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Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Reminder: Open enrollment lasts until May 31

We’re midway through our 2022 open enrollment period, which lasts until Tuesday, May 31. This is the time of year for team members to make any desired changes to their benefit elections. If you don’t want to make changes, you don’t have to do anything This year, if you do not need or want to make any changes to your current benefit elections, you will not need to complete the online open enrollment process; however, the annual enrollment period is a good time to review your current benefits package, make any changes and review your beneficiary information. If you don’t make any changes, and because open enrollment is not required this year, you will maintain your same benefit elections for the new benefit plan year, which begins July 1. NOTE: To continue enrollment in the flexible spending medical or dependent care accounts, you must go online and make a new election. Also, if you and/or your…

Benefits & HR
System Updates
System Updates

Fitch Ratings maintains ‘A’ credit rating on Ballad Health

Despite persistent financial pressure and disruption from the pandemic affecting the hospital industry, Fitch cites Ballad Health’s “considerable credit resiliency” and “management’s strong financial planning” in maintaining “A” rating JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Citing Ballad Health’s strong financial planning and considerable credit resiliency, Fitch Ratings today announced it has affirmed Ballad Health’s “A” credit rating with a Stable outlook. This credit rating affects Ballad Health’s series of debt instruments, as well as Ballad Health’s planned refunding of variable rate demand bonds expected to be issued this summer. The new issue, up to $176 million, is designed to reduce existing cost of credit, saving Ballad Health several millions of dollars annually in interest. Ballad Health will not be assuming any incremental new debt as it restructures existing higher interest debt, replacing it with lower interest vehicles and utilizing appropriate tax-exempt financing for eligible capital expenditures. “Despite persistent pressure and disruption from the pandemic, Ballad has maintained…

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Cybersecurity update: We’re making important policy changes, including email retention

To keep our patients and team members as safe as possible from cybersecurity risks, Ballad Health regularly evaluates our systems, processes and workflows to ensure we’re taking every precaution possible. Following a recent review of some of our policies, we are making several updates.  Email Retention and Mailbox Management Effective June 6, emails older than 90 days, instead of 180 days, will be removed from Outlook. This will apply to any folders team members have created within the email system. Emails that need to be preserved must be relocated. Personal email addresses will no longer be added to the Ballad Health Global Address List (GAL). Electronic Mail Communication Ballad Health email should not be used for personal use. Your Ballad Health passwords cannot be the same or similar to passwords for any of your personal accounts. Computer Access Codes Password length should be at least eight characters, but the use of passphrases with spaces separating…

IT & Epic
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Message from Debbie Dover: Open enrollment is here through May 31!

Dear Ballad Health team member, It’s that time of year – open enrollment for Ballad Health benefits will run from Monday, May 16, to Tuesday, May 31. This year, if you do not need or want to make any changes to your current benefit elections, you will not need to complete the online open enrollment process. However, the annual enrollment period is a good time to review your current benefits package, make any changes and review your beneficiary information. If you don’t make any changes, and because open enrollment is not required this year, you will maintain your same benefit elections for the new benefit plan year, which begins July 1.  As a reminder, to continue enrollment in the flexible spending medical or dependent care accounts, you must go online and make a new election. Also, if you/and or your covered spouse have had a change in your nicotine status since last year, you will need…

Benefits & HR
From the CEO
From the CEO

As we recognize Healthcare Week and Nurses Week, we say ‘thank you’ to all our healthcare heroes

NOTE: This email was sent from Alan Levine, president and CEO of Ballad Health, to all Ballad Health team members on Thursday, May 5. Dear Colleague, Tomorrow marks the beginning of a special week of recognition as Ballad Health celebrates each of you during National Nurses Week and Healthcare Week.  Nurses Week officially begins Friday, May 6, and runs through Thursday, May 12, while Healthcare Week starts on Saturday, May 8, and concludes Saturday, May 14. This year, I think all of us would agree that no matter what you do, whether a nurse, a technician, or even a non-clinical team member, we all contributed in a special way over the past two years to care for our communities. Each of us has had to call upon strength from within that perhaps we didn’t even know we had. We all had to balance our servant hearts with the needs of our own loved ones. On behalf of…

