May 31, 2022

Rich Lloyd and Bob Ravenscroft

Topic
Healthcare

Bob Ravenscroft: 

You can’t control people; you need to understand them.

Announcer:

Welcome to Agency for Change, a podcast from KidGlov that brings you the stories of changemakers who are actively working to improve our communities. In every episode, we’ll meet with people who are making a lasting impact in the places we call home.

Lyn Wineman:

My mother was born at Bryan Memorial Hospital. I was also born at Bryan Memorial Hospital, but I am not telling you the year. My kids were all born at the same place, which was then known as Bryan LGH. And later this year, my grandson will be born at the same place now known as Bryan Health. Hey, everyone. This is Lyn Wineman, president and chief strategist at KidGlov. Welcome to another episode of The Agency for Change podcast. And yes, I did just announce to the world that I am, in fact, going to be a grandmother. It’s pretty exciting news. I also shared with you our long-term family relationship with a health system that has had a major impact on the people, families and communities it serves. Today’s guests are Bob Ravenscroft, Bryan Health vice president of advancement and chief development officer, and Rich Lloyd, president at Bryan College of Health Sciences and executive president at Hastings College. Rich and Bob, welcome to the podcast.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It’s great to be here, Lyn.

Rich Lloyd:

Hey, Lyn. It’s great. Thank you so much for the invitation.

Lyn Wineman:

I am just really looking forward to this conversation today. And Bob, I want to start with you, because I have just shared my family’s four generations of experience with Bryan’s labor and delivery services, but I know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Could you give us a high-level overview of Bryan Health?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Well, first of all, thanks for your loyalty and returning to trust us for your family’s care Lyn.

Lyn Wineman:

Absolutely.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So a high level overview, yeah, it’s a lot more than just delivering babies, but it’s a good place to start.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And just going back to 2021, that’s the most recent complete numbers that I could share with you. But last year, we delivered 3,391 babies,

Lyn Wineman:

Holy cow.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah, a lot, had over 31,000 admissions to the hospital. And then in the outpatient arena, over 1.1 million patient encounters, touching about 195,000 unique lives. Obviously, some of those people have come back for different levels of care, but-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah, that’s a big number.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It is a big number, and I think it’s reflective of some of the growth that has certainly occurred. I think a lot of times people just think of Bryan, they think of Bryan Medical Center, but we actually have 10 different system amenities. We’re now up to five hospitals, of course, six locations because Bryan Medical Center is at the two locations here in Lincoln, outreached over 50 different sites through the community, 6,600 employees now, 1,400 providers. So it’s really a growing place, and we’ve just been glad to be along for the ride, serving the people of this region.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s fantastic. Yet when I come in as a grandmother, I’m going to feel like that is the only patient you have in the entire health system.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Absolutely. I’m glad you said that because I think that’s one of the things that really makes us unique, amongst some other things. Certainly, the local Nebraska governance distinguishes us a little bit, but yes, every patient is unique to us and they are the most important patient to us at that time.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s fantastic. So healthcare is an ever-changing field. That actually seems like a huge cliche, but I know there have been major changes since my mother’s birth, and she’d be very angry if I told you the year of her birth also, but what are some of the big changes on the horizon for healthcare?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Ooh, boy. It’s so dang dynamic. I would imagine the changes that have occurred since your mother kind of mirror what’s coming, but with a few nuances. I think I would start with technology and security, and certainly a centralized medical record and all the latest gizmos our providers want to work on. Bryan’s always been leading edge in that regard, but the security thing is really growing for us. We’re a daily target for cyber-attacks.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Bots just from all over the country are coming at health systems. And then just the safety of our staff and of our patients is changing. There’s a huge prevalence of weapons out there. Substance abuse and mental health issues remain some of our identified things in the community health needs assessment. So when you have an emergency department like ours that sees thousands and thousands of patients a year, you see all of society’s shortcomings coming-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… to our door. So I think that’s where I would start, but other things on the horizon, certainly just from that time from when your mom might have been born, there will continue to be exponential treatment advances, robotics is growing, pharmaceuticals. I mean, heck, just think back to the pandemic, to be able to develop a therapeutic treatment and-

Lyn Wineman:

Right.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… a vaccine, and then therapeutic treatment so rapidly, pretty dang cool. A.I. is certainly going to influence us to help us redesign care a little bit. And I’d say redesigning care is going to be a big one, because… And I’m sure Rich touch on this later, there are immense workforce challenges-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… facing this. I think one thing that’s interesting to me though, is through all of that, we’ve now entered a time where life expectancy is actually decreasing, and a lot of that has been driven by the pandemic. And I guess one thing I would say on the pandemic, I’d say one thing that’s really emerging for health systems like us is the role you need to provide in health education. And it’s getting more complex. I think very early on, we realized, with the pandemic, we had to jump into an education void as public health got their sea legs.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And of course, we had politicians confusing things all over the place. So we really jumped into to that role. But what we learned is, we couldn’t connect with certain segments of the population the way we needed. So we’re really going to invest in how do we do that better, certainly. Actually, on my team, we’ve just hired two bilingual people that Spanish is a primary language for one, secondary for another, just so we can understand different constituencies and be more authentic in how we reach them for not only encouraging them to consider receiving care here, but to get them vital information. I don’t want to belabor it, but we learned one thing in the pandemic. We delivered some content with a board member of ours, Pablo Cervantes, and then Dr. Dayana Patera, both spoke fluent Spanish. And when we delivered this vaccination awareness kind of… It was a Facebook live event. It was picked up in like eight different states.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And so what that told us, it wasn’t just a Nebraska issue. This is a societal issue, and we have a responsibility, I think, to be better in that area. So we’re investing in that type of thing. So from A.I. treatment options, advances in technology, threats, to some respect, it’s just a bang dynamic place that it’s always changing.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah, that’s a lot. I’m glad you brought up the communication aspect, because we, at KidGlov work on a number of community health campaigns as well. And during COVID, during early COVID, we looked to what you were putting out at Bryan Health on social media. You had some really great messaging that came out. So thank you for that. I think that was really helpful to the community.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It was exhausting. I never thought I’d have to serve as a press secretary for a 140 press conferences or briefings, but-

Lyn Wineman:

That’s a lot of press conferences.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It was, but it was actually fun. We tried to answer every question, and boy, did we get some interesting ones. 

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And we even tried to kind of inform the anti-vaccination community, and certainly masks were controversial. We tried our best to engage gracefully even with those, because we were trying to educate along the way, but it was an interesting forum to jump to the exact place where so much misinformation was coming from.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

You actually use those same vehicles to try to break through the clutter with some truth and honesty as well.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Thanks for the compliment though.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah. Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

We don’t want to have to do it again.

Lyn Wineman:

I hope not. What a crazy couple of years. So Bob, we’ve talked about some really big numbers, I mean, things you’re doing in the community. We’ve talked about all this great technology and new things. With all of that, I think many people don’t realize that Bryan Health is a nonprofit organization. Could you talk about the importance of that status and how it impacts the care you deliver?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah. I think the best way to explain it, it’s kind of a social compact that nonprofit health systems have. There is some tax relief, not all. We do still pay a lot of property taxes, but there’s some relief there. But in exchange, we treat everybody, on the hospital level, we treat everybody who comes into our doors. And in 2021, just the charity debt or the charity care, which is outright free care or the bad debt, it’s people who can’t pay their full bill, was $42 million.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And then you add on top of that to another $85 million of where Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover the cost of delivering care 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. So there’s an enormous financial benefit to just being a nonprofit. And I think another thing that is different, and people don’t understand is we’re a nonprofit. Admittedly, we’re a very well healed nonprofit with a lot of revenue each year. Certainly, the things I just mentioned dig into that, but we don’t have shareholders.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So where the private sector will call it profit margin, we call it operating margin, and whatever we kind of earn in a year, that informs the following year’s capital budget and operational budget. It’s how you can reinvest into technology and our facilities and the care team that takes care of people. So it’s really prior year performances that allow you to reinvest into the community and services they’ll need in subsequent years. So one thing, and it’s really weird. I’m glad you asked this question, Lyn, because people do misunderstand it. It really works here. There’s a lot of nonprofit health systems out there, but when you’re, what we call Nebraska owned and governed, we really kind of look at ourselves as just the present based stewards here.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And our trustees and the community are the owners of the health system.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Everything we do is with the patient and the communities we serve in mind.

