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Foundation
Foundation

There’s still time to give: Team Member Giving Campaign deadline extended to Dec. 9

Due to email communication issues early in the campaign, the deadline to establish a gift to this year’s Team Member Giving Campaign has been extended to Friday, Dec. 9. This annual campaign, which was originally set to close on Tuesday, Nov. 28, provides team members an opportunity to give to their choice of many important funds and programs that benefit our communities, patients, families and team members. Giving even a little bit can make a big difference in the lives of those in need! So far, our campaign has received commitments from team members for $577,000, with about 13.5% of our team members participating. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, and if you haven’t made a donation but you’d still like to, we thank you in advance! NOTE: If you donate $6 per pay period (annual total of $156), you will receive a long-sleeve t-shirt that is approved to wear on Fridays. But…

Foundation
Team member profile
Team member profile

Introducing our Servant’s Heart Award winners: Dr. Steven Baumrucker

We’re putting the spotlight on our winners of the Scott and Nikki Niswonger Servant’s Heart Award, Ballad Health’s highest award. It was created to honor team members, physicians and volunteers who display the heart of a servant by going above and beyond the normal call of duty in helping others at work and in the community. The award was named in honor of Scott and Nikki Niswonger. Scott is a Greeneville businessman and philanthropist who is the chief benefactor of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, and a member of the Ballad Health board of directors. The Niswongers have a long history of serving others throughout the region, with a strong focus on education highlighted by the creation of The Niswonger Foundation. We’ve also started our nominations for next year’s winners; to make a nomination, click here. Dr. Steven Baumrucker Dr. Steven Baumrucker, medical director for the palliative medicine service line for Ballad Health, is…

Team member profile
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Are you making the most of your retirement plan?

Lincoln Financial can help you review your contribution rate and see if you can boost your savings. Remember, you’ll never have more time to save than you do today!

Benefits & HR
Team member profile
Team member profile

Introducing our Servant’s Heart Award winners: Ronnie Alley

We’re in the process of putting the spotlight on our winners of the Scott and Nikki Niswonger Servant’s Heart Award, Ballad Health’s highest award. It was created to honor team members, physicians and volunteer who display the heart of a servant by going above and beyond the normal call of duty in helping others at work and in the community. The award was named in honor of Scott and Nikki Niswonger. Scott is a Greeneville businessman and philanthropist who is the chief benefactor of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, and a member of the Ballad Health board of directors. The Niswongers have a long history of serving others throughout the region, with a strong focus on education highlighted by the creation of The Niswonger Foundation. We’ve also started our nominations for next year’s winners; to make a nomination, click here. Ronnie Alley This nomination is for Ronnie Alley, a volunteer at both Holston Valley…

Team member profile
From the CEO
From the CEO

Thanksgiving wishes from Alan Levine

NOTE: This message was emailed on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to all Ballad Health team members from Alan Levine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Ballad Health. Dear Colleague:  With the holiday season upon us, and as we settle in for Thanksgiving, I’d like to first give thanks to our fellow team members who are planning to work during the Thanksgiving holiday. Some of them are working because they wanted to volunteer so others could enjoy the holiday with their families; others have chosen to work because they know their patients and colleagues need them. Whatever brings you to work on this holiday, you all have the gratitude of our patients, your colleagues and our communities.    As you know, I enjoy telling the stories of Ballad Health. These “mission moments” are many, and they all make me so proud to be a part of your team.  ut today, I want to tell you the story of one of our cherished…

From the CEO
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Limited spaces available at Ballad Health childcare centers

Ballad Health offers childcare services to team members, at competitive rates — and there are a few openings right now at our three childcare centers. These childcare services are part of Ballad Health’s effort to make things easier on working families. Spaces are limited and are reserved for team members before opening the spots to the community. The available spots vary by location and are not available in all age groups. Team members can find out more by calling the centers at the following numbers: Hospitots, Johnson City – Call 423-431-6930; director Kacye Peters The Children’s Center, Elizabethton – Call 423-431-6930; acting director Kacye Peters Child Development Center, Bristol – Call 423-844-5225; director Tracy Barbour Team members can also email Amy Doran, corporate director of early childhood care and education for Ballad Health, at amy.doran@balladhealth.org. There are plans to create more Ballad Health childcare centers, so be on the lookout for updates.