From the CEO
Foundation
Foundation

$500,000 Ballad Health Foundation investment supports team members, installs Lavender Rooms at three hospitals

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – As part of Ballad Health’s ongoing work to support healthcare workers in the Appalachian Highlands, Ballad Health Foundation has invested nearly $500,000 to create state-of-the-art “Lavender Rooms” in each of the system’s tertiary hospitals. What are Lavender Rooms? Designed with the goal of providing short-term stress relief, Lavender Rooms will provide a respite for team members coping with the mental, emotional and physical burdens of providing bedside care. Each Lavender Room is designed like a spa suite, featuring stations outfitted with zero-gravity chairs, salt walls and digital cinema sensory screens, creating a calming environment to help healthcare workers relieve stress. Open to team members working at Holston Valley Medical Center, Bristol Regional Medical Center and Johnson City Medical Center, these rooms include ample space to meditate, practice yoga or simply find a moment of peace. Each suite is designed with relaxation first in mind, from the layout of the suite down…

Foundation
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Lincoln Financial values your cybersecurity; here’s how to keep your retirement account safe

There is an elevated risk of cyberattacks against Ballad Health, and our organization has taken several steps to defend against these attacks, including a systemwide resetting of passwords and restrictions on some external login access. We are determined to keep our system, our patients and our team members as safe as possible. Our retirement plan partners at Lincoln Financial have also prioritized your cybersecurity. See below for steps you should take through LFG to keep your retirement plan account safe. Lincoln also provides tips (see links in the flyer) for how to secure all your online interactions. IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, DO NOT use the same password for your LFG retirement account that you use for your Ballad Health network password. It is extremely important that team members NEVER use their Ballad Health password for any other accounts.

Benefits & HR
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health team members can now subscribe to emergency alert notifications

Starting this week, all Ballad Health team members will have the opportunity to participate in the Everbridge emergency notification system. What is Everbridge? Everbridge is an international leader in emergency communications and is used in multiple industries, including the healthcare industry, to coordinate notifications during critical events. As a single, automated notification system, Everbridge can be used to communicate critical information during events such as a pandemic, natural disasters, manmade disasters, power outages or workplace violence. Ballad Health is already using the platform in some areas within the organization. Making the software available to all our team members will increase the efficiency of crisis communication, which in turn will lead to better outcomes for our team members, patients and visitors when it comes to disaster planning and other emergency situations. How does Everbridge work?  This week, you’ll receive an email from Ballad Health Emergency Alerts with the subject line “Register for Emergency Updates from Ballad…

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Reminder: Ballad Health to shut down Outlook Web Access from non-Ballad devices on April 26

As a reminder, on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 p.m., Ballad Health is suspending all external access to Outlook Web Access (OWA) from any device that is not a Ballad Health-issued device. This means team members will no longer be able to view Ballad Health email if you access Outlook Web Access (mail.balladhealth.org) from a non-Ballad Health network device. NOTE: You will still be able to access your Ballad Health email from your personal cellphone, tablet or laptop through Exchange. Team members will also continue to be able to use a Ballad Health-issued device to access Ballad Health email through the OWA service. This change will primarily impact team members who log onto their email through Balladhealth.org, our external website, from the “Doctors & Team Members” page. (See image below.) Why are we doing this? Ballad Health is suspending this service as part of a coordinated initiative to better protect our health system from cybersecurity…

IT & Epic
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Missing icons following our Windows 10 update? Here’s why and how to fix it

IT is currently deploying the 20H2 update to Windows 10 across all Ballad Health devices. This is a minor but important update, because as of May 9, Windows will no longer provide technical support or fixes for new security risks on the old version of Windows 10. Since protecting our patients and their information is of utmost importance, this update is required. In addition to ensuring continued system security, the update will provide faster login times and increased performance within VDI. However, the first time you log into a new VDI session after the update has been applied, you may notice icons missing from the taskbar along the bottom of your screen. Any icons pinned to your taskbar prior to the update will be unavailable the first time you boot up your VDI on the 20H2 version. Fortunately, it’s very quick and easy to get them back on your own. Search for an application you…