Lyn Wineman:

I can tell you, if you were for profit and you had shareholders, they would be a little bit grouchy about that $42 million of charity care, right?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah, they would want that in dividends.

Lyn Wineman:

They would want that in dividends. And so I think that’s really an important aspect. I think another misperception that people who are not in healthcare do not realize is that Medicare and Medicaid do fall short. While they provide payment, they fall short in covering your expenses, and so that amount of money has to be made up as well.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yep. And it’s interesting as… And honestly, we’re self-insured here, so we understand what it’s like to have to pay premiums, to insure your people.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And what’s really putting pressure on health systems now. And I know that it’s not going to be a sympathetic message to some that have to pay the premiums.

Lyn Wineman:

Right.

Bob Ravenscroft:

But commercial payers are starting to squeeze towards those government paying rates.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So it is getting harder and harder to have the money to reinvest in the technology that I think people expect when they come to a place like Bryan.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So beyond all of the things you just mentioned, and even beyond the delivery of healthcare, Bob, can you talk to us a bit more about the significant impact Bryan Health has on the community through of variety of things, as well as being a major employer?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah. I think kind of one more thing on the kind of the charity care angle, one thing we’ve made a commitment to, a couple things we’ve made a commitment to, but in our Bryan physician network, its primarily primary care physicians, but we’ve made a commitment to accept Medicaid patients, and not all primary care physicians do that in their practice, so we think that’s important. I think one of the things that we’re really proud of is we pretty much have an unrivaled commitment to behavioral health and substance abuse.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And in the past, I think five community health needs assessments, they’re done every three years, behavioral health has been one of the top four priority health needs for the community in all of them.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And not only is it unrivaled, but we have both inpatient and outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment facilities. We have a dedicated mental health emergency department, and we’re the only health system in Nebraska that does that. And the reason they don’t, it kind of ties back to the financial discussion we’re having.

Lyn Wineman:

Yep.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It’s tough for people to make that work financially.

Lyn Wineman:

Right.

Bob Ravenscroft:

But Bryan and Old Lincoln General have long, historic connections to mental health, in-patient hospital based mental healthcare, and we’re dead set on continuing that commitment into the future. I think another good example too, we really try to respond to the needs that are emerging for people of Nebraska. And as people have heard, we’re developing the Bryan south campus in the anchor facility. It’ll be the April Sampson Cancer Center.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And one reason we did that is obviously the need for patients, but they were at the heart of it. What’s going to happen there, it’s going to remove some of the fragmentation that occurs in cancer care, so patients can go and get many of the services they need in one location, and it eliminates drive time.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s big thing when you’re sick. You don’t want to be bounced around and driving all over the place. Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Correct. And it’s multiple physician appointments for many of these patients. And we’re going to be what is called a comprehensive community cancer center. It’s kind of like the third level of cancer care. And the reason we really jumped into this is, that’s where… In a comprehensive community cancer center, we’ll have about… 95% of the cancers or 95% of the patients could be served there. Now, if it’s a highly subspecialize cancer, they might go to an NCI cancer center, which is level two, and that’s what the Buffet Cancer Center would be. For the super subspecialize stuff, they might go to an NCI comprehensive cancer center, and the closest one is in Iowa City. So, it’s really filling a niche that’s going to, I think, serve not only the people in our primary service area well, but all of the people that live out kind of by Rich’s hometown of Hastings and further. It’s just going to be a lot closer located off of the south beltway.

Bob Ravenscroft:

It’ll actually be easier to get to the new campus than it will be to get from Waverly to one of our main campuses now.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow, that’s great.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So all of that kind of wrapped into our minds as we were developing it. Last thing, I think, is just a really, really strong commitment to education. You have that at Bryan. And Rich will go deeper into this, but it’s not just for educating future healthcare workers. It’s a commitment to educating our staff and lifelong learning. And I think those are things that really kind of distinguish us as a nonprofit and in ways that people might not fully understand.

