Word on the street is that 7 to 10 people in Mission Hospital’s marketing department are being laid off today. That’s about half of the hospital’s marketing department.

I’m not sure what’s going on there, except that there may be a new boss who has arrived and is making changes. If there’s any industry in Asheville that’s been immune to job cuts, it’s the health care industry.

Don’t forget that just last week, Mission was named a top 15 hospital in the U.S.

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39 Comments

  1. if people really think that mission cares for there employees then they are sadly mistaken mission cars about money that’s it as a former employee I have seen a lot of things get shoved under the rug patients abused and neglected senior management gets bonuses when the say there are cutting this and that if this is brought to someone in supervision attention they will start finding ways to let you go mission was a good place at one time but now in my opinion its one of the worst I will not seek any treatment there there’s good employee’s there but they have to do what supervision wants if not they will end up like a lot of people that has been let go.

  2. So Integritive got the ‘contract.’
    http://www.integritive.com/

  3. Just an additional thought here on a Monday morning: Staff Satisfaction surveys are divided by department, so it’s very easy to determine which sections have problems. Mission talks the talk of addressing the issues of the departments that rate in the third tier (unhappiest) but they only make a half-hearted effort to find the root of the problem. A good start would be to poll the staff members individually to determine specific areas of dissatisfaction, but then, that would be conducted by HR, and that would be like throwing your issues into a black hole. Mission staffers on the front lines know how to do their jobs better than any other, so rather than be concerned about personal power-grabs, leaders need to be supportive of that expertise to be successful. A real and measurable effort to find the root of staff satisfaction (perhaps by an independent third party) should be a no-brainer for Mission, whose greatest asset for patient care is its staff.

    Unprofessional temper tantrums, shouting, and finger-in-the-chest abuse from management should never be tolerated. If you have left Mission because of, or you are suffering under an intimidating, abusive or vindictive leader, like this message. Maybe the board will get the message.

    • Definitely do not care about their employees. Moral is at an all time low everywhere in that organization-no one listens to employees or cares. Those employee forums and the commitee that wants to make Mission a better place to work are a joke!

  4. Thanks, L.B. Who or what dept. would be responsible for the advertisement of a Magnet status of a hospital? I only remember internally MMH advertising something about Magnet status for a long while. It may have been they were striving to become Magnet designated.

    • Magnet Status relates to nursing governance and any number of things that nurses find desirable for employment. Would be something that would be advertised for nursing recruitment.

  5. My spouse was one of the employees laid off in this move. The entire marketing department knew this was coming for weeks. They were forewarned in November by a former employee of Ms. Timms at Caramount, who told them exactly how it would go down. First, Ms. Timms would bring in her loyal companion, and shortly thereafter the axe would fall. Sure enough, it was like a prophecy.

    Ms. Timms stopped providing work for them, choosing to outsource projects without even notifying them, and the writing was on the wall. Not exactly what anyone would call ethical, trustworthy, respectful, or acting with integrity.

    They were spared two weeks because of Merrell’s unfortunate passing, as the layoffs were scheduled to occur January 13, the day of her death. Two employees of this department even overheard members of Human Resouces discussing their fate last Friday in a restaurant right before a memorial service for Merrell, whom they worked closely with and adored. Imagine hearing the words “Outsourcing, Security and Layoffs in Community Relations” immediately before attending a service for a beloved colleague. Way to keep it classy Mission. Not only did my spouse lose a job, our 15 month old daughter lost her health care and dependent care at Mission’s Child Development Center.

    I implore someone to conduct some investigative journalism on Ms. Timms and her unethical actions, here and elsewhere. What’s going on here is shady. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mission is soon sold off to UNC Health Systems, and the gorilla would be swallowed.

    • The mistrust of HR at Mission is generally across the board, so HR staff members gossiping loudly in a public place about co-worker layoffs does not surprise me in the least.

      Nor does the hiring of someone in leadership who is intimidating and abusive. Several VPs hold that distinction (certainly not all) and they are not being held accountable by Dr. Paulus for their unMERITorious actions. Many good, professional, ethical people are being driven out of Mission for just this reason.

      And you are correct, Honst2n, Carolinas Health System or UNC Health System (not sure they want us) certainly could come in and sweep in Mission. Of course this is weighing heavily on the minds of leadership and the board. I’m not sure that would be the best for the region, but it is a reality.

      I challenge Mission to be a great deal more discerning of their hiring when it comes to leadership. Some recent choices only serve to weaken Mission and with staff morale already in the toilet, this is not the time to be vulnerable.

      • Hopefully will never adhieve magnet status-too many unhappy employees-needs to look at recruiting and retaining employees not making them feel miserable-treat us like people not production workers!

