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HomeNewsArchivesSCHNEIDER HOSPITAL: A BRIGHT SPOT OF PROGRESS

SCHNEIDER HOSPITAL: A BRIGHT SPOT OF PROGRESS

The great progress made by Roy L. Schneider Hospital in recent years is a very important story. It is important on at least three levels.
First, health care is a critical component in any healthy society, and public confidence in the quality of care is essential. Second, the broad and systemic improvements that have been made carry with them a fundamental message for all sectors: positive change is possible in the Virgin Islands, and pessimism is unwarranted. Finally, the list of changes and innovations demonstrate the critical role that strong leadership and a single person can play. The most impressive thing about Eugene Woods' performance is his acknowledgement that there is a long way to go, and that there will be no resting on laurels.
There are several other things that stand out in Mr. Woods' description of the hospital's progress. As a leader, he has done what had to be done, rather than what he wanted to do. It is also clear that he views his position as a responsibility rather than as property, a perception that too few Virgin Islands officials share. And finally, rather than hogging credit, he shares it with others, thereby creating the platform for future change. These are the definitions of effective leadership.
Health care and education have been viewed as disaster areas in recent years in the Virgin Islands. Richard Hall's recent op-ed piece on education (The Source. Jan. 21) provides an agenda for change that parallels the improvements that Mr. Woods and his team have made in health care. Like the situation at the hospital several years ago, there is the great advantage of an indefensible status quo, a situation that is so bad that it seems almost evil to be an opponent of change.
Add to this the ingredients that have fueled Mr. Woods' success, a vision, a strategy, a plan, a lot of attention to detail, and (we must assume) a doggedness in the face of apathy and resistance to change, and you have a recipe for significantly improved schools. With that improvement will come new hope for youngsters whose futures currently get dimmer on a daily basis.
Find a leader. Define a vision. Develop a plan. Invest the needed resources. Build a team. Move the obstacles to change and higher standards out of the way, and you will have a second model for success. Who knows, the idea of systematic improvement, high quality, and excellence could catch on. That would be a beautiful thing: public education and public health, the twin prides of the New Virgin Islands. After the successes of the hospital, nobody can say that it isn't possible.
Management consultant Frank Schneiger has worked with V.I. agencies since 1975, most recently as consultant to United Way of St. Thomas/St. John. He is one of the founders of the St. Thomas/St. John Youth Multiservice Center.
Readers are invited to send comments on this article to source@viaccess.net.

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The great progress made by Roy L. Schneider Hospital in recent years is a very important story. It is important on at least three levels.
First, health care is a critical component in any healthy society, and public confidence in the quality of care is essential. Second, the broad and systemic improvements that have been made carry with them a fundamental message for all sectors: positive change is possible in the Virgin Islands, and pessimism is unwarranted. Finally, the list of changes and innovations demonstrate the critical role that strong leadership and a single person can play. The most impressive thing about Eugene Woods' performance is his acknowledgement that there is a long way to go, and that there will be no resting on laurels.
There are several other things that stand out in Mr. Woods' description of the hospital's progress. As a leader, he has done what had to be done, rather than what he wanted to do. It is also clear that he views his position as a responsibility rather than as property, a perception that too few Virgin Islands officials share. And finally, rather than hogging credit, he shares it with others, thereby creating the platform for future change. These are the definitions of effective leadership.
Health care and education have been viewed as disaster areas in recent years in the Virgin Islands. Richard Hall's recent op-ed piece on education (The Source. Jan. 21) provides an agenda for change that parallels the improvements that Mr. Woods and his team have made in health care. Like the situation at the hospital several years ago, there is the great advantage of an indefensible status quo, a situation that is so bad that it seems almost evil to be an opponent of change.
Add to this the ingredients that have fueled Mr. Woods' success, a vision, a strategy, a plan, a lot of attention to detail, and (we must assume) a doggedness in the face of apathy and resistance to change, and you have a recipe for significantly improved schools. With that improvement will come new hope for youngsters whose futures currently get dimmer on a daily basis.
Find a leader. Define a vision. Develop a plan. Invest the needed resources. Build a team. Move the obstacles to change and higher standards out of the way, and you will have a second model for success. Who knows, the idea of systematic improvement, high quality, and excellence could catch on. That would be a beautiful thing: public education and public health, the twin prides of the New Virgin Islands. After the successes of the hospital, nobody can say that it isn't possible.
Management consultant Frank Schneiger has worked with V.I. agencies since 1975, most recently as consultant to United Way of St. Thomas/St. John. He is one of the founders of the St. Thomas/St. John Youth Multiservice Center.
Readers are invited to send comments on this article to source@viaccess.net.