Lyn Wineman:

Those are all fantastic things. On behalf of the community, I’m just going to say thank you to the two of you and to the organization. And Rich, we’re going to get to you in a minute. I want to ask Bob one fun question, because these have been all really heavy questions. How about that? So something interesting I’ve heard about you, Bob, is that one of your first positions was with a division one football program where you got to meet some pretty interesting people. Can you tell us about that and how that experience might have impacted the work you do now?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Well, next to my role at Bryan, it was really one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had.

Lyn Wineman:

It sounds like a lot of fun.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So yeah, in today’s world of college athletics… Our staffs were much smaller back then. I guess they’d probably call me a quality-controlled director. So all of the film and video guys and the graduate assistants kind of reported up to me and prepared scouting reports and a bunch of other stuff. But yeah, the staff that I worked on was at the University of Iowa, and the head coach was Coach Fry, Hayden Fry.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh, wow.

Bob Ravenscroft:

But yeah, so… But it gets better, Lyn. So also on that… Barry Alva had just left the year before I got there.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh man.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Coach Fry, you had had Bill Snyder, Kirk Barron, Dan McCarney.

Lyn Wineman:

Holy cow.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Bob and Mike Stoops. Actually, Bo Pelini, the old Nebraska coach, was a graduate assistant that kind of reported up through me.

Lyn Wineman:

Was he still fiery back then?

Bob Ravenscroft:

He was, but he was also like 23, and yeah. I mean, it was like, oh, how did that guy ever become a head coach from what you’d knew about? But when he was actually a very good football mind and a really hard-working kid, but heck, half of those people I just mentioned, a couple of them already are, and a couple more will be in the college football hall of fame.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah,

Bob Ravenscroft:

So I think what I took from, it was like being immersed in a leadership incubator-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… at that time. And what it also kind of taught me that I try to apply today is, one of the first tasks they gave me, I kid you not, and it would have been like 1980, between ’86 and ’87 when I started there, they said, “Here’s $975,000.” Literally, I was very new to the job. “We’re converting from film to video tape. We need you to go figure out what we need.” So they sent me to the New England Patriots and to the Chicago Bears and we bought all of this broadcast quality equipment and computer equipment. And it was only used for a portion of the year. And it’s like, oh, this stuff’s just sitting there. So we were one of the first places that kind of started our in-house production company. And back in the day of big satellites, we were beaming stuff up over the bird, as we called it back then. And our name wasn’t quite as creative. It was called Hawkeye Sports Magazine. And there was only one other university doing something similar at the time, and it was Florida State University.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And theirs was much better. It was Seminole Uprising was the name of-

Lyn Wineman:

Oh, yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… the kind of sports magazine show. But yeah, so all of a sudden, we kind of took this asset that we spent a lot of money on and repurposed it to benefit some of the non-revenue generating sports and not just football. And I’ve tried to take some of the learnings from how those fantastic coaches approach team building to the work today, but then also try to, whenever you have resources provided by an organization to do something, how can you leverage them into to doing something more and really maximize the use? So I guess those are probably the biggest learnings I took from some of that.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow. Sounds like a lot of fun, and also sounds like some good learnings. I’m going to ask you one more question.

Bob Ravenscroft:

All right.

Lyn Wineman:

And you can take a pass if you want, but when the Hawkeyes play the Huskers, who do you cheer for?

Bob Ravenscroft:

I have a stock answer there.

Lyn Wineman:

Let’s hear it.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So there there’s even more history. I grew up going to Nebraska games-

Lyn Wineman:

Oh.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… from the time I was in kindergarten until I was a freshman in college. I didn’t go to every game, but it felt like you went to every game.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And the first game that I can really remember missing, I was a freshman at the University of Iowa, and Nebraska was playing Iowa in Lincoln. So we’re listening to it in the dorm room on the radio. So I love both programs, and my stock answer is I never want either team to screw it up for the other team. Unfortunately for Nebraska, over the most of the 13 years I’ve lived in Lincoln, they haven’t had much to play for, and Iowa has a couple of times. So I usually go into the game pretty non-committal, and a couple of times, I’ve really wanted the Hawkeyes to win because they were playing for a whole bunch.

Lyn Wineman:

You might consider politics for your next career, Bob.

Rich Lloyd:

There you go.