  6. In Mission HR-speak, “Rest assured, we will seek to find other roles for these staff members, subject to their preferences, skills and practical Mission opportunities. This may or may not be possible, so if an appropriate internal position cannot be identified, we will, without hesitation, treat each individual fairly in transition,” means “Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out.”

    And “…we are faced with the realization that our market has changed significantly, as have the tools and techniques used to engage our community, physicians and other caregivers. As a result, we have carefully reviewed our strategic plan and compared that with the current capacity and capabilities within the department. Unfortunately, we have determined that there is no realistic way to bridge from where we are to where we need to be, as quickly as we must,” can be boiled down to, “We have a new vice president who feels threatened and must mark her territory at whatever the cost.”

    It is ridiculous and insulting to imply that the team at Mission Marketing and Web were anything less than experienced professionals with the dedication to do whatever it would take to take Mission’s story to the region. To send 8 valuable employees to the unemployment line for the sake of one administrator’s ego is a deadly symptom of the state of administration at Mission.

    Sadly, the staff members at the bedside and all support staff are at the mercy of Mission’s fractious leadership.

    Mission’s MERIT values are Mercy, Excellence, Respect, Integrity, and Trust/Teamwork, yet staff satisfaction with administration is in the tanks. Respect, Integrity, and Trust/Teamwork are non-existent. Fortunately, there are more caring staff members than administrators who know that the real (the only) reason Mission operates is for the best care of the patient.

    • Ms. Timms, in her short time at Mission Health Systems, has worked tirelessly to circumvent policies and create a climate of intimidation. How can she explain the hiring of her loyal companion, who has little professional experience, at a six figure salary, and without posting the position on Mission’s internal network first? It was my understanding new positions needed to posted in-house first. Apparently with power and intimidation comes the ability to do whatever one pleases. I hope she sleeps well at night. Yet since she has no conscience, I’m sure she will.

  7. Missions’ Marketing Team has probably been struggling with attempting to publicly make Mission appear as a “Magnet Hospital.” Special consideration to the mass exodus of nursing and ancillary department terminations. If I were looking for a Magnet Hospital to work for , I wouldn’t only look at the requirements to BE a Magnet hospital, I would hope to be able to uncover the rate of turnover in staff within a marginal period of time. Amazing the picture that paints in a job seeking individual. How many staff are actually participating in the Clinical Ladder, that is a huge part of nurses interest and involvement when seeking a Magnet Hospital. Not to mention how many cases and what allegations are involved in the hospitals’ current active litigations that are in process.

    • To clarify, a Magnet Hospital designation only involves nursing, and Mission does not, at this time, have Magnet Hospital designation. Marketing at Mission has never been involved in Magnet.

    • ForSaleByOwner says:

      Ghostnurse1–You have the right idea; however, in the current economic climate, staff turnover rates are misleading. Since a majority of healthcare professionals are also homeowners, many are bound to this area by their mortgages. Until housing sales improve, many are “stuck” continuing to work for an organization that they would not otherwise choose. Of course, they continue to provide the excellent cares that their professional standards and work ethic command–as well as the natural desire to do well by their patients and families. However, as home sales improve…staff turnover rates will begin to reflect more accurately on the corporation. Until then, I would suggest investigating Staff Satisfaction scores.

      • Thanks, L.B. Who or what dept. would be responsible for the advertisement of a Magnet status of a hospital? I only remember internally MMH advertising something about Magnet status for a long while. It may have been they were striving to become Magnet designated.

      • I have participated in staff satisfaction survey results. Out of 6 areas under the umbrella I worked in at the time, 5 out of 6 had the lowest score possible. The area I worked in had the highest satisfaction level, but didn’t last, rapidly
        declined as did the management. I am a mrtgage holder myself. I only stated @ MMH because I was working on my 15th year there, & I loved the
        work I did.If one were to liok @ CS employee rurn over, last I heard it was somewhere around 80 employees that have left in the oast year.

        • FORSALEBYOWNER says:

          Ghostnurse1: You misunderstand. I am not saying that staff turnover rates are due to the housing crisis. I am stating that the rate of exodus will be even higher when the economy improves, enabling staff to pursue employment opportunities outside of WNC and Mission Hospitals.

          • Thanks, L.B. Who or what dept. would be responsible for the advertisement of a Magnet status of a hospital? I only remember internally MMH advertising something about Magnet status for a long while. It may have been they were striving to become Magnet designated.

          • FSBO,

            The way major corporations manipulate ever ything in their business practices, the exododus / turnover, will later be construed to appear completely opposite of the truth. People may move away re: housing market, but just as many, probably more, will infux to Ashe. seeking a lovely life & job at the hospital. I feel things will continue
            to be really bad there, makes me sad. Hopefully
            the new, fresh employees will quickly see, “somethings wring wirh this place.”

