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Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Ballad Health unveils three new Centers for Early Learning across Appalachian Highlands

Nearly 300 new, high-quality childcare slots created in Tennessee and Virginia JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The region’s youngest learners have new places to grow and thrive, as three new Ballad Health Centers for Early Learning open across the Appalachian Highlands. As viewers and listeners tuned in to the first day of the annual Niswonger Children’s Network Radiothon, Ballad Health announced major steps towards fulfilling its commitment of opening up to 2,000 childcare slots across the region. New Centers for Early Learning in Greeneville, Tennessee; Lebanon, Virginia; and on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) are now open, with collective capacity to serve approximately 300 children. Each center serves Ballad Health team members and community members, and each accepts children who qualify for state childcare financial assistance in Tennessee and Virginia. Families interested in enrolling their children in Ballad Health’s Early Learning Centers, or those who have questions, should fill out this form: https://redcap.link/ChildcareInterestForm…

Benefits & HR
Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion

Ballad Health salutes Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. At Ballad Health, we recognize Black History Month not just as a chance to study Black history, but also as a way to celebrate diversity and foster an environment where we are all recognized for our abilities and valued for our contributions. This is a fitting time to learn about barrier-breaking figures in healthcare, as well –  both nationally and locally. We have a great example of a local pioneer in Lola Campbell, the first black nurse at Holston Valley Medical Center. See a new in-depth feature from WJHL about Lola. Lola recently received a proclamation in her honor from Sullivan County. Here’s a short video from Ballad Health back in 2021, honoring Lola. The International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough presents “Freedom Stories: Unearthing the Black Heritage of Appalachia.” The Association of…

Diversity & Inclusion
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Multiple events keep our Balladeers busy in February!

The Balladeers had a big month in February, with multiple events, including an art reception at East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum for the artwork the Balladeers created back in November! 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! 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! February events Finance and Career Readiness Classes for teens Two classes, in Kingsport and Johnson City, were held, with about 80 people in attendance. The Balladeers partnered with Lincoln Financial Group and some team members from HR’s recruitment team to teach these classes, which covered topics like budgeting,…

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

Clinical leader Cindy Elkins tapped to serve as administrator for Lee County Community Hospital and Lonesome Pine Hospital

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Cindy Elkins, a longtime pharmacist and leader in Wise County, has been selected to serve as the next administrator and assistant vice president for Lee County Community Hospital and Lonesome Pine Hospital. Elkins, who transitioned into her new role in January, will lead the day-to-day administrative operations for Lee County Community and Lonesome Pine. She will also coordinate service line functions for those facilities and serve as a key member of Ballad Health’s market leadership team in Lee, Wise and Dickenson counties. “We are excited to have Cindy join our leadership team in Southwest Virginia,” said Shannon Showalter, chief executive officer for Ballad Health operations in Dickenson, Lee and Wise counties. “Cindy’s clinical experience as a pharmacist, coupled with her unwavering commitment to patient care and community well-being, make her an ideal leader for Lee County Community Hospital and Lonesome Pine Hospital. Her proven dedication to excellence and compassionate service align…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health expands access to behavioral health services through new outpatient clinics for children, adolescents and adults as part of $80 million commitment to the region

Individual and intensive group therapy services provide needed outpatient alternative to inpatient hospitalization in the region JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Ballad Health is expanding access to behavioral health in the Appalachian Highlands with new and expanded outpatient services that will serve children, adolescents and adults with complex behavioral health needs. Ballad Health physicians, team members and community leaders gathered on Thursday, Feb. 22, to cut the ribbon for the new Behavioral Health Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services clinic at 701 Med Tech Parkway in Johnson City. This new clinic will provide care for the specific needs of children and teens with complex behavioral health needs. The clinic is part of the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network and provide outpatient mental healthcare for kids 6 to 18 years of age and will provide intensive outpatient programs for children 9 years and older. Ballad Health has also relocated its Behavioral Health Adult Outpatient Services clinic to a…

System Updates
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Healthcare career hiring event to be held at Johnson City Medical Center on Feb. 29

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – An upcoming hiring event seeks to fill various part-time and full-time clinical and nonclinical positions for Johnson City Medical Center. From noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29, Ballad Health leaders will be on hand at the healthcare facility, 400 N. State of Franklin Road, to match hopeful job seekers to open roles. Various full-time and part-time clinical and nonclinical jobs are available. Key roles being sought for Johnson City Medical Center include registered nurses, RN assistant managers, certified nursing assistants, pharmacy techs, phlebotomy techs, radiologic techs, surgical techs, respiratory therapists, transporters, department secretaries and more. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with hiring managers, learn more about available roles and potentially receive a job offer on the spot. Applicants are encouraged to bring their resumes and come ready to interview. Remember, through March 31, Ballad Health is offering a bonus to team members who refer…

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

If you have a MyChart account, you could win $500; sign up for MyChart now, if you haven’t already!

