Incoming HFM President Patti Dollarhide accepts the red "hotline” phone from outgoing president Lynne Ometer.
HFM CEO Mike Giuffrida hands the "Spirit of HFM” award to Chris Brady
Mary Keysor presents the "Operator of the Year” award to Ometer.
Your mission depends on flawless-execution. The biggest danger is becoming "tasksaturated,” unable to recognize immediate threats because of excessive attention-grabbing demands and unmanaged priorities. The outcome if you fail to manage the situation? Don't ask—failure is not an option.
Healthcare foodservice directors might not readily compare their jobs to those of F-18 fighter pilots, but the parallels, perils and daily challenges have a lot more in common than you'd think, at least according to the keynote speakers at the annual HFM (National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management) National Training Conference, held last month in Naples, Florida.
The opening presentation, by Harrier pilot Kyle "Cruiser” Holland, offered the audience of over 700 his "Afterburner” strategies for coping with stress, managing-difficult missions and ensuring "flawless execution”, set the stage for three days of HFM operational workshops, leadership training sessions and networking exchanges. The presentation was accompanied by live fighter-pilot aerial footage, re-created video case studies of disastrous mission failures and high-impact mission management advice.
"Task saturation is the silent killer,” Holland emphasized, warning that a top performing manager simply cannot afford to lose focus on his or her missions or planned course of action. The best coping strategies for high-stress environments?
"Effective use of strategic checklists, continuous crosschecks with operating metrics, and the mutual support of wingmen,” he concluded. "Never, never leave your wingman—it is by ensuring mutual support that we always accomplish the mission.”
Finding the Leader Inside
With an overall conference theme of "Finding the Leader Inside,” a variety of subsequent sessions focused on leadership skills and techniques. These included presentations from leading hospitality industry executives from companies like McDonalds Corp., the Ritz Carlton Learning Institute, IHOP Corp., and Buca, Inc.
Professional development coaches offered sessions on developing executive charisma, team-building and "Followership.” And in a unique breakout session, John Hasse, PhD, curator of American Music at The Smithsonian, reviewed "Leadership Lessons from the Jazz Masters,” a thought-provoking analysis of the creativity that can be unleashed if team dynamics are well managed.
The conference also featured numerous case-study presentations from attending operators that applied leadership theory to practical challenges in healthcare foodservice settings. Among them: "Spotlight on Innovation” presentations by Paul Deignan of St. Rose Dominican Hospital (see related story in the September FM); Beverly Adamson from Grey Bruce Health Services and Major Guy Desmond, of the Brooke Army Medical Center. Trade media "Headliner” presentations included case studies from Kris Schroeder of Swedish Medical Center, Joanne Shearer of Heart Hospital, and Tony Almeida of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (see cover story, September FM).
"Stormin'” Lynne Ometer: Mission Accomplished
At the organization's annual meeting, outgoing president Lynne Ometer pointed to a list of "mission accomplished” goals that had been reached over the past 12 months. Among them: a wide range of networking meetings, webinars and teleseminars that HFM used to provide training to hundreds of regional members across the country on subjects ranging from leadership to hospital room service to achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Ometer also emphasized HFM's continued development of its successful "toolbox” programs, noting new programs to provide HFM members with tools to measure patient satisfaction, more effectively manage cash and pricing in their operations, and obtain more attractive equipment leasing terms for modernization of their facilities.
At the HFM awards banquet, the Angelo Gagliano Operator of the Year award was presented to Ometer, of Emory University Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. The "Spirit of HFM Award” was presented to Romano Gatland CEO Christopher Brady.
The group also expressed its thanks to 2004 HFM Conference chair Sharon Cox and to co-chair Georgie Shockey, who received the group's President's Award for her contributions over many years.