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Message from the CEO

Chuck Gijanto

Chuck Gijanto
Interim President and CEO

May 26, 2022

We Are Oneida Health!

As I continue my time here, I have begun to appreciate even more so, the culture that is Oneida Health. Last week I was fortunate to have been able to get to a one-day conference with all of the CEOs in Upstate NY and it highlighted how special Oneida is, even more. Between the Covid “hangover,” short staffing, supply chain shortages, and on and on, every single healthcare organization is struggling mightily, and every one of us is losing money, in essence, we are all dealing with the same thing.

So, why is Oneida different one might ask? Because there is a resilience and a spirit here, one that I haven’t felt in other healthcare organizations. Many of my colleagues expressed concerns about the above issues, greater than I think we are experiencing here. The larger organizations are so complex and are scrambling to patch it together and many of the smaller organizations do not have the resources that we have. So in essence, while the grass always looks greener on the other side, it oftentimes isn’t. I would say our grass is pretty green.

Do we have issues that need a lot of work? Yes, of course, we do, and so does every other one of our neighboring organizations, perhaps even worse. What I’m finding at OH is a commitment to our community, our coworkers, and our patients and residents which is extraordinarily strong. We need to capitalize on that and separate ourselves from them. We are a perfect size and have the right people to be agile and fleet of foot. We are intent on making this the best organization to work for, to build our loyalty, and take us forward to new and better places.

One area I have observed where we have work to do is looking at the three key components of OH, Extended Care Facility (ECF), the Medical Practices Network (MPN), and the Acute Care Facility (ACF).  While we are one organization, we really operate as three moving parts. Clearly, the work we do is different in each, yet we share a common purpose. I see a huge opportunity for us in getting a more common understanding of our mission and how we really and truly are one organization. We are dealing with the same patients and residents, we have a clear commitment to Oneida and the Madison County catchment area, and we want Oneida Health to be the choice for them. To truly optimize this, we need to recognize that we are working for the same purpose and that folks who work in one of the “other” parts of OH, are our teammates and coworkers, just as much as the person who may share the same department or unit we do. When we get to the point where we see each other in this way, our actions will follow suit and the care and coordination of care will increase in a big way, our patients and residents win, and we win. We have much work to do to get there, but we are committed to that as I know Jonathan Schiller the incoming CEO will be.

There is no us and them, only us. We all have a key role in this, and once we understand each other better this will improve. So I ask you all to reflect on this, discuss it with your coworkers, managers, and supervisors, and let’s begin to see where this can go!

On a similar but related note, we as a management team just watched a four-minute video produced by the Cleveland Clinic on empathy. I highly recommend it and am including the video above. I cannot imagine anyone watching this and not being profoundly impacted. I have watched it over the past 6-7 years easily 50 times and it still impacts me. If you do nothing else in the coming days, please consider investing 4 minutes of your time watching and absorbing the message of the video. Any feedback on it would be very much appreciated.


Chuck Gijanto
Interim President and CEO

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