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Physician newsletter helps spark connections

To Teddy Griffin, a physician newsletter looked like a way to boost engagement among members of Adventist Health Sonora’s provider base. Many of them work at separate locations within the hospital and its clinics.

The idea came from one of his hospital’s sister health care organizations. But Griffin, Sonora’s Director of Rural Health Clinics Operations and Clinic Services, wanted a different sort of employee newsletter. Sonora’s would spark connections. And it would help providers get to know "another side of the person you see in scrubs," Griffin says.

"We wanted to give them a piece of work that they would look forward to reading," he says. "It is work related, but it is not work-related."

The result is The Pulse. The magazine is mailed to the homes of physicians and other providers at Sonora four times a year. It also goes out to area providers who have practicing privileges at the organization.

Ongoing features

A.) Each issue of The Pulse has a physician or other provider featured on the cover. Inside is a profile of that provider and their hobby, passion or interesting experience outside of medicine. The Pulse has profiled an avid skier, a play actor, an astrophotographer and an entrepreneur, to name a few.

B.) Each issue also has a feature called "Why I became a provider." It shares a story of why a provider got into medicine, and why they love doing what they do.

C.) The magazine also updates readers on what’s happening around the hospital and in the community. These stories often talk about projects related to Adventist Health’s mission.

When deciding the story lineup, Griffin seeks input from a mix of hospital staff members and the executive team.

He says the publication seems to be achieving the aim of fostering connections. That has intangible benefits, Griffin says. One potential solid benefit? Helping people get to know their co-workers on a personal level could factor into provider retention.

"It’s doing what we wanted to, which is trying to personalize these folks and giving people a look at what they are like outside of work or what got them into that work," Griffin says.