Benefits & HR
Team member profile
Team member profile

Introducing our Servant’s Heart Award winners: Aliese Harrison

For the next few weeks, we are putting the spotlight on our winners of the Scott and Nikki Niswonger Servant’s Heart Award, Ballad Health’s highest award. It was created to honor team members, physicians and volunteers who display the heart of a servant by going above and beyond the normal call of duty in helping others at work and in the community. The award was named in honor of Scott and Nikki Niswonger. Scott is a Greeneville businessman and philanthropist who is the chief benefactor of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, and a member of the Ballad Health board of directors. The Niswongers have a long history of serving others throughout the region, with a strong focus on education highlighted by the creation of The Niswonger Foundation. We’ve also started our nominations for next year’s winners; to make a nomination, click here. Aliese Harrison Finding ways to serve both her patients and her team…

Team member profile
Team member profile
Team member profile

Introducing our Servant’s Heart Award winners: Dr. Haytham Adada

For the next few weeks, we will be putting the spotlight on our winners of the Scott and Nikki Niswonger Servant’s Heart Award, Ballad Health’s highest award. It was created to honor team members, physicians and volunteers who display the heart of a servant by going above and beyond the normal call of duty in helping others at work and in the community. The award was named in honor of Scott and Nikki Niswonger. Scott is a Greeneville businessman and philanthropist who is the chief benefactor of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, and a member of the Ballad Health board of directors. The Niswongers have a long history of serving others throughout the region, with a strong focus on education highlighted by the creation of The Niswonger Foundation. We’ve also started our nominations for next year’s winners; to make a nomination, click here. Dr. Haytham Adada Dr. Haytham Adada is a driving force…

Team member profile
System Updates
System Updates

Marsh Regional Blood Center has critical need for O-negative blood; donors are needed

Marsh Regional Blood Center is in critical need of type O-negative blood. Due to our hospitals treating several different trauma cases over the last two weeks, the supply has been severely depleted. O-negative blood is extremely important because it can be transfused to anyone, regardless of blood type. Because it is universal, it’s what our hospitals use in trauma cases, and it is carried on rescue aircraft for in-flight transfusion, if necessary. (Unfortunately, those who have type O-negative can only receive O-negative, so it is vital to have a supply for that population, as well.) Marsh Blood is asking for donations at any of their three centers or through any of the upcoming blood drives. All O-negative donors from Thursday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 20, will receive a long-sleeve holiday T-shirt plus a $10 Food City card. Appointments are preferred for in-center donations, but walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made by calling the…

System Updates
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Don’t take the bait: How to recognize charity and disaster scams

Cyber criminals know one of the best ways to rush people into making a mistake is by creating a heightened sense of urgency. And one of the easiest ways to create a sense of urgency is to take advantage of a crisis. This is why cyber criminals love it whenever there is a traumatic event with global impact. What most of us regard as a tragedy, cyber criminals view as an opportunity, such as the breakout of a war, a major natural disaster such as a volcanic explosion, and infectious disease breakouts like COVID-19. For example, during a natural disaster, they may pretend to be a charity asking for donations to save children in need. How can we protect ourselves the next time there is a big crisis or disaster, and cyber-criminals seek to exploit it? How to detect and defend against these scams The key to avoiding these scams is to be suspicious of…

IT & Epic
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Update: Epic upgrade complete

Update: The Epic Feb/May 22 upgrade is complete. As a reminder, Epic will experience some downtime overnight (Tuesday night, Nov. 15, into Wednesday morning) while Ballad Health applies the February and May 22 versions. What do I need to know? The Epic upgrade will start to be applied around 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16. During this time, the Epic system will not be completely offline, but it will be placed in a Level 3 – Downtime “Read-Only” status for approximately two hours. Information cannot be entered into Epic during this downtime, and IT will send an advisory notice as soon as the upgrade is clear. Why are we doing this? These latest versions of Epic will provide improvements to Hospital Billing, Willow Ambulatory, MyChart and more. The upgrade will also assist with the future transition to Epic Hyperdrive, a web-enabled version of Epic that will streamline workflow and integrate more smoothly with other systems….

