It’s a new day: leadership brings culture change to UPHSM

The more than 2300 employees of UP Health System – Marquette have been undergoing a new kind of training.

Culture Days, a four-hour employee program being held throughout December 2016, is hosted by the new leadership of UP Health System – Marquette, headed by Brian Sinotte, Chief Executive Officer and Sharon Radcliffe, Chief of Staff.

The program is designed to introduce new standards of performance to all staff members. These standards cover core values of employee behavior, from upholding the No Pass Zone – leaving no patient call lights unanswered, to greeting all patients and coworkers with eye contact and a smile.

“It’s a huge program. We have just around 2,330 employees. So we’re hosting our Culture Days in sections of 200 employees at a time. It’s an absolutely crucial message that we need to share with all of our staff. We’re talking about patient safety, quality, and positivity. It’s all focused on setting new standards of performance across the entire organization,” Sharon Radcliffe, the newly appointed Chief of Staff said.

UP Health System – Marquette employs Upper Peninsula residents at its hospital in Marquette, the Peninsula Medical Center, and outlying clinics in Negaunee, Harvey, Escanaba, Sault Ste. Marie, and Gladstone. Culture Days is an important first step in part of a larger Journey to Excellence that Sinotte is rolling out to help lead UP Health System – Marquette to become a high performing organization.

LifePoint CEO Bill Carpenter III visited Marquette on December 6th to see firsthand the work being done at the innovative Culture Days program.


UP Health System – Marquette was acquired by Duke LifePoint in 2012. It was the first large (300+ bed) hospital acquired by the company, which now operates four large, similarly sized hospitals. There are 72 LifePoint hospitals across 22 states, and 14 Duke LifePoint hospitals in the United States.

Brian Sinotte, the energetic Chief Executive Officer of UPHSM appointed in July 2016, said, “We’ve learned a lot along the way. I understand the road has been rocky at some points. But now we’re making big changes.”

Sinotte continued, “We’re very fortunate to have this relationship with Duke LifePoint, to start. It’s a relationship that has already brought in nearly $40 million of capital investments since 2012. And we have the new hospital going up, which is a tremendous investment for everyone. Altogether, the Duke LifePoint partnership will have brought in about $360 million of capital investments to the Upper Peninsula by the end of 2018. Hospitals are lining up to become part of the Duke LifePoint family, and we already have that resource, here.”

But the big focus now is on the “front-line”, Sinotte says. “None of that matters if we don’t have our staff on board with us. So we’re fostering that attitude of commitment to safety, quality, and compassion. We’re building that from the ground up with Culture Days, with every staff member. Every single person matters in our journey.”

Tammy, who has been with the hospital for six years, said “We’re all incredibly thankful to Brian and to the LifePoint team for really going out of their way and giving us a new sense of hope and direction. We’re feeling a really great energy, here. The staff feels empowered, and we’ll be holding ourselves accountable for patient care and safety. My family is from the UP, like most of us. We love this community, love the UP, and we want to take the best possible care of our patients.”

With exciting new leadership, a dramatic revision to employee standards of performance, and ongoing capital investments and support from the Duke LifePoint partnership, we expect to see plenty of exciting changes in the coming years for healthcare in the Upper Peninsula.

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