MHC 2013 Award Winners: Recruitment and Retention


Recruitment and Retention

UMHS Departmental Interventions

University of Michigan Health System

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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The University of Michigan Health System Cancer Center developed a proactive workforce planning team to overcome the lack of attention often given to recruiting and retention when these responsibilities are spread across multiple departments.

Leaders of this project created a team that would work across department leadership that located the root causes of the low employee engagement scores, held focus groups with groups of staff from different roles, and developed action plans to build more teamwork and have regular communication with all clinical staff.

The group also created “Breakfast with Marcy,” a quarterly breakfast for small groups with the Chief Department Administrator to discuss issues and measure how many of these suggestions are addressed.

The team also designed a program to better recognize outstanding effort by staff by providing training and mentoring for supervisors, a Cancer Center Newsletter, and six bulletin boards to share news and information, and developed three informal recognition programs.

The results for this program showed impressive results, with a 5 percent increase in communication scores and a 4 percent increase in willingness to recommend the workplace – an impressive achievement.

By structuring this program within a department (rather than relying on external consultants), and by using existing members of the department leadership, this program model allows individual department leaders to directly measure and invest resources to sustain the program.

Improving the Cardiovascular Patient Experience

McLaren-Northern Michigan

Petoskey, Michigan


McLaren Northern Michigan (a 2009 Building Michigan’s Health Care Workforce Award Winner) sought to improve patient care at reduced cost by consolidating two private cardiology groups and a cardiothoracic surgery group into an integrated heart and vascular surgery practice.

When planning for the consolidated practice, the recruiting needs rose quickly to the top of the list. Eight new providers: two cardiovascular surgeons, one interventional cardiologist, one vascular surgeon, five clinical cardiologists, and five additional physician assistants or nurse practitioners would be needed in the small rural resort town.

The McLaren team developed a “Come Home to Northern Michigan” multi-media recruiting plan, using direct mail, email, and social media to promote the benefits of living in the Petoskey community along with the benefits of the hospital’s facilities and services.

This campaign successfully recruited all twelve members of the Heart and Vascular Service line, and the department used the same program to recruit a total 64 providers.

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