IT & Epic
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

More information on our mandatory password change

Due to a substantial increase in phishing attempts against Ballad Health’s email system, all Ballad Health employees will be required to change their network password. Team members will receive a prompt on their device to change their password between today and April 30. The forced password change will affect about 2,000 team members per day through the end of the month. This password change is different from the routine password changes that are scheduled every six months. If you are also due for a maintenance password change, it is recommended that you complete your routine password change in addition to this special one. A guide to creating a strong password 1. First and foremost, your Ballad Health password should NOT be the same as passwords you use for your personal accounts. Starting this week, it is Ballad Health policy to have unique and securely protected passwords that are different from the passwords you use for…

IT & Epic
From the CEO
From the CEO

Urgent message from Alan Levine: Passwords and cybersecurity

NOTE: This message was emailed on Thursday afternoon, April 7, from Alan Levine, Chairman and CEO of Ballad Health, to all team members: I have directed that our Information Technology department implement a forced password change for ALL Ballad Health email system users. At some point shortly, you will be required to change your password or you will be unable to access the system. There has been an increase in cases of attempts to access our email system, which can only be interpreted to mean there is increased risk of our systems being compromised.   THIS IS VERY SERIOUS. Effective today (Thursday, April 7, 2022), it is Ballad Health policy that your Ballad Health password, for any Ballad health application, may not be similar to, or identical to, any of your personal passwords for any of your personal devices or emails. While Ballad Health cannot require you to disclose your personal email passwords to us,…

From the CEO
CEOC & COVID-19
CEOC & COVID-19

‘COVID-19 Health Pass’ tool being added to Ballad Teams app for team members who’ve had high-risk exposure

We’re adding a new feature to Ballad Teams called “COVID-19 Health Pass,” to be used by team members who’ve had a high-risk exposure to COVID-19 while at work. With the Health Pass tool, these team members will be able to actively monitor their symptoms to determine if they need to quarantine and, if so, when it’s safe to return to work. The process will be as follows: If Team Member Health or Infection Prevention learn of a team member’s high-risk exposure to COVID-19, they will contact the team member to inform them, and will provide instructions on how to use the COVID-19 Health Pass, which is accessible by smart phone, tablet, laptop or another web-accessible device. The team member can monitor and note symptoms while quarantining, using the Health Pass. Team Member Health and Infection Prevention will let the team member know when it is safe to return to work. Unless team members have had…

CEOC & COVID-19
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Discounted Dollywood, Splash Country tickets now available for purchase online

Discounted, one-day tickets to Dollywood and Splash Country are available once again for Ballad Health team members, but the process for getting the tickets has changed – team members will now get their tickets online rather than through Ballad Health human resources. To order tickets, visit the Dollywood website’s page for Ballad Health at: store.dollywood.com/product/multi/promo/BALLADHQ NOTE: The Dollywood link does not work in Internet Explorer. Ticket prices (tax included) for Dollywood are $50.50 for adults (ages 10-up) and $47.15 for children ages 4-9. Tickets for Splash Country (tax included) are $42.65 for adults and $35.90 for children ages 4-9. The website through Dollywood will require the person purchasing the tickets to choose a date. If they are not able to go on the date they selected, they can change their reservation to another date. They simply need to use the ticket number to make a different reservation. Tickets at non-discounted rates are $94.40 per adult,…

Benefits & HR
Sharecare
Sharecare

Manage your health and wellness through the Ballad Teams app

Ballad Health has partnered with Sharecare, a digital health company, to offer team members more resources to help you manage your overall well-being and health. The Sharecare platform provides personalized health profiles, where you can easily connect to information, programs and professionals to help you live your healthiest and happiest life. To access these programs, enter the B-Well powered by Sharecare portal under the resources tab in the Ballad Teams team member mobile app. You can also click here to visit the registration/login page at: https://balladhealth.sharecare.com/ Benefits of B-Well powered by Sharecare The B-Well powered by Sharecare platform also gives you the ability to access the evolving story of your health, where you can securely store and access your health data and take part in wellness programs and challenges. RealAge Test Your health profile is compiled using the scientifically based RealAge Test, which team members have access to through the B-Well powered by Sharecare platform….

Sharecare