Now 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 will be 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…

IT & Epic
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Check out the new features coming to Hello World, our two-way texting system for patients

Last fall, Ballad Health introduced Hello World, a new two-way texting system for patients that helps them manage their healthcare and saves time for patients and clinics alike. Once patients have opted in to the Hello World notification system, they receive text notifications from Ballad Health and can easily respond to pay bills or to confirm or cancel appointments. It’s been a big success so far, and now we’ve added some new features to Hello World. These updates took effect Wednesday, Feb. 14, and will automatically be available for any patients who have already opted in. New features being offered for Hello World Test results notification – Lets patients who have a MyChart account know as soon as their test results are available. Payment plan sign-up – Users can already pay their bill (in one payment) through Hello World, but as an update to that feature, they will now be able to set it up as…

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

Epic upgrade scheduled for Feb. 14; here’s what you need to know

Ballad Health will be doing an upgrade to our Epic electronic medical records (EMR) system on Wednesday, Feb. 14, starting at 12:01 a.m. Epic users will experience a scheduled Epic downtime of about two hours as the new August 2023 version of Epic is applied. About the downtime Epic will not be completely offline during the downtime window, but will be placed in a “read only” status, so information can’t be entered into Epic during this downtime period. Ballad Health IT will notify users when the downtime period has ended through an IT “All Clear” notification. NOTE: A system build freeze for non-emergent Epic changes will go into effect starting Wednesday, Feb. 7, at noon through Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. About the upgrade Epic upgrades ensure our EMR is current with Epic’s newest version, which keeps our foundation system current on new features and functionalities. This latest upgrade will provide a host of…

IT & Epic
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
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health Medical Associates opens new urgent care, sports medicine clinic in Johnson City to increase patient convenience, expand access

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — As it continues to expand access to healthcare, Ballad Health Medical Associates cut the ribbon on a new facility at 161 Heart Drive, Johnson City, that will house both an urgent care and sports medicine clinic. The Ballad Health Medical Associates Sports Medicine clinic, located in Suite B, is now open, with an expanded footprint of sports medicine services within the region. The new clinic aims to support athletes and individuals of all ages in achieving their optimal physical well-being. Simultaneously, the Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care has relocated from its previous location on Marketplace Boulevard, next to Northern Tool and the county clerk’s office, to 161 Heart Drive, Suite A. This strategic move ensures accessibility and timely healthcare services for the community. Investments in the new facility include: Quicker access to care: Having sports medicine and urgent care services located together means patients can experience faster access to the…

System Updates
COVID-19
COVID-19

Important update on masking, contingency staffing

Effective Friday, Feb. 2, Ballad Health is easing its masking policy in clinical areas and is discontinuing contingency staffing. We’re able to take these steps due to the recent decrease in cases of respiratory illness – influenza, COVID and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus infection) – among both our patient population throughout the region and among our team members. Contingency staffing, which applies to team members with COVID, has been discontinued and we will return to normal staffing protocol. For reference, contingency staffing is implemented when increased clinical staffing needs are occurring or are expected due to increased absenteeism caused by staff illness. Masking will no longer be required for team members and care providers in patient care areas and clinical departments in acute-care and long-term care facilities.This covers our hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health and hospice, and Ballad Health Medical Associates (BHMA) locations. Team members may continue to mask if that is their…

COVID-19
System Updates
System Updates

Local students practice robotics, get taste of medical careers during Ballad Health da Vinci Robotics Symposium

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Local high school students were able to engage with the latest robotic surgery technology during Ballad Health’s first-ever da Vinci Robotics Symposium. The event featured presentations led by local surgeons who specialize in robotic surgery, offering attendees an in-depth overview of the leading-edge field of robotics-assisted surgery. The presentation also shed light on career opportunities within robotics and health science fields. Following the presentation, students participated in demonstrations with the da Vinci robots, getting first-hand use of the innovative technology used in surgical procedures. The interactive sessions gave the students immersive and personalized experiences, building on the foundational health science and technology curriculums in their schools.  “Engaging with students early on and providing them with hands-on experiences in robotics can be a pivotal factor in shaping their interest in health science fields,” said Dr. Stephanie Hart, a general surgeon with Ballad Health Medical Associates who provided the demonstrations. “These students have…

