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When Kathleen LaRaia led the consolidation of Munson Healthcare’s 15 cancer care departments into a comprehensive community cancer center, she knew she had her work cut out for her. “The workplace and cultural environment were going to change significantly,” says LaRaia, MS, Executive Director of Oncology Services at Munson in Traverse City, Michigan. “We had to determine how to help staff members best accept the upcoming changes.”
But when planning for the transition, LaRaia didn’t fully recognize just how much foundation-laying she had to do. When she held the first of two information sessions for the 160 staff members who would be relocating to the new cancer center, she took note of employees’ perplexed expressions as they entered the room. “They didn’t recognize anyone,” says LaRaia. “I saw the siloed mindset that they had developed. They didn’t know who else was involved in taking care of their patients. I didn’t expect that.”
Bringing into one building all of the individuals involved in the many facets of oncology care at Munson required LaRaia to take into account the importance of promoting cultural resiliency when planning for large-scale institutional change. On Friday, March 22, LaRaia will share her story about the creation of Munson Healthcare’s comprehensive community cancer care center at the Clinician Resiliency and Workforce Issues Workshop, part of the ACCC 45th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit in Washington, D.C. Here is a preview of some of the lessons learned that she will be discussing.
Three years after cutting the ribbon on Munson’s consolidated cancer center, LaRaia has collected a wealth of best practices to share. At her Deep Dive Workshop, she will address how the lessons learned at Munson can apply to other organizations facing significant cultural shifts. “There is no textbook for doing this,” says LaRaia. “You have to learn to confront issues as they arise.”