Through Medline’s partnership with Project C.U.R.E., the company’s first-ever medical service trip was planned. In August, 16 Medline employees teamed up with non-profit organization to deliver education on hand hygiene, nutrition and first-aid to the community of El Crucero, Nicaragua. Matt Ley is a sales operations manager and documented what this trip meant to him and his work.
Looking back over this trip experience and thinking about what we were really trying to accomplish, I keep coming back to Medline’s tagline, “Advancing the Health of Healthcare.” For some reason that phrase kept popping into my head each day we traveled around Nicaragua, meeting people and being invited into their lives. What does it really mean to advance, or improve, the health of healthcare?
I always liked the phrase and thought it was a good summary of what we work for at Medline, but I never really gave it much thought as to what this activity looks like. Yet, through our engagement with the communities in our health education workshops, our times of group reflection and in random conversations along the way, I have come to at least the start of an idea. Advancing the health of healthcare is as much an internal (what the world does to us) as it is an external (what we do in the world) activity.
What Engagement Really Means
When we are engaged in our work, we are not acting at a distance. We are all in and are therefore affected by the work we do. We are affected:
- In the time we commit
- The energy we exude
- The drive we renew each day
This is why every job posting at Medline, regardless of role or responsibilities, states we are a company that “rolls up its sleeves.” This concept can be called drive or grit or tenacity, but for me, through the context of this trip, I call it heart. Working at Medline requires having and giving your heart to your work.
Applying a Mission Statement into Your Work
We all know with this giving we run the risk of overextending and leaving ourselves feeling drained and empty. It is at these times that we need to turn our focus inward, toward the body of Medline as made up of each and every employee. For me that is what this trip embodied. It was a chance for the heart of a company, our people, to take center stage. It was a time to remind us of what we have and why we do what we do.
Looking forward, it gives me a clearer purpose to my work. Each day I put on that Medline badge, I am building up our corporate body so that our heart can be strengthened and opportunities like this are given the chance to happen. I am engaging in a positive feedback loop, which improves the work I do, the way in which I do it and extends the reach of where this work can take us. This trip has shown me not only how we can, but why we do, the work we do. It has shown me how Medline can and is “Advancing the Health of Healthcare.” For that I am grateful and humbled.