Feb. 28, 2019 — My very first stop took me to Rady Children’s Business Center (Copley for short), where I had the opportunity to meet with the Information Services teams and learn about the vital role they serve in our organization.

Watching the presentation from my “first class” seat

They really made me feel welcome, decorating the room with Rady Children’s blue and teal streamers and setting me up in a “first class” seat to hear all that they do. They even made cupcakes and presented me with a great T-shirt so I could feel a part of the “local” culture!

The Data Services team shared that they are the “wind that keeps the kite afloat,” and I think that is a very apt description of this entire department. I really appreciated everyone’s dedication to our mission—it came across loud and clear!

More members of Information Services

For example, Senior Information Security Engineer Doug Croshier described how the Information Security team protects all of Rady Children’s data, including sensitive patient information, from unauthorized access while still making it instantly available to people who need and are permitted to see it. That is no small task for this team of eight, considering the more than 200 clinical and business applications throughout the health system and the constant threat from phishing and “bad actors” looking to exploit our data. As Business Systems Analyst Megan McAuley told us, the 11-person Business Systems team manages many of those vital applications, including PeopleSoft (HCM and FSCM), API, Strata, Perceptive and Hyperion.

Getting my stamps and my new T-shirt

There is also the Portfolio Management Office (PMO) that, among other things, keeps multimillion-dollar capital projects on time and on budget with its team of 10 — six of them project managers, including JoLyn McGowan. She noted that this team has more than 120 years of combined experience between its members!  The PMO team also evaluates how Rady Children’s can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives through technology.

I learned that the Data Services team is the biggest in Information Services, with 21 people dedicated to keeping Rady Children’s databases up and running (those 200+ applications I mentioned earlier) and collaborating across the organization in support of Rady Children’s mission. As they put it, they “measure the future.” This team includes database administrators and the Web, Development, Interface and Analytics teams. During this presentation, Lead Interface Engineer Sheldon Gilmer shared a story that touched my heart and really demonstrated how intimately our non-clinical team members still connect to Rady Children’s mission. Sheldon remembered a time when he would frequently stop at the Helen Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children (then the Convalescent Center) to support their IT needs. During one of his visits, he was asked if he would like to hold one of the babies there who did not have regular visits from family members. Sheldon recalled that, although the child had no family to hold him, Sheldon was able to make a difference and be a small part of his life.

Loved the cupcakes!

It is these powerful connections to our mission that are so incredible to see. Even for these teams who may not see patients or families daily, our organization’s purpose provides inspiration in all they do. The people I met today may be working behind the scenes, but each and every one of them is vital to our excellence in care and our shared vision as colleagues. These teams demonstrate a truly collaborative spirit, and it just goes to show you that with the right people and the right culture, we can do anything together.