On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, Michelle Dowling, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Rectangle Health, joins host Gary Tiratsuyan to talk about Rectangle Health’s CARES initiative.
Michelle discusses the CARES initiative, how it came to life, and how it has evolved since the inaugural Rectangle Health Day in April 2021.
The conversation continues with Michelle and Gary discussing an amazing campaign, within the CARES initiative called Hometown Healthcare Heroes.
“Hometown Healthcare Heroes is a way for us to shift the focus to what good is being done in the world. There are so many positive, contributory, beautiful stories of people going above and beyond in their everyday lives. We wanted to create awareness of that. Instead of hearing negative news in your feed, our idea was to light up social media with happy stories that make people smile and feel good. The response was overwhelming and moving. We had our teammates nominate healthcare heroes who are special to them, clients, friends, personal practitioners, and anyone who is in the healthcare industry. Then we opened it up to all of our clients. We have a simple submission form and anyone can nominate a healthcare hero. We do not limit this to our clients. These are healthcare workers around the country, doing incredible and selfless work every day. I couldn’t be happier to acknowledge them and showcase their contributions to the world.”
Gary: Hello, everybody. And welcome back to the modern practice podcast. We’ve got a very special episode for you all today. We’re joined by Rectangle Health’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Dowling, to talk about an incredible initiative called Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. Michelle; so happy to have you back on the podcast.
Michelle: Hey, Gary, it’s great to be here. And I’m excited to talk about Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. today.
About the Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. Initiative
Gary: Awesome. Well, let’s get into it. Michelle, when you hear about this program, as you walk through the halls of headquarters in New York, on Zoom calls, and at company get-togethers, there’s this instant heartwarming feeling you get. It means so much to team members, and it came to life under your guidance and vision. Can you tell our listeners what r Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. means and stands for?
Michelle: Absolutely, Gary Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. has truly been something I’m so grateful to have been a part of. It came together and really drove our company’s vision and mission. And just like everyone’s individual personality, each company has its own set of core values that makes them unique. So without sounding cliche, providing a way for our team to connect with and feel competent in a set of values that are both authentic to us and describe who we are, was essential. The first step we took when we kicked off the initiative was to poll our employees to hear directly from them. And we found that several values kept coming up: growth, stability, teamwork, and client satisfaction. So there were a few iterations of the value statements. But what we centered around were things that were consistent throughout the organization, things we heard over and over again, which were how we hold healthcare providers and practitioners in the highest regard, how we pursue goals and seek continuous improvement to serve them, that we focus on new creative ways to approach and solve problems, that we take the initiative and action to make decisions. And we work together in partnership both internally and externally to create great outcomes.
Gary: Michelle, those values are evident in the forward-facing messaging and content being shared by your team and the organization. Did you interview clients as well?
Michelle: We did. We polled our clients to find out what they thought of us. And predominantly, we heard things like we make it easy and being easy to implement made us unique, and we provide good customer service. Being exclusive to health care, and offering secure products topped the list. Our clients made statements like we replace manual processes with automation and that our system is flexible and easy to integrate. We increased patient payment capture; we offer superior relationships and service. And we wanted to make sure their thoughts were reflected in our values. From there, we also focused on what makes an exceptional workplace, and what attributes we wanted to highlight for our teammates.
Things that were important to the executive team and senior leadership were characteristics such as holding ourselves accountable, being adaptable, having empathy and humility, being smart and solution-focused, good stewards of the corporate brand and the services that we provide and being tenacious. And success is truly driven through each of these corporately, departmentally and, of course, individually. So when we reviewed all the inputs together, we came up with Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S., which was a great acronym. And what that means is that we champion clients’ success; clients always come first. We act with integrity and purpose. We respect the healthcare community, we excel at everything that we do, and we shape what’s possible,
The C.A.R.E.S. Initiative Impact
Gary: The meaning and purpose behind C.A.R.E.S. is so impactful. Why was it so important to you and Rectangle Health as an organization to launch a program like this?
Michelle: It’s a great question, Gary. And for me, there were three things that we were looking to accomplish. We wanted to offer connection, inclusion, and inspiration. It is so important that our teams and our clients feel connected to one another and to our overall organization. And sharing the same values accomplishes this. Being included creates a sense of pride, and it helps us to navigate change and difficult times. But it also serves as a Northstar to excellent performance and what our expectations are; we aren’t in it just for ourselves. We want to be included in something special, and we want to serve the healthcare industry to make it easier for them to provide care to others, and that empowers us to do our best work. This inspires us to come to work each day to give it our all, do the best job we can, and have fun along the way.
Gary: It’s incredible. Michelle, thank you. And I want to say it speaks volumes about you and the rest of the leadership team to put Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. in place and continuously build momentum around it. I want to take us back to the inaugural Rectangle Health Day when C.A.R.E.S. was officially launched. Staff members headquartered in Valhalla, New York, and the Las Vegas, Nevada offices came together for a special initiative. Can you tell us about it?
