Environmental Services staff members Dania Mejia-Castillo (left) and Sandra Castro (right) are recognized by Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel (center) during Brigham Leaders Care rounds.

A new program called Brigham Leaders Care is enlisting hospital leaders to serve as Safe Care Commitment Ambassadors and promote behaviors that contribute to a safe environment.

Ambassadors volunteer to walk through the main campus for one-hour shifts and speak with staff, patients and visitors about proper masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing and clinician use of eye protection during patient encounters. They also resolve any issues in real time, such as helping someone locate a designated, safe dining area for a meal break or demonstrating the correct way to wear a hospital-issued mask.

“While every one of our employees should feel comfortable speaking up if they observe unsafe behaviors, we recognize that our leaders should be visibly modeling safe behaviors and helping others stay safe,” said Sunny Eappen, MD, MBA, senior vice president of Medical Affairs, chief medical officer and one of Brigham Leaders Care’s three executive sponsors. “Brigham Leaders Care delivers on our Safe Care Commitment in a very visible way. It truly ties into each one of our values.”

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During their shifts, leaders wear a teal button identifying them as a Safe Care Commitment Ambassador as they round on the Pike as well as patient areas, breakrooms, shared work spaces and elevators in the Braunwald Tower, the Shapiro Center, Connors Center for Women and Newborns and Hale Building. The program, which launched in September, will soon expand to select ambulatory locations.

To date, more than 120 leaders have participated in the program and collectively conducted 210 hours of rounding.

Among those who have participated is Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director of the Department of Nutrition, who recently completed her third shift as a Safe Care Commitment Ambassador.

“I think our Safe Care Commitment has brought us closer together. It shows that every member of our staff, no matter what their role is, is committed to safe care,” McManus said. “It sends a message to our patients, who may be considering whether they want to come in for preventive care or have elective surgery, that the Brigham a very safe place to be.”

Ambassadors enhance the Brigham Experience by delivering a warm welcome at entrances and assist with wayfinding needs and staff concerns. Feedback that staff have shared with Safe Care Commitment Ambassadors have inspired several improvements on campus, Eappen said.

Changes include opening new areas for meal breaks, such as the Anesthesia Conference Room, and installing decals with physical distancing outside the Shapiro employee entrance. The team continues to welcome all employee feedback, and staff are encouraged to share their Safe Care Commitment ideas with ambassadors or through Brigham @ Its Best.

Additionally, ambassadors recognize staff whose actions uphold the Brigham’s Safe Care Commitment. As a small gesture of appreciation, ambassadors may award staff a $2 voucher for the Garden Café or Coffee Connection at 45 Francis St. for their efforts to maintain a safe environment.

“During one of my rounds, I saw an Environmental Services colleague going above and beyond,” McManus said. “I thanked her for her dedication and hard work. You could see her eyes light up — she was so proud to be recognized for her commitment to safe care.”