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Southcoast Health Employee News

You are Outstanding!

“Your organization of the process from start to finish was exceptional in every way, human and structural. My nurse was professional, yet so helpfully personal. He had that rare trait to be able to anticipate my needs and questions and his response was ALWAYS more than I expected.” – Patient from SLH Perioperative Care


Employee Flu Vaccine Clinics Begin October 4

Walk-in employee flu clinics at Southcoast Health will begin on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 and run through the end of October. Click here for the schedule.

Before visiting a flu clinic, you must provide your electronic consent through FluForm. This application can also be used to verify that you received the vaccine elsewhere.

As a condition of employment and membership on the Southcoast medical staff, all Southcoast Health System individuals (SHS individuals), whether or not they work in a clinical area, including volunteers, students, contingent workers, contractors and medical staff members must annually receive a flu vaccine and declare their status by doing one of the following:

  • Receive a flu vaccine at Southcoast

OR

  • Provide signed documentation with detailed proof of receiving a flu vaccine during the current flu season from an outside source. Documentation must include employee’s name, date of birth, name and date of vaccine and the name of the provider. Submit your vaccine record through the FluForm.  

OR

  • Have an approved exemption based on strict established criteria to be outlined at a later date.

Documentation of flu vaccination status must be completed by Monday, December 5, 2022. 

For additional information about the flu vaccine and Southcoast Health’s flu clinics, please visit the Flu Clinics page on Southcoast Central.


Register today for the Nicole Podkowa 5K

Southcoast Health is thrilled to host the 5th Annual Nicole Podkowa 5k in person this year! The race will take place at the Southcoast Health Cancer Center in Fairhaven at 9am on Sunday, October 9.

For those that cannot participate in person, but would still like to participate you may still register and run/walk your 5K in the comfort of your own neighborhood, treadmill or local park.

Proceeds raised through this event will support the Nicole Podkowa Cancer Patient and Caregiver’s Assistance Fund. This unique fund supports patients being treated at the Southcoast Health Cancer Centers and their families who are in need of financial assistance to help with utility payments, food, housing, transportation, cancer related supplies and other necessities.

Click here to register!


Welcome to Southcoast Central!

Last week, we began an exciting new era for Southcoast Health, as our previous employee intranet has now been replaced with the launch of Southcoast Central!

As with any new launch, we expect there will be some questions along the way, and we are here to help!

The Southcoast Central Resource page is where you can find the video tour of Southcoast Central, as well as tip sheets for finding the tools and resources you need on Southcoast Central at any time. You can link directly to the Southcoast Central Resource page from the homepage of Southcoast Central under the “Top Places” section in the middle of the page.

For urgent or critical issues where prompt assistance is needed, please contact the Help Desk at x33333 or submit a Technology Support ticket.

As you get more familiar with your new employee portal, we want to know what you think would make Southcoast Central the most useful, engaging and valuable place for you to visit each day. The Southcoast Central Resource page is where you can find a feedback submission form for your ideas, thoughts and suggested improvements.

We hope you are enjoying your Southcoast Central experience and we look forward to your feedback – it is valued and appreciated!


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Lilivette Rivera

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 – October 15. With both of her parents born in Puerto Rico, before coming to New England when they were in their teens, Lilivette Rivera from St. Luke’s Hospital Food and Nurtition Services shared the importance Hispanic Heritage Month to her and her family.

“The most important thing is knowing where you come from,” she says, “Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate your heritage and keep the heritage alive, particularly through music, history and most of all, the food.”

At home, her family celebrates both Hispanic and American traditions and cultures, especially when celebrating holidays. “Thanksgiving is a good example of how we celebrate both cultures,” she says. “We always have the turkey but the ‘pernil’ (pork shoulder) is the really special part of the meal. Some of the other foods are from the Hispanic tradition like yellow rice and the flan and arroz con dulce (sweet rice)”.

Click here to continue reading.


Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk – Sunday, October 16, 2022

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Southcoast Health is proud to participate in the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Providence. Please consider joining our team — the Southcoast Breast Savers!

Invite your friends, family, and coworkers to join in. Set group and individual fundraising goals and strategize fun ways to reach them!

Click here to learn more about how to join the Southcoast Breast Savers team and place your t-shirt order for the event.


Southcoast Reconnect Feedback Survey

Thank you for joining our bi-monthly Southcoast Reconnect meetings! Now it is your turn to tell us what you want to see in future meetings and how we can improve this experience.

Click here to complete the survey!


Congratulations to this month’s Service Excellence Award winners: New Bedford X-Ray!

New Bedford X-Ray had the highest year over year increase in Listening!  

“Every day we pull together as a team, we are trusting of our coworkers, and we have respect and true admiration for each other. I truly enjoy my job,” says a member of the team.

Thank you for your amazing work!


Important Student Loan Relief Deadline 9/28  

The Department of Education announced a Limited Waiver Opportunity (LWO) for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, temporarily enabling some borrowers to receive additional qualifying payments, moving them closer to loan forgiveness! Fiducius has created a benefit for this opportunity, Assure.

Assure is included in your forgiveness agreement at no additional cost, a $199.99 value! Do not wait! The deadline for Assure is 9/28/2022.

