Columbus Regional Health is pleased to announce our 2023-2024 recipients of the Douglas J. Leonard Innovation Fellowship -- Dr. Lee Kiser, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Mandy Shaff, Director of System Talent Solutions.
The Douglas J. Leonard Innovation Fellowship honors former CRH Chief Executive Officer Doug Leonard’s passion for innovation in the care of Columbus Regional Health patients, and recognizes and encourages accomplished innovators in the Columbus Regional Health system. The Fellowship is a two-year term that provides a $10,000 grant to support and accelerate the selected Fellow’s existing innovation work as part of the organization.
Dr. Kiser received his award in part for his innovative approach to develop and lead CRH’s hospital-based care practices throughout the COVID pandemic. Among other accomplishments, he led the development and adoption of emerging practice related to inpatient COVID care, the health system's early participation in medical trials with Mayo Clinic in the pre-vaccine period, when physicians had very few treatment options and the normal channels of medical information dissemination via the CDC were disrupted at times.
"Dr. Kiser demonstrated authentic medical leadership, engendering confidence from his medical, clinical, and administrative colleagues, and regularly worked to develop protocols and practices that kept our staff and patients as safe as possible," as stated on his nomination.
"He was the first CRH clinician to receive a COVID vaccine by CRH and always stepped up when asked, serving as a voice of authority, reason, and calm in the community, when messages from Washington and the state were sometimes confusing and contradictory." Dr. Kiser was also recognized by the Indiana Hospital Association as the Douglas J. Leonard Caregiver of the Year in 2021.
Mandy Shaff received her award due to her leadership and innovative approach to staffing and workforce support during the COVID pandemic. CRH, like all hospitals, struggled with very challenging staffing shortages due to high inpatient volumes. In response, Mandy worked to develop Sidekick Staffing – an alternative method to address staffing needs for many CRH departments -- that incorporated a fast-track and temporary employment option for CRH and non-CRH-employed community members.
"In total, we estimate the Sidekick Staffing program will have provided 75-100 active individuals for flexible staffing options across the organization by the end of 2022. As staffing shortages have continued past the COVID inpatient peaks, Mandy has continued to innovate around new outreach and education events to attract non-healthcare people to consider a career in healthcare," as stated on her nomination.
The Douglas J. Leonard Innovation Fellowship is administered by the Columbus Regional Health Foundation and made possible by the Foundation's generous donors.