Bob Ravenscroft:

After living through a pandemic on the healthcare side, politics is the last thing I would ever…

Lyn Wineman:

Low, low, low on list. All right. Rich, let’s turn to you for a bit. So Christie Hinrichs, the CEO of Tabitha was a guest on the podcast a few months ago, and she was not able to share about your collaboration on an intergenerational housing project because it had not yet been announced. Can you tell us more about this really interesting endeavor?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah. It’s really exciting, and really pleased to be able to talk to you about it. Bryan’s mission is to elevate quality of life through better health, and the relationship of how we do that in our community with a number of initiatives that college is now partnering in is just really exciting. And when Tabitha called, I think we’ve been in this conversation for almost four years, so it’s great to see it coming to fruition, was really an interesting concept that Tabitha had, how do we address issues of loneliness with sort of two distinct populations, independent seniors and college students? And surprising to some, that in most survey data, when you look at college students, they express really high degrees of loneliness. And so the Tabitha’s model and the conversation with them, it just makes a lot of sense.

Rich Lloyd:

So how could we sort of disassemble generational stereotypes, work together within the facility where we have intentional neighboring and shared neighboring. So we were right in from the start, and said, “Yeah, let’s talk more about that. Let’s talk to our students. Let’s see if they would have an interest.” And we’re really excited that we’re about a year out from seeing that come to fruition and have our first round of students start to move in. So we’ve had a lot of discussions around that concept of what it will look like. What will breakfast be? How will we provide socialization to everybody? What are interaction levels and touch points of meaning? And it’s just been really, really a lot of fun to be in those conversations, and to see our students excited about that opportunity as well. So we know it’ll be a reciprocal sharing of goodness.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

And so we’re really pleased that Tabitha launched the project and that they contacted us to see if we’d be interested in partnering.

Lyn Wineman:

It seems like such a smart idea. And I’m just excited for both populations to really have that kind of enriching living experience. And so the other thing I’ve heard is that you are heading up a partnership with Lincoln Public Schools and a healthcare focus program, which seems like a fantastic idea. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah. So again, a couple of years back, we were in conversation with Lincoln Public Schools as they were looking at, for each of the high schools, having an embedded focus program. And so obviously one of those that would be of interest to students, when you survey high school students about their interest or future interest, healthcare is usually number one on the list.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

So as Lincoln was thinking about building the two additional high schools, looking for partners, where to have embedded programs, we were really pleased to be contacted in conversation with LPS. And so what we’re going to see in the fall 2022, when Northwest High School opens, we’re really excited about that, is there will be a health focus program. Bryan will be embedded within the institution, within the high school. There will be a pre pathway program for 9th and 10th graders, really introduction to healthcare fields, some focus classes that will… At least in some of their courses, some content will be directed that way to keep that interest going. And then in 11th and 12th grade, the students participating in the focus program will be able to do dual credit.

Rich Lloyd:

So they’ll get credit from high school, as well as credit from Bryan. So that’ll be an affordable pathway to start to build college credits, to see your future is going through post-secondary education, and then also have that have a clear healthcare focus, again, to all fields of healthcare, really an introduction to what are the possibilities for you in healthcare and how can we help address that interest? Obviously at the end of it, when those students graduate, we would love to see some attend our college. We think that will be the case, but really the goal in our community partnership is really just to encourage a whole bunch of students, wherever they end up in post-secondary education or direct to work, that will realize that they can have a life of serving through healthcare and they’ll be able to find those access, and do that, find those access points. So we’re really pleased to see that, again, also starting this coming fall.

Lyn Wineman:

Also another really smart and innovative idea. It wouldn’t have been for me. I faint at the side of blood, but there are a lot of kids that having that experience, I think, will really nurture their career path. And I love the idea of dual credits. I made my kids take as many dual credits as they could, because they save families a lot of money.

Rich Lloyd:

Well, it does, and it really sort of lets you know that you can be successful in college and that you’ve already got credits that you want to utilize, right?

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

You don’t want to leave those sitting there, and so take them with you and make the best of it that way. We will also provide mentoring opportunities. So current Bryan students will serve as peer mentors to the high school students, again, so that they also can build that relational network with those studying in the field to talk about opportunities. So we really hope, yeah, they see that as a meaningful partnership going forward and will really be a great benefit to the city.

