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Posted June 23, 2014
All Children’s Launches Culture Statement in Style

The auditorium of the Outpatient Care Center was filled to capacity Friday afternoon like a crowd ready to rock at the Trop. There were even bags of Crackerjacks, bowls of peanuts and rousing words from Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton.

The baseball touches formed a perfect backdrop for the debut of a new part of the All Children's team - a culture statement that identifies the core values and guiding philosophy of the organization.

A host of speakers hit it out of the park, underscoring the importance of defining - and living - those principles on a daily basis.

The full statement, the result of a campus-wide collaborative process over the past year, was displayed on a large sign in the front of the room, along with another board enumerating ACH values:  honesty and integrity, inspiration and hope, collaboration and teamwork, inquiry and innovation, compassion and respect, responsibility and safety.

All Children's president and physician in chief Jonathan Ellen, M.D., led off by telling the gathering: "You look at the greatest companies in this country and they are very explicit about what their culture is. The reason is culture is so important is that, first, it helps you sustain a great place to work. And the other thing about a good culture is that you can actually weather very difficult times and moments and put yourself in the right direction."

That set the stage for guest speaker Shelton, who playfully bantered with Dr. Ellen to the amusement of the audience about some of the Rays' hitting woes this season.  Shelton stressed to the crowd the importance of the strong, cohesive organizational culture of the Rays is crucial in helping handle this difficult stretch - just as it has played such a key role in the club's success (such as its record-breaking September surge in 2011).

"If you look at the standings, things aren't good for us - we're struggling and we've been struggling," he said. "But our culture has not changed. And it will not change. If our culture changes, then we're selling ourselves short. The miraculous run we had in '11 doesn't happen without our culture, nor will the run we're going to make this year - that no one's ever done."

"We live in this community and we're very proud of this hospital," Shelton added. "There are a few things I never take off. I have a cross that has my kids' initials on it and I have an All Children's wrist band. Your culture here is very good."

Other speakers included Brigitta Mueller, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Patient Safety Officer; Chief Financial Officer Nancy Templin; Darrell Lee, Director of Digital and Interactive Services; and - via taped comments in a video about ACH culture that culminated the event  - Vice President  of Human Resources Jay Kuhns.

"I thought it was great," said Laura Melhorn, an office assistant in the neurology department. "It was exciting to hear the speaker from the Rays, and it's really exciting to hear about our culture."