      • FSBO….it has been a couple of years, but guess what? I too am a mortgage owner tied to the Asheville area in that sense. More than that , I am tied to Avl because my child loves the home she lives in. There are other places to work, maybe not as convenient to get too, but there are places.
        In hindsight, I vividly remember the lack of leadership, along with their underhanded, hateful, most unprofessional and devastating techniques used while attempting to destroy livelihoods. Matter of fact, I wrote it all down, reads like a novel. It has been being read like a novel, repeatedly gone over with a fine-tooth comb, by someone in a law office whom will be able to get it to Superior Court. Employees, ex-employees, lawyers in and out of town, not everyone is not afraid of Mission and their wrath, all the way up and thru Guyette, Paulus and the hospitals’ legal team.
        Everyone does not make money their main concern in life, while treating people dirty, as they are contorting situations and spewing hateful words with matching tones. No, some people just cannot help themselves for feeling they have no choice but to stand up against pure evil, for it’s the only right thing to do.
        The destruction Mission Hospitals and Diamond have caused throughout my family, is now going to be recognized by the powers that be.
        I pray God, whom is the greatest power I know of and believe in, will be the Judge here, and the Judge of those peoples actions, on the OTHER side of this life.
        His Master Plan Will come full circle, and we may not even be able to comprehend even microscopic sections of it when it’s done. But for now, my faith keeps me strong and moving forward, fulfilling my duties and lessons on this side of life.
        See you next year MMH, face to face again.

  8. What’s really going on with Missions’ Marketing and Web Services in the past 2-3 years, uh… nothing. The website remains unusually the same I was noticing earlier tonight, thinking, this is OLD headlines and subjects. The biggest screw up on the website I have noticed over the past few years, was the decision and action to make inaccessible to employees from their homes, etc.,”Policies and Procedures” that really had guts to them. Wonder why that was done? I used it before when out on FMLA and it was extremely helpful as a MMH employee. Think they don’t want to allow employees the chance to investigate P&P when they are actually away from work and have the time to do so and concentrate on the P&P.

    • If you really believe the Web Team was able to make decisions about permitting you access from home to The “Policies and Procedures,” you are severely misguided and quite naive. Wake up Ghost Nurse–the directors, management and legal teams make those kinds of decisions.

      • Thanks, L.B. Who or what dept. would be responsible for the advertisement of a Magnet status of a hospital? I only remember internally MMH advertising something about Magnet status for a long while. It may have been they were striving to become Magnet designated.

      • I wasn’t attempting to imply Marketing & Web depts. were responsible for the Web page sucking, or the Marketing dept. The underlying thoughts I didn’t make clear, were directed @ the Execs of hospital. HR & Risk Management I’m
        sure are responsible. I am not naive, I’ve been there long enough to know mostly how they roll around there.I said I WAS WONDERING WHY P&P
        were not available on the website anymore. Then went on to say how the employees weren’t allowed to access & dig into P&P from home. So honst2, read it again in a different light, when YOU wake up : ) Sorry for typos below, mobile will not cooperate & allow access to that area, ironic, same as P&P issue.

        on to imply employees were being kept from being able ro access & dig into P&P while @ home. Read it in a different light

        • Now that you’ve made underlying thoughts much more clear, I understand your point and agree. I understand that it is extremely difficult to convey the subtleties of our thoughts in this type of forum; since you have clarified your point, you clearly do not think what I implied, and thus you are not naive. The questions you ask are insightful and worth discussing. I hope you can continue to press upper management on these types of issues, although it doesn’t appear that they much care. All the best in your efforts.

    • Thanks, L.B. Who or what dept. would be responsible for the advertisement of a Magnet status of a hospital? I only remember internally MMH advertising something about Magnet status for a long while. It may have been they were striving to become Magnet designated.

      • Remember that Magnet status is related to nursing only. This has been an ongoing process at Mission to gain recognition as a Magnet hospital. You cannot advertise something that you do not yet have.

  9. Here is the letter that was sent to the staff at the hospital:

    January 26, 2012

    Dear Colleagues:

    We wanted to make you aware of changes made today in our Marketing and Web Services team.

    Over the past several months, we have taken the opportunity to reevaluate our Marketing and Web Services function. Although we recognize and sincerely appreciate that this department has made many contributions to Mission Health over the years, we are faced with the realization that our market has changed significantly, as have the tools and techniques used to engage our community, physicians and other caregivers. As a result, we have carefully reviewed our strategic plan and compared that with the current capacity and capabilities within the department. Unfortunately, we have determined that there is no realistic way to bridge from where we are to where we need to be, as quickly as we must. As a result, it is necessary to fundamentally change our approach to Marketing and Web Services to meet our current needs and prepare for an increasingly complex future.

