad Health intranet through our Human Resources and Organizational Development departments. It only takes a few minutes and you can send someone an eCard to show your appreciation for their dedication and hard work. If you’re a leader, you can nominate a team member for an award. Here’s how to use ACTS of Service: Go to the Ballad Health intranet. (NOTE: You must be on a Ballad Health network device to access the intranet.) Visit “Quick Links” on the left side. Click on “ACTS of Service Appreciation,” which will be the first link listed. Use your team member number as your username (no need to include the “u” as part of the number). If this is your first time using ACTS of Service, or if you’ve forgotten…

Team Member Kudos
System Updates
System Updates

Helping our patients in need: Be aware of our patient financial assistance options

We recognize sometimes people need help paying their bills, which is why Ballad Health offers financial assistance to qualifying patients who could use support during an emergency or scheduled medical care. In fact, nearly 50% of patients in the Appalachian Highlands qualify for financial assistance at Ballad Health. It’s important for our team member population to be aware of this, and to let any patients or potential patients know they may have options to help them with medical expenses. When paying for medical bills, knowing what assistance options people may qualify for can reduce financial stress. How do patients find out if they are eligible for financial assistance? There are several options, including: Letting our Patient Financial Services team know at registration that they’re interested in getting financial assistance Visiting our website and downloading the application for financial assistance, then filling it out and mailing it back to us Calling us at 888-288-5174 To learn…

System Updates