Lyn Wineman:

Rich, I’ve been in healthcare marketing for a while now and it feels to me like this industry has been facing a hiring crunch for a really long time, reaching a crisis level during the pandemic. In addition to the LPS partnership, what are some things that Bryan College of Health Sciences is doing to alleviate this challenge?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah. I think you make a really good point. We’re all facing it in healthcare. All my colleagues who are in healthcare education will say, “We can’t produce enough healthcare workers right now.”

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

We just literally don’t know how to get the production going to be able to meet the needs and the demands. And it’s not just for the next two or three years. We’re talking 10, 15, 20 years out. So we’ve all had to think about how to be innovative, where are their opportunities, and how do we create pathways? And I think when you look at what we’re doing with LPS, and even with Tabitha in many ways. For Tabitha, this is a workforce initiative pathway. Students who will live at the intergen facility, if they wish, certainly could end up being employed by Tabitha, so scope of practice comes into play. You think about what could I do there in terms of well checks and others. And then obviously, Tabitha would love to see some of those intergen residents who graduate from college, stay and supply their workforce. So Bryan is looking at doing the same thing.

Rich Lloyd:

So the LPS pathway for us is, instead of thinking about introducing healthcare career fields, when you’re in college or in your senior year and sort of everybody’s after those graduates, when workforces of a need across many, many industries, it’s really thinking about how we grow our own, and how do we grow our own in the community of Lincoln? How do we grow more of our own across the state so we can also populate and keep care local in rural communities? So one of the things we’re doing also, that will open this coming fall, is we’re having a second location of our highly successful, highly regarded nursing program out in Hastings. And it’s a partnership between Mary Lanning Healthcare, Bryan College of Health Sciences, and Hastings College.

Rich Lloyd:

And so we came together as three institutions and said, “What would a program, if we were to work together, to collaborate with our strengths together, look like for students?” So students will be able to do their general education courses at Hastings College. If they so choose, they can live on campus at Hastings and participate in the life of that college as a full participating student. Their nursing courses will be taught by Bryan faculty, and that will be housed at Mary Lanning Healthcare. So they have direct access into their clinical work, and it really mirrors what we do here at Bryan with the college embedded within the medical center here at Bryan East and Bryan West. And so when you can sit down and sort of say, at some point, we compete with one another, it seems colleges are always sort of wondering if everybody’s after the same student.

Rich Lloyd:

But at the same time, we know we need to really support the workforce needs of our state and to be a solution for that, and this is one way out in Hastings in which we’re able to take three entities and say, “If we all contribute what we’re great at, we could really produce something that will be meaningful.” And obviously what we hope, Mary Lanning hopes, and Bryan Health hopes is that those graduates, in the years coming, when they graduate out, will like central Nebraska have loved their experience there and their rotations and we’ll populate the healthcare centers of central Nebraska so we can keep care local as well. So it’s really, I think, those conversations, those collaborative efforts, and we just need to be in discussion about those. We also have built additional pathways for students. More or less, it used to be the assumption, you’d go to college, and then you think about career.

Rich Lloyd:

And really now, healthcare blends that right from day one. The minute you enter the college at Bryan, you’re really part of the Bryan family and your career path is there for you if you wish it. Now, you certainly could take that degree somewhere else, but Bryan has already said, “If you wish to stay with us, you are welcome.” And we’re building pathway models for that, and incentives for that to happen.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow. That all sounds like really great work. And I’m glad you talked about the collaboration because that’s another thing I love about nonprofit healthcare organizations, is not duplicating efforts, but really collaborating and working together for the good of the state, the good of the population. I think those are important programs. Speaking of collaboration, something interesting, when I introduced you Rich, you actually are the president of Bryan College of Health Sciences and the executive president of Hastings College. How does that work to hold a high-level position like that at two dynamic organizations?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah, well, I’m just honored to be in the role. Love my sixth year at Bryan, and it’s just been phenomenal and fantastic to be part of such a successful organization and high performing organization. I’m also a graduate of Hasting College, so an alum of the institution, and also served there for two decades prior to my move into a presidency. And so it really is that collaborative piece of Bryan looking at opening a second location of its nursing program in Hastings, Hastings College wishing to be a partner. And so one of the things I just simply said to everyone is, “We’re going to have to, and with Bob’s team and Bob’s help, we’re going to need to raise some money. The Hastings College foundation supportive of those efforts and helping also with its donor base. We’re going to need to do this and we’re going to need to do it together.”

