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DTA Coaching Community – Interview with Sherry Jones

Sherry Photo

As you probably know by now (if you follow our blogs) over the past several months, on the first Monday of every month, DTA convenes a community of Care Team Coaches from across the country. The purpose of these calls is for coaches who all use DTA’s Coaching Reporting Tool to share notes and learn from one another on their coaching journeys. On our October call (sorry for our delay in sharing this with you), Sherry Jones, CV Operations & Quality Program Manager at Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute, part of Allina Health in Minneapolis, was our guest coach.

During our chat with Sherry, we got to know more about her and found her connect to her work and patient experience especially touching. Here’s a look at what Sherry had to share with the group.

DTA: Tell us a little about your background and how you got into working in healthcare.

SJ: I have been a nurse by trade for 35 years and have worked in various areas including Step-Down, Critical Care, Labor & Delivery, PACU and Float Pool. I worked as an EMT with North Memorial for 4 years. I have also served 6 years active duty and 2 years reserve in the US Army. Both of my sons were born outside of Minnesota – one in Germany and one in Washington, D.C. We are a hockey family and although my son no longer plays the game, we now watch him in his role as a coach with University of Wisconsin – Superior.

When it comes to my life and my work, my motto is: “It’s not about me” or “us” as the case may be. You see my oldest son is a cardiac patient with congenital heart disease and he has been my inspiration and hero in the world of Patient Experience.

DTA: Thanks for your service, Sherry, to our country and our community in all of your past roles! Can you help us understand your current role? Is coaching your full-time gig or is it a component of your work? If not a full-time gig, how does it relate to your day job, if it does?

SJ: I am the Cardiovascular Operations and Quality Program Manager with the Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute, part of Allina Health in Minneapolis. For us, patient experience is measured by our CG-CAHPS survey data. This is monitored and tracked as a quality metric. Coaching is offered and encouraged for providers who have scores that are falling consistently below goal or suddenly trending down. With that said, the shadowing of these providers falls to me as I am the most appropriate coach on our team – I am closest to that line of work.

DTA: Why patient experience and coaching?  What drew you to this line of work?

SJ: Patient experience is a priority for all of us in healthcare and reminds providers to keep the patient at the center of their work. I started coaching about 2 years ago by default as this is a limited resource within our specialty group. Because of my established relationship with the providers in our organization, it seemed logical and appropriate to coach them and afford them the opportunity to have feedback provided from a trusted source.

 SJ: To me, it stands out anytime a provider sees the light when I give them some feedback. I also appreciate when they make a change based on our session.

DTA: What advice would you give to a new coach? 

SJ: Don’t be intimidated by the person you are coaching.  They are people too.  Also, keep the patient first and do the right thing for them.

Thanks to Sherry and all participants of our monthly Coaching Community Calls! This format has been super helpful in collectively building the Coaching Community across the country.  If you are interested in learning more about the DTA Coaching Reporting Tool (the use of which is common to all of the Coaches on these Community Calls), you’re in luck! Sign up to view a demo of DTA Associate’s Coaching Reporting Tool.

Janiece Gray

Janiece Gray

I began my career as a social worker and later, with my Master of Health Administration (MHA), directed operations at Allina Health in Minnesota. I later directed patient experience at Allina. My background and experience give me strengths in approaching healthcare opportunities and challenges through a systems lens – with unique strengths, challenges and activation points. My experience is also informed by leadership roles leading performance improvement in patient-centered care and patient experience departments. Working in the client role with healthcare consulting firms inspired me to address some unmet needs in the industry, and to co-found DTA Associates. I have a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and find that the discipline of practice translates to healthcare work very well.

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