May 12, 2022

What’s Behind AdventHealth’s New Pledge to Team Members

Video ad emphasizes the health system’s commitment to current and future employees.

AdventHealth News

It is still dark outside when Elizabeth Ramirez gazes out the kitchen window, her morning cup of tea in hand. It is the dawn of a new day. As she steps outside and opens her car door, the action shifts into high gear, unfolding through the eyes of nurses, doctors, patients, transporters, teachers, and students — including glimpses of who they are beyond those roles.

Whether they are kissing a loved one goodbye before leaving for work or returning home at the end of the day to the welcoming hugs of their kids, team members — current and future — are the focus of AdventHealth’s brand-new pledge video. The Pledge is the company’s commitment to team members, assuring them that they are seen, heard, and valued.

That message is underscored in the narrator’s opening lines in the video, which began airing April 25 as a commercial on digital streaming platforms like Hulu: “This is a pledge to our AdventHealth team today and tomorrow. We are making a shift to a new standard of care for you.” With the exception of the narrator, all the “actors” are actual AdventHealth team members. And striking just the right chord is background music provided by team members in the AdventHealth Orchestra.

 Team Members as Moms

“I am so thankful for my job,” Ramirez said. As the branch manager of retail services at AdventHealth East Orlando, Ramirez knows what it’s like to provide that extra measure of comfort to those who may visit the gift shop seeking some retail therapy. Four years ago, she was a frequent visitor to the shop in AdventHealth Orlando, where her daughter, who is now six years old, spent 56 days undergoing surgeries for a heart defect.

Recently, after hearing a mother’s story about her dying son, Ramirez held her hands and said a prayer for her. “She thanked me and gave me the biggest hug. My heart felt so full of love and happiness,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez, who also appears in the Pledge video as the mom preparing school lunches, said the filming experience was amazing. “It really makes it come to life — to be proud of who I work for.”

Kelly Bassett, senior nurse manager in AdventHealth East Orlando’s ICU, can be seen brushing her six-year-old daughter’s hair in the opening montage, and again when her daughter and eight-year-old son rush to greet her upon her return home. A viewer might wonder if it’s just good acting on her kids’ part or if she is always welcomed home in such a manner. “Shockingly, that’s exactly how it happens, and I treasure it every time,” she said.

Bassett, who has spent all 13 of her nursing years in the family environment of AdventHealth East Orlando, believes that The Pledge will help her, as a leader, not only to invite people to join the team but also retain current team members with “all of the benefits that make this a great place to work.”

For Bassett, those benefits include education assistance. “I am AdventHealth through and through,” she said. Having received both an associate and bachelor’s degree from AdventHealth University, Bassett is now working on her master’s degree. “I have been blessed not to have any student loans,” she said, thanks to AdventHealth’s tuition assistance that has helped her get through college debt free.

Making It Feel Genuine

“Having team members featured makes for a much more genuine experience and really helps get across the idea that AdventHealth is a great place to work,” Bassett said.

Aside from the acting, team members were also involved in other facets of The Pledge, from concept to the final “noodling” that occurred right up to a few weeks before the video launched.

Work on The Pledge began in earnest last summer, when health-care workers nationwide, worn and weary from COVID-19’s unrelenting hold, were leaving their jobs in droves. The Pledge was based on the fact that AdventHealth, and the workplace in general, was shifting, and it was essential to understand what is most important for team members now.

“We decided to launch an Employer Brand campaign that would align with the overall brand promise of ‘feel whole,’ ” Stephanie Mellenberndt, senior manager of corporate marketing/brand operations for AdventHealth, said.

Team Members Are the Heart

“Our team members are the very heart of our organization, and we value their dedication to those we serve,” Olesea Azevedo, chief people officer for AdventHealth, said. “Based on what our team members have told us is most important to them, we have been making changes to our benefits and offerings over the past couple of years. In focus groups, on surveys and more, we have heard what they are looking for in the workplace, and we have pledged to care for them physically, mentally and spiritually.”

In 2021, AdventHealth invested more than US$571 million to enhance team members’ experience, including competitive pay, benefits from day one, and mental health and other well-being offerings. It also invested in student loan support and debt-free education options.

“It is easy for a company to make empty promises,” Bassett said. “But AdventHealth backs up those promises with action and truly makes this the best place to learn, work, and grow.” 

AdventHealth’s Pledge to Team Members

You deserve a place that understands the depth of your service. 

A place that knows you can’t care for someone else wholly unless you’re feeling whole yourself. 

We see you. The whole you. 

We see your life beyond these walls. 

That’s why we promise to care for you physically, mentally, and spiritually. We promise competitive pay and paid time off from your very first day. 

We promise to grow your skills with career development in some of the most advanced facilities in the country. We promise to nurture your growth with debt-free education. 

And we promise to cultivate an inclusive environment and a network of opportunity. 

Because when you feel whole, we build a stronger community together.

The original version of this story was posted on the AdventHealth news site.