This interview with LaQuenta Clarke (email@example.com) was conducted in September 2020 by (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics & Health Care Compliance Association.
AT: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. You serve as corporate compliance manager for Shriners Hospitals for Children. Before we start exploring your work there, I think it would be good if you could tell people a bit about Shriners. Can you give us some background on the organization?
LC: Shriners International was founded in 1872 as a fraternal organization built upon the principles that guided Freemasonry. These principles are improving character and strengthening communities. The first hospital was constructed in 1922 in an underserved community of Shreveport, Louisiana. Shriners Hospitals for Children (SHC) opened as a place where “children suffering from the crippling effects of polio, clubfoot and other orthopaedic conditions could receive life-changing medical care.” Today, SHC has 22 locations serving children as hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, telehealth sites, outreach programs, and community clinics.
AT: So, what led to the creation of the first hospital?
LC: The primary focus of the first hospital was to treat children with polio. SHC has historically become aware of the lack of medical expertise in areas such as orthopedics, pediatric burn care, spinal cord injury, and cleft lip and palate. These and other related pediatric specialties are treated at SHC’s locations.
AT: What does the SHC look like today?
LC: Today, our facilities treat pediatric patients from around the world. In addition to our mission of providing exceptional healthcare, SHC provides professional education and innovative research.
AT: How is the compliance team structured to serve so many facilities?
LC: Our compliance team is structured around the concept that each workforce member must own their individual responsibility for compliance. Our team is designed in a manner to partner with the workforce and empower its leaders to be champions for compliance.
The corporate compliance team’s managers support our facilities’ compliance awareness and risk readiness while each manager also specializes in a key functional area of compliance. Additional members specialize in areas of need such as policy and procedure maintenance and privacy and security.
What is key to any compliance department’s effectiveness is the communication and education structure. This is where the partnership with the facilities and the compliance team thrives. Adequately designed communication channels will support an effective risk identification and response system. You can design the best program complete with education, training, auditing and monitoring tools, and job aids, but if it is not shared with the workforce in a manner that confirms their understanding and promotes continuity of expected practices, it becomes less effective. In order to lessen the risk of inadequate communication to the workforce, we have empowered our leaders to embrace their roles as facility compliance officials (FCOs) and facility compliance liaisons (FCLs).