    These changes will impact eight of our colleagues within the Marketing department. Impacting even one of our team members is something that we don’t take lightly, and to be sure, this change is admittedly painful. Rest assured, we will seek to find other roles for these staff members, subject to their preferences, skills and practical Mission opportunities. This may or may not be possible, so if an appropriate internal position cannot be identified, we will, without hesitation, treat each individual fairly in transition. Additionally, we will attempt to assist these individuals with external placements. We ask that you be supportive of these colleagues during this challenging period.

    With respect to short to medium term marketing support, we will obtain a number of specialized external resources and services from our local business community. These firms have the requisite skills, capacity and oversight to meet our immediate needs, as we work to become increasingly self-sufficient over time. It is our intention to rebuild many or all of these services internally within the next 12-18 months.

    While we truly lament the difficulty of the required change, we believe that these changes will help us provide comprehensive marketing services that will effectively meet the needs of our patients and our community. Our marketing group is fully committed to providing superior service and will deliver a best-in-class marketing product that will support our goal of service to our community.

    With respect,

    Jill Hoggard Green, Ph.D., RN
    President and Chief Operating Officer
    Mission Hospital

  10. First we lose Merrell to cancer, now we lose the rest of the dept a week after her memorial. I guess connections with the local media don’t matter to Mission anymore.

    • Not surprised says:

      Yeah. Mission at their very core as an organization doesn’t really care about others. When you get to be the monopoly that they are – they lose heart and ALWAYS make decisions in THEIR best interest. They really don’t care about our community – just their bottom line. They will crush those that yesterday they “partnered” with if it ultimately helps their strategy of domination.

      Some great nurses and care givers – but at the very core of this organization – terribly rotten. A completely strategy of using, abusing, and stepping on anyone they need to have their way.

      A bully would be a complement.

      • FYI re monopoly: the regional hospitals that joined Mission over the last years were under threat of closing because of their financial situation. They were not scooped up by Mission. It was join or die. I personally would like to keep our healthcare in the region and not have to visit my Aunt Fanny in Charlotte when they fly over Mission to take her there.

  11. Not true – actually the marketing team is responsible for connecting patients to doctors and healthcare. This is actually a new tactic that the successor of Janet Moore is engaging in.

    Rowena Buffett Timms (who was hired from outside of Asheville after the previous situation with Janet Moore back in October) is the architect behind this plan, and is notifying employees today that their jobs no longer exist.

    Since her appointment at Mission, Ms. Buffet-Timms has created a culture of secrecy and ruthless intimidation of her staff. In fact, numerous compliance and HR complaints have surfaced regarding her management style and business interests. This hasn’t prevented Ms. Buffet-Timms from finding a way to hire people from an agency in which she has a vested financial interest in (Crawford & Company from SC – http://www.crawfordstrategy.com), and determining ways to outsource existing jobs as a means of cost-reduction (all the while lining her pocket with some form of financial return in addition to the six figure salary she is already receiving from Mission).

    This is a common tactic of hers – she’s engaged in this same approach at the previous two hospitals she’s been in. Perhaps the executive team did hire her as an outside “hatchet-man” to preserve their bottom line?

    I fear this movement towards systemic outsourcing of Mission positions will continue, only adding to the growing unemployment of Asheville. More is to be expected from the largest employer in our area, particularly after the CEO Dr. Paulus recently prided himself on Mission’s Thompson Reuter’s award (in which he himself stated in a video: “if you are not proud of this award, then you are on the wrong team” – see: http://scope.connectwithmhs.org/uncategorized/congratulations-on-top-15-ranking-from-dr-paulus/)

    • I guess the Mission Marketing team, who helped him prepare and promote this message, were on the “wrong team”…and will be joining the growing number of unemployed Asheville citizens struggling to find new work, while outsiders from the community benefit – particularly Rowena Buffet Timms.

      • Aren’t you a little surprised? They’d hire from outside the area?

        • Hiring from outside the hospital seems to be Missions newest trend. Seems a corporation the size of MMH system would be intelligient enough to hire from within. It costs alot of money to hire and orient a new staff member.The terminated,once existent inside staff already had basic knowledge of the needs of their department. The Diamond bunch that was contracted in to manage Copestone recently for the next EIGHT years,was hired from a very expensive Medical Consultant Group.Upper management and their advisors are literally throwing money out the window by hiring from outside.The group hired into CS are sloppy and have very incompetent work ethics, I’m sure at a very high pricetag. Missions’ past practices,including Bob Burgin CEO at the helm, along with HR and in – house management, appears to have been the heyday era of Missions cohesiveness. Bob Burgin, Mission needs you.

      • Anti-Mission says:

        This is another show of how Mission really doesn’t care for this community.

  12. If this is the case, I’d say that the marketing dept. had way too many people to begin with. A hospital the size of Mission simply does not require that large a staff. Logic tells me that this is the “empire” that former marketing head Janet Moore created simply being dismantled by the hospital administration.

    • 8 people is too large a marketing department for an organization the size of mission? Logic tells me you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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