Entrepreneurs in Healthcare


Melissa Turner

A Destination Employer

Editors’ Note

Before assuming her current role in July 2007, Melissa Turner was the director of Human Resources with Office Depot’s Business to Business Division in Trumbull, Connecticut. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and also completed the Advanced HR Leadership Development Program at The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Years ago, the role of HR was thought of as a hiring and retention type of role, but it has since evolved into more of a senior strategic role. Have you experienced that evolution?

I have. I’ve been lucky personally to have worked with leadership teams that value and invite HR to the table, and that’s certainly been presented to me here. I’ve seen that managing the intellectual capital, attracting them, figuring out ways to retain them, develop them, and at times transition them out, legally and ethically, is a critical role – employees are the most important asset an organization can have. So, Greenwich Hospital supports the HR role on par with the other business units.

How concerned are you over the current shortage of talent in health care?

We’ve approached recruitment differently and have seen tremendous success. Strategically, we have showcased Greenwich Hospital as being a destination employer, because this organization is rather extraordinary in terms of our service excellence standards and our employee satisfaction and patient care standings. We also market ourselves differently than we did in the past, and that has been successful in attracting new talent. As a result, we selectively hired about 75 new people in nursing positions over the past year.

Has becoming more of a regional institution changed or diversified the type of talent you need?

The talent is the same, because we want the best. But it has widened our recruitment pool, because 40 percent of our business is coming from Westchester County, so we’re drawing a lot more candidates from that area. We have people who drive an hour and a half to work here because it’s a fabulous place to work, and that is why it has been so difficult for people to see us go through a staff reduction, which has not happened before. Once you’ve worked here, you just don’t want to go anywhere else.

During times when people are seeing layoffs and feeling less secure, how critical has it been for you to communicate where the hospital is going and where their jobs are going?

It’s extraordinarily important, now more than ever. Thankfully, Frank Corvino has a proven history and tremendous credibility with the staff about being very open with sharing information that impacts the hospital and our employees. We committed to being transparent early on and I’m very proud of the organization because we’ve told people where we are and where we see us going. Frank has even sent letters to homes so that employees as well as their families are aware of what is happening at the hospital. During staff reductions, there were people who wanted to talk to Frank directly about their concerns, and he had meetings with them. That’s the kind of person he is and the kind of people we are on the leadership team. It makes a difference, and that we believe will be a very strong retention tool.