IT & Epic
B-Well
B-Well

Be on the lookout for more from B-Well powered by Sharecare!

As many team members are aware, Ballad Health is partnering with Sharecare to provide a great wellness benefit to our team members through our B-Well program. Team members who join “B-Well powered by Sharecare” can securely store and access health data and take part in wellness programs and challenges. Consider it a great boost in your fitness and wellness journey! Be on the lookout for messages in Ballad Health News about B-Well and the features and challenges Sharecare provides. Right now we’ve got two activities going on through B-Well powered by Sharecare: 1, Golden Ticket campaign – Any team member who has signed up for Sharecare has a chance to win a $50 Visa rewards e-gift card. All you have to do is create a Sharecare account and then check your timeline. If you’ve got a Golden Ticket displaying in your timeline, you’re a winner! This promotion ends Nov. 30. Click here for more information!…

B-Well
Benefits & HR
Benefits & HR

Here’s what the Balladeers were up to in October

Our Balladeer Children’s Program, which began in March, is going full swing and has hosted several great events. This 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! We’ll be publishing a monthly update on what the Balladeers have been up to, including photos of our team members and their families at various events. Check out what our Balladeers have been up to lately, and if you’re interested in joining, see the information at the bottom of this article! October events Bays Mountain Park – During the week of Oct. 2-9, the Balladeers got free admission for families to the mountaintop park in Kingsport, including barge rides on the lake, planetarium showings and nature programs….

Benefits & HR
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

Cybersecurity scenario: Recognizing cybercrime opportunities through social media

This message comes from Ballad Health’s IT team. Here’s a mock scenario in which someone is victimized by a cybercrime due to information provided on social media. Suzie lists her place of employment on Facebook. She hasn’t enabled privacy features, so her personal profile is visible to the public. She hasn’t considered the connection between her public profile and her clinic. George knows that protected health information (PHI) or personal identifying information (PII) will fetch a fantastic price, so George is on the hunt for a healthcare employee to exploit. He sees on Suzie’s profile that she works at a medical clinic. He also sees Suzie’s post that she’s on vacation in The Bahamas. THE HACK George calls the clinic, and Patti answers. George: Hello, I’m William Lyons, and I’ve been working with Suzie on quoting a new backup server for the clinic. Is she available? George doesn’t know if the clinic has a server…

IT & Epic
CEOC & COVID-19
CEOC & COVID-19

CEOC update: Clarification on masking guidelines (10.10.2022)

TO: Ballad Health All FROM: Ballad Health Corporate Emergency Operations Center DATE: Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 TITLE: Guidance on masking Thank you for reviewing the memo sent last week regarding guidance on masking. Over the weekend, we received questions from various leaders requesting clarification or further guidance on our updated masking guidance. It is important to note that this is the current guidance and expectation. However, any department/patient care area may have more stringent masking requirements for protecting patients/team members as determined by the department leadership in collaboration with Infection Prevention (for example: for immunosuppressed patients, COVID-19/influenza outbreak, etc.). Frequently asked questions Q: What is the general expectation for team members working in acute settings? A mask is to be worn in ALL direct patient encounters. Examples include but are not limited to in hospital rooms, patient exam rooms, procedure rooms, when transporting a patient in the hallway, emergency registration departments, and waiting rooms in physician practices where patients…