Rich Lloyd:

And so the one thing that I can bring to the table is just my history and experience with both organizations. So I can do quicker connections. I guess that would be the way to think about it.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

It was my hope anyway. My intention is that I could make connections quicker to get where we needed to go on the business development side than having either institutions sort of have to say, “Well, who are the partners? How do we get together? Where do the conversations first begin?” We could sort of get ahead by six months by having me serve in both those roles. So it’s been an honor to do so and a real pleasure to serve both institutions.

Lyn Wineman:

I do know when it comes to raising money, two organizations are better than one. So that is fantastic, and good luck with that goal. So Rich, turning to you and your background, I’m just curious what led you down a career path to where you are today?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah, it wasn’t by intention or by design. So it’s been interesting. And I’m an English professor by training.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh my.

Rich Lloyd:

So I loved your comment as well. The clinical education wasn’t the route for you. I clearly knew it wasn’t the route for me either. And when I was in Vermont, when I got a call from the executive search firm, somebody was kind enough to put my name in when Bryan had an opening for the president. And when the search firm called me and said, “Would you have an interest in returning to Nebraska perhaps?” I said, “Well, they do know I’m an English professor, right? They do know that… This is a healthcare college. They do know my background. And is that okay?” And it was very kind of those representing Bryan who said, “They’ve got phenomenal clinicians, they’re interested in someone with a higher education background would certainly be a good candidate as well. Would you have an interest at at least applying?” So I really appreciated that openness to thinking about how I might be able to contribute to an area that isn’t a direct correlation to my background. But the interesting thing is, I wrote a piece.

Rich Lloyd:

It was mirrored after the old radio production of This, I Believe. And I was asked by one of our faculty here to sort of make a statement about the value of a liberal arts education. I’m a humanist by training in a healthcare college, a real focused healthcare college. So why do we also have students take a lot of general education courses, humanities courses, social science courses, instead of just sort of straight track courses into the field. And so I had to sort of write that little mini op ed and model it after This, I Believe. And it really was striking for me as I began to write it. So most of the time when people say, “You’re an English professor. What do you teach?” And I say, “Well, we teach about life and death.” All the great literature is ultimately about this business of living and dying, right? And all the complications they’re in and the great joys and the great sorrows, and it’s just how the writers want to present that to us that gets us to think about our own lives, right? So we encounter ourselves through that literature.

Rich Lloyd:

And in my rounding… So I was asked here as a member of the Bryan senior team to begin doing intentional rounding on the floors and going into rooms and meeting with everyone and asking about their care and listening to their stories. And ultimately, end of the day, as a literature professor, it’s all about storytelling. And what was remarkable to me is that all my time teaching literature, getting students to engage in these big questions about, “What is this life that we live? is it really plays out in a hospital. It plays out 24/7 in a hospital.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Rich Lloyd:

So at Bryan, on a daily basis, we welcome care, we support life, we welcome life, we provide compassionate care at end of life. And we’re with the families, we’re at the bedside, we’re together doing that. And so it’s right where all of that humanistic training that I went through and the literature background really played out in a daily scenario of meaning. And so it’s just been remarkable. So it’s been very informing to me, an amazing learning curve for me, and I’m just honored I get the chance to be part of that every day.

Lyn Wineman:

Rich, I love that story. So Rich, we’re going to put that English training into work, into service here, because everybody who listens to the podcast knows that I am inspired by motivational quotes. And I’d like each of you to give us a few of your own words of wisdom to inspire our listeners. And Rich, we’ll start with you, and then we’ll go to Bob.

Rich Lloyd:

Well, thank you. Yeah. One phrase that I always keep sort of top of mind and try to live by really under a servant leadership model is, “Be serving, not self-serving.” And when I think about the trajectory of my career, I’ve always tried to be self-reflective enough. Doesn’t mean you always succeed, but you try to do this, is to ask, can I add value to the organization? Am I doing the work that adds meaning? Are we improving the lives of others in the work that we do? And really to sort of negate the ego and say, “This is not about self, right? This is about others, this is about good stewardship.” So for me, that’s really, really an important one, is to always be in a servant mind, not a self-service mind.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s a good one. All right, Bob, you’re on the hot seat.