System Updates
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
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health partners with 410 Medical for rapid fluid delivery

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Ballad Health and the Ballad Health Innovation Center are partnering with 410 Medical, Inc. to use its LifeFlow device, a rapid fluid delivery mechanism that a rapid fluid delivery mechanism that reduces the time needed to revive a patient in need of blood or fluids. Designed to help overcome common barriers to fluid delivery, LifeFlow is an easy-to-use, portable device that rapidly and efficiently delivers fluids to patients with critical conditions such as sepsis, shock, trauma, cardiac arrest and severe hemorrhage. LifeFlow can deliver 1 liter of fluid or two units of blood in less than four minutes, while traditional methods can take three to 10 times longer. LifeFlow is an easy-to-use, portable device that rapidly and efficiently delivers fluids to patients with critical conditions such as sepsis, shock, trauma, cardiac arrest and severe hemorrhage. Ballad Health Innovation Center’s partnership with Durham, North Carolina-based 410 Medical, Inc. includes a pilot project…

System Updates
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
System Updates
System Updates

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ballad Health, local schools launch region-wide, healthcare-focused Ballad Health Academy High School to address national labor shortages and create economic opportunity for next generation

Ballad Health joins Bloomberg Philanthropies’ first-of-its-kind initiative that connects students to job opportunities with family-sustaining wages in 10 communities across the U.S. JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Ballad Health, several community colleges and career technical education (CTE) centers and five local school districts announced an unprecedented partnership that will launch a region-wide initiative in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to create a regional program dedicated to accelerated pathways into healthcare careers. The innovative school-within-a-school approach, called Ballad Health Academy, addresses the unique rural nature of the Appalachian Highlands by providing access to accelerated education and training in a healthcare career, while maintaining the benefits of attending a child’s community school. The new program will incorporate in-person, virtual and in-hospital education and integrate healthcare career knowledge and job training with a high-quality, well-rounded high school experience for students throughout the Appalachian Highlands. Graduating students will have the opportunity to move directly into high-demand healthcare jobs with family-sustaining…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Seasoned healthcare leader Sean Mills joins Ballad Health as chief financial officer for its Northern Region

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Sean Mills, an accomplished executive with more than 15 years of experience in managing hospital finances, has joined Ballad Health to serve as the chief financial officer for its Northern Region. Mills will oversee all the finances of the Northern Region, which covers the health system’s hospitals in Bristol, Kingsport and Southwest Virginia, including Bristol Regional Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center and Johnston Memorial Hospital. In this new position, Mills will be responsible for ensuring the region’s financial stability, growth and strategic success. He will oversee budgetary processes and develop financial strategies to promote the long-term sustainability and success of the hospitals within his region. “I am honored to join Ballad Health and contribute to its mission of providing high-quality healthcare services to the Appalachian Highlands,” Mills said. “I look forward to collaborating with the talented team throughout the region to further enhance financial performance and support the organization’s commitment…

System Updates
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
System Updates
System Updates

Meet Dolly, Johnny and June, our new Omnicell XR2 Central Fill Pharmacy Dispensing robots!

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Ballad Health is excited to announce that Bristol Regional Medical Center has installed three Omnicell XR2 Central Pharmacy Dispensing robots to support the operations of Ballad Health Pharmacy’s Central Fill Services – with the robots nicknamed Dolly, Johnny and June. They were unveiled in a special event at Bristol Regional on Thursday, Jan. 11. This groundbreaking robotic technology will be a huge benefit to our patients, as it will improve patient safety, reduce medication errors and improve efficiency of medication inventory management, as Bristol Regional serves as a central pharmacy filling location for all Ballad Health hospitals. It also aligns with our mission, as a High Reliability Organization, of a continuous pursuit of safety, using processes that help reduce risk. Bristol Regional was selected to receive the new Omnicell XR2 robots for a number of reasons, with a big one being its central location in the Appalachian Highlands and in the Ballad…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

18th annual Cardiovascular Summit coming up Feb. 17; registration is open

The 18th annual Cardiovascular Summit will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is organized by Ballad Health and Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Continuing Education for Professionals. Local and national cardiovascular leaders will address the latest recommendations in the diagnosis, treatment and management of cardiovascular disease. Where is it being held? The conference will be a hybrid event, offering the option for both in-person and virtual learning. For those attending in person, the conference will be held at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center, 1901 Meadowview Parkway, in Kingsport. It will be broadcast live from there to virtual attendees. Who should attend? Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical residents, registered nurses and other health professionals will benefit from the summit. More information or to register See the flyer below, view the flyer in interactive PDF format here, or visit etsu.cloud-cme.com/default.aspx.