CEOC & COVID-19
CEOC & COVID-19
CEOC & COVID-19

CEOC update: CDC guidance on masking, COVID-19 boosters

TO: Ballad Health All FROM: Ballad Health Corporate Emergency Operations Center DATE: Oct. 7, 2022 TITLE: CDC guidance on masking, boosters COVID-19 inpatient cases: 65 COVID-19 patients in ICU: 8 COVID-19 patients on ventilators: 2 COVID-19 pediatric inpatients: 0 Masking guidance for healthcare facilities The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recently updated its infection control guidance for healthcare facilities, which has resulted in some confusion about masking. Ballad Health has made changes to its masking policy. We hope this memo will clarify where and when team members and patients are required to mask. Team member and patient masking guidelines Masking is required by team members when present in exam rooms and patient rooms for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated team members. Masks are required for all team members and patients who are personally experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Visitors experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness should not be permitted to visit unless authorized by facility leadership. Facial…

CEOC & COVID-19
Foundation
Foundation

Don’t forget: Our raffle benefiting Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network is under way!

Our annual Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network raffle, sponsored by Champion Chevrolet Cadillac in Johnson City, is under way! Tickets are $50, and proceeds benefit the children’s network. The grand prize is a new car, with cash prizes for second, third and fourth winners. The drawing will take place on Dec. 2. Click here to purchase tickets. You can also call the Ballad Health Foundation at 423-302-3131. Team members can choose either payroll deduction or paying by credit card.

Foundation
IT & Epic
IT & Epic

MyChart: Good for patients. Good for you

Are you using MyChart? We encourage all team members to take advantage of it for their own health, and for team members to encourage everyone else to use MyChart. It’s a great way to take an active role in managing your care. You can access MyChart through the Ballad Health app, which is our public-facing app. (Remember, you can also access the external Ballad Health app through Ballad Teams, our team member-only app.) When you download the Ballad Health app, you can do a range of things within MyChart to manage your care – all from your smartphone, laptop or tablet. MyChart connects patients with their care teams and allows safe, convenient and confidential online access to a range of information and services. It’s easy to access your health records 24/7, from home or wherever you are, using your smartphone, laptop or tablet. What can you do in MyChart? View test results Schedule appointments Check-in…

IT & Epic
System Updates
System Updates

Ballad Health offers several great clinical resources to team members — including EBSCO and Dynamic Health

We follow evidence-based practice to make the best clinical decisions for our patients – a key to improving patient outcomes and overall healthcare quality. To make the latest evidence-based practice resources accessible for all team members, Ballad Health offers EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Company) on the Ballad Health intranet main page and within Epic. With a single click, team members can access medical databases, expert-based clinical decision support content and also a nursing resource called Dynamic Health. Dynamic Health for nurses Dynamic Health is designed to help nurses and allied health professionals master skills, obtain fast answers to questions and foster a culture of evidence-based practice and critical thinking, with opportunities for continuing education. It is an evidence-based system with patient skills videos, information about nursing skills and resources on tests, labs, disease processes, conditions and treatments. There’s also a detailed drug guide for health professionals and resources about physical/occupational therapies, speech, nutrition and social…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Annual team member performance appraisals to be completed Sept. 2-Nov. 30

The performance appraisal period for Ballad Health starts on Friday, Sept. 2, so it is important to start thinking about this essential work now. General information on the performance appraisal period: Annual performance appraisals are to be completed between Sept. 2 and Nov. 30 for Ballad Health team members. The 12-month period for which team members’ performance is being reviewed is Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022. Team members hired after July 31, 2022, will not be included in the appraisal process this year. No peer rating or self-assessments will occur this year. Any alternate raters selected for the responsibility of evaluating team member performance will also be responsible for final sign-off to close the team member appraisal. Reviews for the performance appraisals should take place in person, when possible, but can also be done remotely again this year. Additional information on this process can be accessed on the OD intranet site. These leader resources include…

System Updates
Compliance
Compliance

Reminder about appropriate access of Epic: If it’s not necessary for doing your job, then don’t access it

