NHRMC Chief Human Resources Officer Keith Strawn has announced plans to retire in March 2020. Keith has been leading the Human Resources Department at NHRMC for almost 14 years. During that time, he has championed many initiatives that have helped shape the culture of the organization to be one that scores in the top 74th percentile of healthcare organizations according to the annual employee engagement survey and among the top ten healthcare businesses in the Forbes 2019 list of America’s Best Large Employers.
Keith’s contributions include keeping benefit costs exceptionally low for all staff. Employee costs for medical co-pays, deductibles, out-of-pocket maximum and payroll deductions have not increased for several years. He has also overseen the expansion of wellness resources for employees, including the opening of the employee fitness center in 2011, which now has 6,5440 members and a wide range of exercise and nutrition classes and programs to keep employees and their families engaged.
Director of Compensation and Benefits Karen Curran says Keith’s leadership has helped the programs thrive: “Keith’s commitment to the many aspects of health and wellness for our employees and their families has allowed the team to truly flourish,” said Karen. “Using our common mantra of No Barriers, No Excuses, he’s encouraged, supported and contributed to the development of a culture of wellness for our NHRMC community unlike any other. And, he walks the talk!”
Under Keith’s leadership, in 2017 NHRMC introduced the Healthy Community Wage, so no NHRMC employee would make less than $11.50 an hour. This investment, designed to help all members of the team better support themselves and their families, was one of many pay structure increases implemented just in the past few years. They reflect the organization’s commitment to supporting staff so NHRMC can attract and retain the best.
Growing and training leaders among NHRMC’s ranks has been another organizational commitment Keith has championed through his time at NHRMC. The Leadership Development Institute, which transitioned to the Leadership Collaborative in recent years, brings hundreds of leaders from across the organization together every few months for two days to learn how to be better leaders and align their teams to produce outstanding results. The Leadership NHRMC program and the Clinical Leadership Development program work with leaders on a more intensive basis, creating opportunities for growth, development and collaboration.
Organizational Development Director Jenny Creamer says Keith’s passion for developing our leaders has been inspirational. “Keith knows that our leaders need the ability to adapt through change in healthcare,” said Jenny. “Through his leadership we have a framework and infrastructure that promotes, and sustains an innovative, responsive and engaging work environment.”
“Keith has been a remarkable advocate for our employees throughout his tenure,” said John Gizdic, NHRMC President and CEO. “His passion for creating new opportunities for engagement and his creativity in making them happen have helped transform this organization. He has helped build a community in which staff can feel supported and empowered, even as our team has grown exponentially over time. He will be missed.”
NHRMC will begin recruiting for a new Chief HR Officer in the coming months, with the goal to have the person in place in time for a smooth transition before Keith’s departure.