In this series, called “Doing Good is Good Business,” RecognizeGood asks Austin-area business and community leaders that exact question – why IS doing good is simply good business? In this conversation, we hear from Ann-Marie Price of Baylor Scott & White Health.
RecognizeGood: Ann-Marie you’re coming up on six years with Baylor Scott & White Health – you’ve seen the giving program really take shape and structure over that time. How have you seen the efforts to donate time, talent or treasure change and evolve?
Ann-Marie Price, Baylor Scott & White Health: We’re proud to be an integral part of this community. The program has grown and evolved. In the past few years, we’ve transitioned from simply introducing ourselves to the community to really being an active, present part of the communities that we serve.
We provide health and wellness education, but a big part of that is just showing up – it’s about being at the farmer’s market or at the vaccination event. For me at a recent vaccine event, it was so cool when I was able to greet people as they drove up and I could see how emotional and excited they were. How grateful they were that we were there. That’s so satisfying to connect with my neighbors and community members like that! We’re part of these communities. We live here. We work here. We’re proud to help keep our friends and neighbors healthy.
So, over time we’ve matured into this reliable presence that people can come to. That is the epitome of how we can give back.
RG: If you had shareholders, how would you justify the return on investment that you’re making in the community?
AP: For us, we’re investing in our neighbors. We’re investing in the community’s workforce. We’re investing in the health of our future. By getting out and meeting people in the community, we let them know how we can serve them. A lot of people don’t know who we are, what we do, or how we can help them.
I think we’ve been so creative and innovative during these challenges in the last year. Baylor Scott & White Health became one of the first private health systems to offer a remote screening and drive-thru testing process for COVID-19. We were one of the first to have drive-thru clinics for checkups and sick visits. One of the first to have virtual options. That ROI for us is introducing people to who we are and showing them that we’re here to serve them – however they may need us. Hopefully, getting them more familiar with who they are so that they can rely on us during good times and not-so-good times.
RG: How much of that is measured in the response you see in the community?
AP: What makes us really stand out is that we are what’s called an integrated network of services, and so we’re very vertically aligned. That means that you might come to us for a checkup – but if you also need to have your blood drawn, to get some X rays, to see your foot doctor, we can do some of that stuff same-day. Right there! A one-stop shop. We’re also able to cut down on excess paperwork, doctor’s visits and testing. Our providers can share records and information as needed to ensure that the patient receives the best comprehensive care.
To communicate that benefit to you, and then have you share it with your friends and your family – that’s the measurement for us. That’s very valuable for us.
RG: Not just at Baylor Scott & White Health, but how important is it that we as a business community are building giving into our platform? How much does it matter that we’re giving through our workplaces, and not just on the weekends?
AP: Giving through your workplace impacts the community in great ways, because when an organization kind of obliterates these lines, it eventually becomes just who you are and what you do.
Again, it comes back to those relationships. Those opportunities to make those connections, to be a real part of the community – building that into your team structure, into your values helps to bond you together inside. It also helps to grow what you do outside, and I think that’s the best place that you could get to.
As a health care organization, what we do every day means we are already giving. We’re already providing and it’s just kind of that natural next step. I know that so many companies do that – provide a service, provide a good, but taking it beyond your four walls is immeasurable in terms of community benefit.