The Ballad Health Epic journey has moved us to one electronic health as an organization. We’ve just completed our Epic Phase 2 transition for those services and departments that were not already on the Epic system, which means now is a good time to review some rules about appropriate access to a patient’s medical record in Epic. Benefits of using Epic There are plenty of benefits to using Epic, including: Clinicians can see a patient’s complete story. Inpatient and outpatient charts are combined, increasing patient safety. Patients are empowered with Epic’s online health management tool, MyChart. With one electronic health record, more of the patient’s protected health information (PHI) is now available for access for treatment, payment and healthcare operations, as permitted by HIPAA. PHI is not just the clinical data but also includes demographic information such as name, address, telephone number, birthdate, Social Security Number, email address, visit and medical record numbers, admit/discharge date,…

Compliance
System Updates
System Updates

Reminder: How to download the Ballad Teams app

More than 9,000 of our team members are using Ballad Teams, our mobile team member app. Have you downloaded it yet? Ballad Teams offers important system news, B-Well powered by Sharecare and easy access to an array of other useful resources like your pay statements, PTO balance, team member discounts, IT support and benefits, as well as a link to log into Smart Square scheduling. We continue to add new features. For any team members who downloaded Ballad Teams previously but have since lost the app – perhaps from updates to your phone, or you may have a new phone altogether – or if you’ve never had the app before, here’s how to get it. Installing or reinstalling the app To do so, follow this link for instructions. For iPhone/Apple devices, you will need a code to download the app. The code is provided by following the above link. NOTE: Only one code should be needed per Apple…

System Updates
COVID-19
COVID-19

Recommended: Protect yourself by staying up-to-date with your COVID-19 booster shots

Given the increase of COVID-19 in our region, now is a good time to ensure you’re up-to-date on the boosters. Our COVID-19 inpatient census has risen to more than 150, while the region’s positivity rate is higher than 35%. In addition to an initial booster, many people might also be eligible and recommended to receive the second booster and either don’t realize it, or simply haven’t gotten around to it yet. But the vaccine boosters can help protect you, especially as the effectiveness of a previous COVID-19 vaccination wanes over time. People are protected best from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting all recommended boosters when eligible. There are different COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. It is never too late to get the added protection offered by a COVID-19 booster. Who can get a booster? Everyone ages 5 years and older should…

COVID-19
System Updates
System Updates

Seasoned nurses: Consider becoming a mentor in our Nurse Mentorship Program

As we work to strengthen our nursing workforce, Ballad Health is looking for some of our experienced nurses to join our Nurse Mentorship Program and serve as mentors for our nurse residents. The program promotes professional development for our new nurses, which benefits all our clinical teams by improving nursing skills, satisfaction and retention – and it ultimately helps improve patient outcomes. There is no substitute for experience, but this sharing of wisdom is the best substitute as our new nurses develop. Becoming a Nurse Mentor is a chance to invest in the future of nursing. Serving as a Nurse Mentor is voluntary and not a paid duty, but it does provide an opportunity for financial incentive through the PACE program. What does a Nurse Mentor do? The Nurse Mentor will be assigned a mentee (new nurse) and will set up the agenda for the initial meeting. The mentor will communicate on a consistent basis,…

System Updates
System Updates
System Updates

Everbridge to test emergency alert system with monthly notifications

As you may know, we recently rolled out Everbridge for emergency team member notifications. Everbridge is an international leader in emergency communications and is used in multiple industries, including healthcare, to coordinate notifications during emergent events. This is the system that Ballad Health uses to communicate critical information during events such as a pandemic, natural disasters, manmade disasters, power outages or workplace violence. Starting this month, the Everbridge team will be running monthly tests of communication channels. If you are signed up for alerts, you will receive an announcement by email, as well as by text or by phone call if you have opted in for notifications through those methods. These emails will come from Ballad Health Emergency Alerts, at noreply@everbridge.net. How do I sign up for facility updates? If you are not registered for emergency updates for your facility, you can click the link in the test email to update your account settings. If…

System Updates
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