Message from the Superintendent

Dr. Shou-Chuan Shih

Although words cannot describe my apprehension, I thank our Heavenly Father for calling me to the responsibility that the Board has entrusted to me as Superintendent of the hospital. Managing a hospital is full of complexities, and I want to share with you my thoughts for future operation.

MacKay Memorial Hospital is a church founded hospital, so faith is the foremost and most important foundation in our management. I believe in “providing patients with comprehensive physical, psychological and spiritual care that is based on faith”. Faith is fundamental, and rises above all technological and humanity tasks. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”

James 2:17 says: “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Therefore we need to practice our faith through medical ministry, and I urge my colleagues to demonstrate your faith through your service attitude. There are many such exhortations and reminders in the Bible. Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 tell us, “Do to others as you would have them do to you, ” and Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you. ”

Faith is not stagnant, but requires nourishment and irrigation. Hence we have spiritual activities such as prayers, daily bible reading and fellowship to help our colleagues understand the importance of reverence and thanksgiving so that we may remain steadfast and eager to help others, and build a solid foundation for leading others to the LORD.

Vision and mission assessment is the most important aspect of evaluating our hospital management.
Compared with world-class medical centers, we are essentially very similar in our core conviction and expectation for services, teaching and research. In addition, we will continue to uphold the mission and vision that our predecessors have set and pursued.

Fulfilling a mission and vision requires adherence to core values. Our core values are found in these words: “Remain true to our original calling, show wisdom that comes from reverence for the love of Christ, uphold these values in our management, and believe. ”

Reflecting on these core values, I feel that I can sum them up as “listen to patients with a sincere and thankful heart, and no matter how hard, it’s worthwhile! ”Unfortunately, I rarely hear these words in the last few years, and I hope that together, we will work toward a revival.

Hospital management involves managing two groups of customers—employees and patients, and how leaders relate is the most critical factor that determines the effectiveness of management. Remember that Mark 12:30-31 says, “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.” Truly, these two very familiar commandments to Christians address the attitude we should embrace!

Therefore, we should with “all our heart and strength” protect our patient’s privacy, respect them and provide them with careful, considerate and empathetic medical care. In relating to employees, leaders should “love your neighbor as yourself ” by fully ensuring their rights, adjusting their rights and benefits according to changes in internal and external circumstance, providing an accessible complaint channel, and giving them our complete support in case of a medical dispute.

Personality determines fates, and naturally the personality of a leader is closely related to the development of the institution. I consider myself a gentleness personality. Those who subscribe to gentleness are easy to get close to, easy to relate to, able to accommodate and be flexible when needed, are not usually stubborn, and seek advice with an open mind before making decisions. Such persons are also able to accept advice and make adjustments when in error. However, when core values or key principles are at stake (such as faith, core values and medical ethics), they exhibit “obstinacy”, refuse to compromise and resist giving in to convenience.

I would like to stress two important principles in business. First, making resources accessible is more important than conserving flow. Therefore, do not begrudge the investment of necessary resources when doing ministry. Second, while doing good, remember to abolish the bad. Hence, in the pursuit of development and progress, do not violate justice and core values.

In management, I expect myself to “remain steadfast in direction and uphold general principles”, and competently distribute authority and responsibility. As usual, the devil is in the details, and although attention to detail is appropriate and in-depth understanding of selected cases is needed, not every situation calls for “hands-on”.

Some believe that managers must often mingle with the grassroots to understand the “sufferings of the people” and the toil of the laborers. However, medical care does not permit distraction, and to prevent good intention from becoming destructive, the mingling must be conducted with skills to avoid interference with work. I personally believe that if a manager can find appropriate ways to understand and reach out to the employees, frequently touching base is not always necessary.

To develop the hospital, I do not wish to merely list eloquent but empty goals; I rather directly confront issues and make problem-oriented plans. Problems can be divided into overall and individual categories. Two overall issues are understaffing and lack of space! Enhancing responses to current challenges and problems is needed, such as encouraging the Mackay virtue, improving major illness occupancy, strengthening medical records, using mature talents, increasing non national health insurance revenue, improving community, rural and international services to the disadvantaged, reinforcing mutual support and cooperation among the main and branch hospitals and affiliated university, and upgrading academic and innovative development. We will further address these issues, and formulate and implement appropriate measures.