Michelle: Absolutely. This was a special initiative. I love this day. And just like the core values that help us center and feel connected, included, and inspired, this day was something that we all wanted to feel that we contributed by participating in this day. Doing work for a special cause allowed us to be part of making a difference, get out of our heads, and do something together; we selected a charity called Heart to Heart International. And this charity seeks to improve healthcare access not only in the United States but around the world, and they believe in ensuring quality care is provided equitably in under-resourced communities. And for disaster situations. We worked with them to create hygiene kits that were sent globally to those in need. We created over 10,000 kits in our Valhalla and Las Vegas offices, and Heart to Heart International did such a great job with the logistics; they were fun, and they promoted an atmosphere of joy that our teams work together so well. I love seeing them come together across departments and share our time and experience. We heard so many stories about how much they loved the event and they can’t wait to do it again. And with so many people being remote, my challenge is finding ways for them to be included in another event like this.
How You Can Get Involved
Gary: That’s amazing, Michelle, and for our listeners, if you’d like to see a highlight reel of the inaugural Rectangle Health Day activities, like working with Heart to Heart International, there’ll be a link in the description below. Michelle, I want to look forward to ask, when a company starts a program like this, you’re really looking for sustained effort and continued support. And that’s evident here. Especially with a notable campaign within the Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. initiative, Hometown Healthcare Heroes. It’s all over rectangle social media, and people are talking about it. Can you tell our audience what this campaign is and how they can even be a part of it?
Michelle: Absolutely. Our Hometown Healthcare Heroes initiative was a way for us to shift the narrative and focus on what good is being done in the world and our communities. There are many positive contributory, beautiful stories of people going above and beyond in their everyday lives. And we wanted to create awareness of that. So instead of hearing negative posts or seeing negative news, our idea was to light up social media with happy stories that make people smile and feel good and recognize those who are truly serving people, everyday people like ourselves. The response was overwhelming and very moving. I love reading these stories. We had our teammates nominate healthcare heroes who are special to them. We had people nominate clients and friends, personal practitioners, and anyone in the healthcare industry. We opened it up to all of our clients; we made it easy by just putting together a simple submission form. And anyone can nominate a healthcare hero. We don’t limit it to clients; we don’t limit it to anybody; as many submissions as you want. The idea here is just to recognize people for the good that they are doing and bring it to light. There are healthcare workers around the country doing incredible, selfless work. And I could not be happier to acknowledge them and showcase their contributions.
Gary: Yeah, Michelle, for anybody scrolling through the Rectangle Health social media channels. It’s easy to come by any of these Hometown Healthcare Heroes and truly be moved by their stories by them just going above and beyond to serve their communities outside of the call for care. Before we get to the last question for our listeners tuning in today. If you’d like to nominate a Hometown Healthcare Hero of your own, the link to the form Michelle just mentioned is in this podcast episode description. Once you submit, be sure to follow Rectangle Health across all of our social channels to see your hero featured.
The Evolution of Rectangle Health
Michelle, just to wrap up, how in your eyes, how has Rectangle Health evolved as an organization since you came aboard?
Michelle: Great question. I think one of the things that make our company the most special is that the mission has been consistent for almost 30 years, and it’s captured in the last letter of C.A.R.E.S., S for shaping what’s possible. Over these last 29 years, we’ve worked consistently to get providers paid so that they can thrive and focus on taking care of patients. We’ve created a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. We’re comfortable being uncomfortable because what we do is we look at what’s happening in the non-healthcare world and create the same opportunities for our healthcare practitioners. We have made a vision so clear by doing all the work we just discussed, which is that healthy practices make healthy patients. And we believe that it’s our job through our mission to simplify the business side of health care, that we actually help that vision come to life, so that practices can be healthy, operationally, administratively, and financially. So we know that making things that are hard and creating simplicity, by that way, we confront complexity, sweat the details, and create these user-friendly experiences. And we strive to make a difference in the lives of those in the healthcare community, believing that we’re part of it, which is much bigger than just technology. And we want to continue that, we want to keep evolving to make significant contributions and connections to our partners, our providers, and our employees.
Gary: Really amazing. Michelle, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure watching and following the Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. initiative come to life, evolve, and continue to grow this past year, and just really looking forward to seeing what’s next at Rectangle Health. Thank you again for joining us.
Michelle: Thank you, Gary, and thanks for asking about how this came to be. And these initiatives that happen behind the scenes are so meaningful to everyone that we encounter. So, this was awesome. And thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about it.
Gary: We’re looking forward to talking again soon. Before we go, just a reminder, everyone, we’ve got a few links in the description below. Check out details on the Rectangle Health C.A.R.E.S. initiative. Plus, you can nominate one or more Hometown Healthcare Heroes of your own. Thanks for tuning in till next time, everybody.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.