Team takes part in healthcare role-playing, Spectrum discussions

REED CITY — What would you do if you were diagnosed with cancer?

INC Spot manager Brenda Bowman had the chance to find out.

Bowman and eight other community leaders enrolled in the Osceola Leadership Summit participated in role-playing scenarios at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital Thursday. The group gleaned  a better understanding of their local health care facility by experiencing the hospital’s problem-solving skills.

“Our health care system at Reed City is top notch,” said Reed City Chamber of Commerce director Suzie Williams after the simulations.

Thursday’s event was the sixth session in the program with defined goals:

  • To connect the participants to their communities human, natural, intellectual and commercial resources.
  • To develop self leadership abilities
  • To develop team leadership abilities
  • To be an active part of the continuous improvement of Osceola County by developing an awareness of the community’s strengths and needs.

The program, a nine session one-day-a-month leadership program facilitated by Al Weinberg of Frontline Specialists, is designed to sharpen community leaders by putting them in hands-on situations.

Williams role-played as a heart attack victim, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance, where she was quickly aided by doctors upon arrival.

“They sure don’t waste time,” Williams said.

While Williams was being escorted to the hospital, county commissioner Tammy Stoner, Dave Langworthy of Edward Jones Investments, and Frontline Specialist’s Al Weinberg played concerned family members.

“From my perspective, the response time was really good,” Weinberg said.

Molly Cataldo, manager of Citizens Bank in Evart, role played as a newly diagnosed diabetes patient.

After being admitted to the hospital and placed in a room, Cataldo was visited by the hospital’s patient care coordinator to attend to her needs, diabetes educator to teach her about the disease, and a therapy dog named Chloe to calm her.

“We try to maintain a good experience for every patient,” said Barb Bekken, patient care coordinator at Spectrum Health.

Bekken said she does whatever necessary to attend to the needs of each inpatient admitted to the hospital. She cares not only for their physical needs, but for their emotional needs as well.

“I will (take care of) anything that’s a concern for the patient,” Bekken said, even if that means calling the patient’s neighbor to check on their dog.

The high quality of care Cataldo experienced during the role playing scenario at the hospital inspired her to think critically about caring for customers in her line of work.

“When people come in the bank, they may be under stress from things at home,” Cataldo said. “It’s about treating the whole person.”

Before participating in the afternoon of role-playing, Weinberg facilitated a morning session of learning in a classroom setting. The group discussed conflict resolution and each leader assessed their own style, realizing ways they could improve.

“What’s better than facilitating an activity for people to have that aha! moment?” Weinberg said.

The program began in September and has included an education day where leaders visited local schools, and a visit to the state capital. The group has three more sessions before graduating from the program. Applications for the 2012-2012 class of the Osceola Leadership Summit will be available next month at