An interview with Kevin Myatt

Kevin Myatt is Yale New Haven Health Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Why do organizations have written mission, vision and values statements?

A mission reflects an organization's purpose — why it exists. A vision statement reflects its aspirations — what it wants to achieve. And values define the behaviors that guide the decisions and actions required to achieve the mission and vision.

Why has YNHHS updated its mission, vision and values?

YNHHS decided to review and refine its mission and vision this year to better reflect our identity and outlook as a health system. They are also more concise and easier to understand, plus unify us and create a shared culture.

Why has YNHHS decided to do this now?

Back in the late 1990s when Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals came together as a system, they behaved as independent organizations organizations with a common parent, Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation. Over time, we have strengthened our relationships and integrated many of our departments and functions in a very positive way. Largely due to the integration of Epic, we have matured as a system and that is expressed in our new mission, vision and values.

Are the mission, vision and values the same for the system as for the three hospitals?

Yes, we now have a single mission, vision and values for the health system and each hospital, as well as Northeast Medical Group (NEMG). They are really not new beliefs, rather they are expressed in new language which more clearly identifies what we believe in and how we behave.

What is our mission and how has it changed?

Our new mission is: YNHHS is committed to innovations and excellence in patient care, teaching, research and service to our communities. This brings the system mission more in line with what have always been the individual hospital missions. Patient care is first and foremost, and our three hospitals have each served our community for generations. As part of an academic healthcare system, teaching and research reach each hospital.

What is our vision and how has it changed?

Our new vision is: YNHHS enhances the lives of those we serve by providing access to integrated, high-value, patient-centered care in collaboration with others who share our values. This brings the system philosophically in step with the hospitals, physicians and other caregivers — enhancing the lives of those we serve.

What do you mean when you say "our organizational values?"

Our values reflect what we expect of ourselves and our organization. Our values are expressed through our behaviors. Again, simplicity is key. We have defined our values in five words: patient-centered, accountability, integrity, respect and compassion. How did we come up with these new values? In 2012, more than 7,600 employees, leaders and physicians — including representatives from the Yale School of Medicine — took part in a system-wide cultural values survey. The survey asked about personal values, organizational values at that time, and values in a desired culture. Three of the five values — patient- centered, accountability and compassion — were universally selected across all delivery networks, and two — integrity and respect — were among the most highly rated for a "desired culture."

Now that we have a new mission, vision and values, how do we put them into action?

Our mission, vision and values must be lived each and every day. They will become part of our decision- making, new employee orientation, training, our policies and publications, and internal and external initiatives.

What is the most important takeaway message from this exercise?

Despite our growth and the changes in the delivery of health care, we are still in the business of taking care of the people who place their lives in our hands. Our newly defined mission, vision and values really helps us understand who we are and why we do what we do. But we have not changed. We are still providing the same services to our patients and our communities that we have for many, many years.