Most people understand that “the pursuit of excellence” is necessary to survive or succeed fierce competition. We will certainly strive to provide adequate resources, cultivate outstanding talents and achieve breakthrough performances to sustain the operation of the hospital.

However, I personally believe that medical care differs from other industries in that the trust between doctor and patient is timeless and in fact strengthens with time. Hence, hospitals will not lose all their patients to a new hospital, extraordinary cutting edge medical technology or exceptionally attentive service although many service opportunities may be lost to a few outstanding performances by a similar sized hospital. Therefore, if we have a perfect system for retaining and cultivating outstanding medical personnel, we can maintain and enhance our competitiveness, and not violate our core values because of intense competition.

So we will work hard and not be complacent with excellence. It is important to move from excellent to outstanding, from A to A +, but we must temper our hearts in the process! “Peace” and “Joy” are the most symbolic of Christian greetings, but may become cliché and lose their significance from familiarity.
In church affiliated hospitals, both individuals and groups are taught that “humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” In pursuing excellence, do not forget to pursue spiritual peace and joy. We cannot merely pay lip service to “Peace and Joy” while battling for fame and fortune; otherwise we will stray further and further away from the truth!

Last, I want to share my expectation regarding the relationship between the Board and the hospital, and between the hospital and our employees.

The Board is charged with supervising the operation and management of the hospital. The roles and perspectives between supervision and operation are different, but if we focus on our common goal of
becoming a testimony for the Kingdom of God, we can flourish and fulfill our medical missionary work and bring glory to God. And unquestionably, trust is the most critical factor for a successful operation.

There are many examples where mutual suspicion and criticism between supervisors and managers have caused institutions to stagnate, lose competitiveness and even disintegrate. Today, as the leader of this hospital, I will serve with utmost gratitude, humility, fairness and integrity. I hope to build a harmonious and trust relationship with the Board, and together as the body of Christ, work together to serve people and glorify God. In fact, in the past, there were questions from the Board which I could not fully answer due to time constraint. These inquiries were forgotten during subsequent meetings until they were brought up again at a much later time. I will note all questions so that if time does not allow for full answers, I will respond to the Board through other appropriate means at other time to clear any doubts, reduce speculation and build mutual trust.

The hospital’s mission is patient care, which is not provided by the Director but by the employees. If the hospital takes good care of its employees, its employees will take good care of the patients. Hence, in talking about the relationship between the hospital and its employees, we will exert the greatest effort to ensure that our employees are well treated. However, since our hospital is not backed by a business corporation or foundation, our limited resources do not allow us to satisfy our ideal policy or regulations, and we need you to help us with ideas for resolving our problems. To the extent that it will not undermine the stability of the hospital, I will take care of our employees to the best of my ability.

In addition, I urge everyone to avoid excessive departmentalism so as not to hinder the development and work of the ministry.

There are two types of departmentalism. The first is unclear division of responsibilities and gray areas, resulting in anybody being able to do everything and nobody wanting to do anything. Another is distinct division of labor, but resulting in employees being solely concerned about their individual position without regard for their colleagues.

In the first type of departmentalism, jobs may be well done, but with no desire to go beyond the call of duty. There are different emotions or rational behind such unwillingness. Some people need substantive incentives, others must be compelled and coerced into cooperation, but we hope to avoid going down this path. As supervisors, please approach such departmentalism with wise and adaptive ways to overcome the barriers between team members.

The second type of departmentalism is diligence that has gone overboard with non-cost effective proposals that will upset the balance of limited resources and affect other operations. Our hospital and supervisors must approach such departmentalism from a broad perspective and fully communicate with your team members to ensure maximum effectiveness in the use of resources. Even if there is partiality in the final outcome, there should be consensus and understanding.

MacKay Memorial Hospital belongs to all of us, and we need every team member to work together. We must exclude departmentalism, and coordinate and integrate so that we may successfully fulfill our responsibilities. Only then can we be steadfast and thrive!