Whole System Transformation
How does SCF work together with the Native Community to achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness?
Native Community members recall the old health care system where individuals would wait overnight in hallways for basic health services and felt like a number instead of a person – explaining their ailment to someone new every visit and sometimes multiple times during one visit. This is not what the Native Community wanted and SCF acknowledged the old system needed to change. “You can’t fix just one part of a system and expect big changes, to achieve change on the scale that was needed, you need to address the whole system” explains SCF Vice President of Organizational Development and Innovation Michelle Tierney.
SCF’s arrangement with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to take over the entire primary care system in 1998, and to co-own and co-manage the Alaska Native Medical Center in 1999, presented Alaska Native people with a tremendous opportunity. After the historic transfer of ownership, Alaska Natives receiving care became the managers of their own health system and systematic changes began.
SCF recognizes the value of customer-owner feedback with over 15 listening posts. The feedback that is heard is used to continuously improve SCF’s services. SCF understands the importance of customer-owners’ input from partner tribes and organizations. In support of this SCF created advisory committees and established Tribal councils and SCF Elder Council to gain input.
The Native Community and SCF shifted a health care paradigm. It went from health care professionals driving decisions to customer-owners driving decisions. The change is reflected in the prioritization of relationships.
To ensure high-quality health care delivery, SCF had to invert the organizational culture and mindset. SCF implemented corporate goals and initiatives that aligned with Native Community values. At the center of every decision and practice at SCF is customer-ownership and relationships – from SCF’s customer experience standards to executive leadership principles. This applies across the five key work systems: medical, behavioral, Tribal, dental and health care support.
SCF looks for opportunities for improvement, incorporating customer-owner feedback into decisions at all levels, and will continue working with the Native Community to improve health care.