System Updates
Team Member Kudos
Team Member Kudos

Congrats to our honorees in the 40 Under Forty class of 2023!

Five team members with Ballad Health were among 40 young professionals recognized as part of the 40 Under Forty class of 2023 by The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia. The awards honor the best and brightest young professionals throughout the region, who are judged based on their business success and their achievements as an active member of the community. Our Ballad Health recipients were: Geoff Kade, operations manager, Smyth County Community Hospital Britney Edmiston, chief nursing officer, Bristol Regional Medical Center Jordan Harrington, associate administrator, Holston Valley Medical Center Kristen Looney, director of patient care services, Holston Valley Medical Center William “Billy” Thompson, education instructor, Clinical Education We are very fortunate to have brilliant and dedicated individuals like these on our team, elevating our coordinated system of care across the Appalachian Highlands and setting the standard for rural healthcare quality and access. Visit The Business Journal online to see the full 40 Under Forty issue…

Team Member Kudos
System Updates
System Updates

Reminder: As W2 time approaches, make sure you do these steps so you’re ready

W2 time is almost upon us, so it’s time to start preparing for them. You can help us ensure you get an accurate, timely W2 form from Ballad Health. Log onto Employee Space from the Ballad Health intranet main page (through HR & Payroll Service Center under “Quick Links”) and take a few minutes to do the following: Verify your Social Security Number. Making sure we have the correct Social Security Number ensures your wages are reported accurately. Verify your address. Making sure we have an accurate address ensures you get important information in a timely fashion. Your address in the system as of Jan. 10, 2024, is the address where your W2 will be mailed. Review your tax withholding. You may update your tax withholding via Employee Space at any time. Authorize EW2s. Authorizing your EW2 is a simple way to ensure you get your W2 as quickly as possible. Visit “Tax Forms” in…

System Updates
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Balladeers were busy with holiday fun during December!

The Balladeer Children’s Program had a fun and busy December, with four different Jingle and Mingle events — each featuring Santa Claus — plus a chance to see Frosty the Snowman! 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! 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! December events Jingle and Mingle events Four events were held – at Norton Community Hospital, Johnson City Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center and in Blountville at the new Organizational Development/Clinical Education location. The events had 865 people in attendance! Food was provided at all events,…

Benefits & HR
COVID-19
COVID-19

Update on new masking guidelines for clinical areas

Due to the rise in our region of influenza, COVID and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases, Ballad Health will require team member masking in all clinical areas, effective Thursday, Dec. 21. This applies to our hospitals, outpatient clinics, long term care facilities and Ballad Health Medical Associates (BHMA) locations. This requirement covers team members, medical staff and vendors, but only in clinical areas. Masking for visitors will remain optional, although we do want to make visitors and patients aware that, for both our safety and theirs, our team members are masking in these critical areas. This will help protect vulnerable patients from the spread of seasonal respiratory illnesses, and also help keep our team members healthy so we can maintain safe staffing levels to care for our patients. We’ve taken this step in years past, whenever the need has arisen, and kept the mandate in place until respiratory cases decrease to a safer level. While…

COVID-19
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
Compliance
Compliance

Spotlight on Ballad Health’s compliance program

The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Healthcare Compliance Association designated Nov. 5-11, 2023, as Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week. This a great time to spotlight Ballad Health’s Compliance Program and ongoing compliance efforts. Code of Ethics Ballad Health is committed to acting with integrity and ethical behavior at all times. To outline some of the most important points of this commitment, a Code of Ethics was developed and approved by the Ballad Health Board. The Code of Ethics calls on employees to “display a superior level of professionalism and integrity while engaged in the organization’s business.” The Code of Ethics can be found on the Ballad Health intranet site and in Policy Manager. Who’s who in Compliance? As part of the Corporate Compliance program, Ballad Health has a chief compliance officer who oversees the compliance program and a HIPAA compliance officer who supports the HIPAA compliance initiatives across Ballad Health.   The Corporate…

Compliance
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