Bob Ravenscroft:

So I can’t just give you one of Coach Fry’s great quotes?

Lyn Wineman:

Well-

Rich Lloyd:

I don’t have a Coach Fry. You got to do something else.

Bob Ravenscroft:

He had some great ones. 

Lyn Wineman:

That’s right. I can go find a Coach Fry quote online. I want a Bob Ravenscroft original.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Well, darn I would’ve given you, “The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s rump every day.”

Lyn Wineman:

Well, that is a good one.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah, it was a great one, especially when you were playing against a bigger power. It’s like, “Yeah, it’s our turn.” Anyway, I guess Lyn, since you’re in the marketing business and that’s one of my areas of responsibility here, you can’t control people, you need to understand them.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh, that’s a good one.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah, you really need to know where they’re coming from, what their beliefs and values are, what turns them off, what turns them on, what they’re for, and what they’re against, if you’re really going to reach them. And again, I think we probably learned that in the pandemic-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… that we couldn’t always control people, you need to understand them.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah. Really good. Both of you, excellent quotes. Thank you for both of those. And Bob, since you mentioned you’re a marketing guy.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Yeah.

Lyn Wineman:

How can our listeners find out more about Bryan Health and Bryan College of Health Sciences, and some of these great things that you’re working on?

Bob Ravenscroft:

Well, I’d say a lot of ways. First and foremost, the website. Bryanhealth.org is where you can go as deep as you want. Of course, I’d encourage people to check us out on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

And then, honestly, where you’re really going to learn a lot about Bryan is from your physicians and your families and friends. We’ve really put ourselves in a position where we’re really the dominant market share performer in this region. And through some past research, the top reasons people choose a place for their care is because their physician-

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Bob Ravenscroft:

… refers or the positive past experience of friends or family. So website’s the safe one, but just keep your ears open, and I’m sure you’re going to hear good things about Bryan.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s fantastic. Fantastic. So as we wrap up this great conversation today, what is the most important thing you would each like our listeners to remember about the work that you’re doing? And this time, let’s start with you, Bob, and then we’ll go to Rich.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Well, I think rich mentioned our vision a little bit earlier, but it’s to elevate the quality of life through better health. When you take it to our mission, it’s to advance the health of individuals, in our region, through collaboration with physicians and communities. And I guess I’d want the people who listen to the podcast to try to understand that’s what we strive to live up to every day. With every decision, it’s how do we exude excellence that our brand promises, and how do we deliver a better future for people who work here, who choose to practice here, and who choose to seek care here? So the true focus for us is personalizing the experience to every individual.

Lyn Wineman:

Fantastic. That’s great. Rich, how about you?

Rich Lloyd:

Yeah, I would just say, in the work that we’re doing and that collaboration that Bob just mentioned, as we’re doing both in the Lincoln community and in the Hastings community and across the state, is that when we really think about workforce and the needs, going into a healthcare profession at any level, incredibly meaningful work. It’s a place where you can be of service. It’s a place where you can make a difference in the lives of the individuals you care for and in their families. It’s a place where you’re enrich by stories and storytelling. And it’s really important work and meaningful work, and there’s multiple pathways to it. And we encourage everybody to explore what may fit their interests.

Lyn Wineman:

Rich and Bob, I have really enjoyed this conversation. And I tell you what, I fully believe that the world needs more people like you, more organizations like Bryan Health. Thank you for taking time to talk with me today.

Bob Ravenscroft:

Thank you, Lyn.

Rich Lloyd:

Thank you, Lyn. This has been a lot of fun. Thanks so much for the invitation.

Announcer:

We hope you enjoyed today’s Agency for Change podcast. To hear all our interviews with those who are making a positive change in our communities or to nominate a change maker you’d love to hear from, visit Kidglov.com at K-I-D-G-L-O-V.com to get in touch. As always, if you like what you’ve heard today, be sure to rate, review, subscribe, and share. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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