APA Center for Organizational Excellence: National Winner

The Awards

Government/Military/Educational Institution Category

Tripler Army Medical Center

A Culture of Trust

Hawaii – The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 led to the construction of Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC), which today supports 264,000 local active-duty and retired military personnel, their families and veteran beneficiaries. As the only federal tertiary care hospital in the Pacific Basin, TAMC is home to the Pacific Regional Medical Command, one of six geographically-based regional medical commands in the U.S. Army, whose soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as throughout the Pacific Theater.

Employee Involvement

TAMC’s structure promotes input from staff at all levels. Ten Functional Management Teams report to a Performance Improvement Council composed of staff from various departments. Self-managed work groups address specific standards of care within departments and generate improvement processes that address workload, efficiency, safety and services. Physicians in training form a Resident Council, which gives input directly to the Director of Medical Education. In addition, two residents are also voting members of the Graduate Medical Education Committee. The Civilian Advisory Council addresses civilian workforce issues and the Partners in Trust of Team develops initiatives to educate and build a culture of trust within the organization.

Health and Safety

Dedicated to a safe, healthful environment, TAMC boasts a team of Safety Officers with a collective 50+ years of experience. The Safety Officers represent all departments and are charged with orienting new employees to safe and effective practices. Annual safety education, semi-annual safety inspections, accident investigations, no-smoking policies, quarterly fire drills, a “Take the Stairs” campaign and holiday safety messages all represent proactive efforts. With individual ergonomic assessments for employees, fitness rooms, onsite yoga, tai-chi, Zumba and cardio kickboxing and presentations from world-renowned speakers, TAMC goes all out to promote psychological, physical, social and spiritual wellness in its workforce.

Employee Growth and Development

In addition to its comprehensive resiliency training (see Resiliency Training), TAMC schedules physician continuing education activities, nursing staff training events and professional development offerings that range from basic life support to simulation training. All personnel have access to free Army-sponsored distance-learning courses that cover a broad spectrum of subjects from foreign language classes to computer applications. A locally developed, web-based training system hosts a searchable database of all available training courses, links to online training and completion reports, so department heads and individual employees can monitor attendance and plan their work and training schedules.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy balance during and outside of work hours is paramount at TAMC. Benefits include flex schedules, telework options and 12 weeks or more of paid leave for family/eldercare/ childcare. TAMC actively supports self-care and therapeutically trained counselors provide grief support and stress reduction for those who request it. Additionally, increased pay is offered for night shifts and employees have access to a co-op that provides childcare for less than a dollar per day.

Employee Recognition

Each year, TAMC recognizes three levels of Employee of the Year, who advance to compete in the Army Medical Command Employee of the Year program. Military personnel test their professional excellence and military fitness in monthly, quarterly and annual recognition programs. Departments are rewarded with bonuses based on how workload capacity, quality and administrative processes are managed, which in turn enhance clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction and promote efficiency and data quality. Associated awards are approved at all levels from immediate supervisor up to the President of the United States. The Tripler Commander personally presents honorees with certificates, decorations, medals and trophies at an official and public monthly awards recognition ceremony.

The Bottom Line

TAMC’s Department of Psychology was recognized by the American Psychological Association as a Best Practices Honoree in 2011. Since then, TAMC’s hospital and its leaders have amplified their efforts toward fitness, overall wellness and resiliency across all departments. More than 4,000 individuals have completed resiliency training and TAMC has experienced lower turnover rates along with increased clinical productivity, financial performance and customer satisfaction. A robust collection of TAMC programs motivates both military and civilian personnel to high levels of performance and service, making Tripler the top-rated Army Medical Center in Army Medical Command for performance measures focused on cost, access and quality of care.

"A psychologically healthy workplace is the result of comprehensive employee programs which provide a supportive, collaborative environment for innovation and business success. "

Craig R. Paeprer
Director of Operations
IBM Research Division