Leadership at Southcentral Foundation

This is the first in a series of articles about the learning opportunities available at the Nuka System of Care Conference.

Leadership is a crucial component of any organization, and this is especially true in health care. Good leadership can manage change and ensure the effective operation of the organization, making care workers’ and other employees’ jobs much easier. But what are the qualities that have helped Southcentral Foundation transform our system to provide value-based, holistic care?

At SCF, leadership principles are embodied in the word OWNERSHIP, which reflects customer-owner self-determination. These principles are:

Operate from the strength of Alaska Native cultures and traditions of leadership.

Will stand in the gap to align and achieve the mission and vision.

Nurture an environment of trust that encourages buy-in, systematic growth and change.

Encourage ownership of responsible, calculated risk taking.

Respect and grow the skills of future generations to drive initiatives and improvements.

Share and listen to personal life stories in order to be transparent and accountable.

Hedge people in by creating a safe environment where spiritual, ethical and personal beliefs are honored.

Improve for the future by learning from the past, giving away credit and celebrating achievements.

Practice and encourage self-improvement believing there is good in every person.

These principles come from the customer-owners SCF serves; SCF regularly talks to them and solicits their feedback to ensure that the organization is working for them. These leadership principles shape SCF’s corporate goals and guide SCF’s corporate planning and decision making. Although SCF’s leadership principles are derived from Alaska Native and American Indian values, based on the community SCF serves, this kind of inclusive, customer-driven approach can be beneficial at many organizations. SCF has nearly 20 years of experience to share about the benefits this leadership approach can have for the effective operation of the organization and the health of the community.

At the upcoming Nuka System of Care conference, several sessions about Southcentral Foundation’s approach to leadership are available. These sessions detail the basic principles of leadership at SCF and how these principles are applied in the operation of the organization. One session, led by SCF’s President/CEO, gives a broad overview of SCF’s approach to leadership, while other sessions detail other leadership topics such as the strategic planning process; ethics, compliance, and quality assurance; and how SCF manages change and encourages innovation.