Local hospital's interim president learning new roles

Hospital president learns roles

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - A local hospital interim president is getting his hands dirty and taking on new roles in the hospital.

It's like an episode of "Undercover Boss," except the Interim President and CEO of Holston Valley Medical Center, Tim Attebery, is being very upfront about his mission. He's putting on the scrubs and learning the many jobs in the hospital to better understand employees' needs. "He went around with me for one hour Saturday. I enjoyed working with him," says Holston Valley employee Larry Fields.

Fields has been working at Holston Valley for 11 years in housekeeping, and he's one of many people Attebery has worked alongside, leaving a lasting impression with employees. "I saw Mr. Atteberry. It was on a Saturday morning, so that right off the bat impressed me. He was in hospital scrubs and pushing a laundry cart," adds Dr. Chris Neglia.

Dr. Neglia tells us seeing the president of the hospital doing the jobs of others lets them know all their hard work isn't going unnoticed. "I think it shows that he really cares and is interested in what's going on here and how to make this a better hospital. The way you do that is by getting in the shoes of the people you're leading," he said.

Attebery says he wants to work with the staff and the patients first-hand to see how the administration could help them  better the service. "Now I see them in the hallway, I know their names, they know me, and we worked together. So it's broken down some of those barriers," says Attebery.

Attebery tells us he's not just learning their names, but he's seeing first-hand the impact they make on patients. "Whatever they're supposed to do, I've not only worked alongside them, but I've actually said I want to do it," he said.

That included the little things like speaking to patients and addressing any needs they may have. "When you deliver the meal, clean the room, go the little extra mile to do things for the patient, it makes them remember the people working at the hospital really do care about them," he said. 

Meanwhile, the employees tell us what Attebery is doing is very encouraging.

Attebery tells us he's learning a lot and still has 15 departments he wants to visit between now and February.

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