Fiducius provides in-depth education and comprehensive support on student loan restructuring options, including loan refinancing, consolidation, and forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Quick Links


Who is eligible?

  1. ALL Southcoast employees AND household members (child[ren], spouse) are eligible to utilize the services of Fiducius (forgiveness, refinance/loan consolidation).
  2. Full-time employment at a qualified not-for-profit organization is required for participation in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. If you work at one or more qualifying employer(s) for an annual average of at least 30 hours per week or a contractual employment period of at least eight months, averaging 30 hours per week, you will be considered full-time. Please see the FAQ for more details.

Click here for more information.


Epic Optimization Newsletter, September 2022

The Epic Monthly Newsletter for September 2022 is now available. To download the newsletter, click here.


construction map july nb

West St. Construction in New Bedford

The City of New Bedford began resurfacing West Street and adjoining roads next to St. Luke’s on Monday, September 12. The project is expected to last about 8-12 weeks (until early November).

Work on the project will take place Monday – Friday, 7am – 5:30pm. At all other times when work is not occurring, roads and parking lots will be open and accessible without restrictions.

A city police detail will be present whenever work crews are onsite. Employees and patients should follow the direction of police officers and follow the signs detailing road closures and detours. Parking attendants or Southcoast Public Safety Officers will be onsite to assist patients with parking, if needed, as well to assist delivery vehicles accessing the hospital loading dock.

Employees and patients should allow extra time when commuting to and from the hospital in case of any delay caused by rerouted traffic.

Click here for more information.


It’s Not too Late to Earn Limeade Rewards!

We are more than halfway through the Taking Care of You powered by Limeade program, and it’s not too late to sign up! Your commitment to building good habits will help you live your best life.

For Employees not on the Southcoast Health Plan:

  • You are eligible to earn a $25 gift card for reaching 2,000 points and another $25 gift card for reaching 3,000 points before December 1, 2022.

For Employees on the Southcoast Heath Plan:

  • If you’ve already joined, congratulations and keep moving to earn your $500 Southcoast Health Plan premium savings for 2023 (reach 2,000 points) by December 1, 2022!
  • You are also eligible to earn a $100 Tango gift card for reaching 3,000 points before December 1, 2022. Gift cards can be redeemed from Oct 1 – Dec 1, 2022. 

Gift card emails will be sent the first and third week of each month starting in October. You will receive an email from our partner, Tango with instructions for how to redeem your gift card. 

Sign in here or download the Limeade ONE app and enter Southcoast to work toward earning your $500 Southcoast Health Plan premium savings today! Select Registered User, then Southcoast Health Single Sign-On, and use your Southcoast email credentials (Southcoast email address and your password) to log-in.

For technical and launch difficulties, please call Limeade Support 855-511-6354. For program questions, please call the Southcoast Employee Answer Line at 508-973-2600.

Click here for more information.


New Media Release Form on PeopleSoft

Southcoast employees can now sign a one-time universal media release on PeopleSoft.

The new agreement allows Southcoast Health to use photos, videos or audio clips, submitted to, or taken by the Marketing Communications Department.

All Southcoast Employees are encouraged to acknowledge the agreement with consent or non-consent even if they have filled out a paper form in the past.

To access the form, read the agreement and acknowledge, please refer to the Tip Sheet and look for the icon below in PeopleSoft employee self-service.

Click here to read the announcement.


Know Your Retirement Outlook®

Your Retirement Outlook® is a Transamerica tool that measures the gap between your retirement goal and how much income your current strategy is likely to produce when you retire. To estimate your retirement income, the tool considers your age, your retirement account balance, how much you’re contributing (and how you’re investing), and your anticipated Social Security income. You can also include retirement savings, income, and expenses you may have outside the plan to get the full picture.

To view (and improve) your outlook, visit transamerica.com/portal/southcoast and log in to your account.

Important: The projections or other information generated by the engine (which produces Your Retirement Outlook®) regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. Results derived from the tool may vary with each use and over time. Please visit your plan website for more information regarding the criteria and methodology used, the engine’s limitations and key assumptions, and other important information.

Securities offered through Transamerica Investors Securities Corporation (TISC), member FINRA, 440 Mamaroneck Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528. Transamerica is not affiliated with your employer.


Lakey siblings Daniel and Alexandra, in fourth and first grade, respectively, sent a letter to Southcoast gifting proceeds from their lemonade stand to pediatric patients.

A Thoughtful Summer Donation

Assonet’s Daniel and Alexandra Lakey, sibling philanthropists, spent the last few fleeting days of summer vacation contributing funds from their family business – a lemonade stand built from the ground up with dad, Derek – to worthy causes.

Southcoast Health is honored to be among them.

Recently, we received a letter from Daniel, who started fourth grade this week, and Alexandra, a newly minted first-grader.

“Dear Hospital,” it starts. “We made a lemonade stand and made $110. We divided it into thirds and donated about $35 to you. We hope you can use it to help children at your hospital. Sincerely, Alexandra, Daniel”

In response, Donor Relations Specialist Elizabeth Race-Moore reached out to Daniel and Alexandra’s mom, Jillian, to let them know their generous gift would be allocated for pediatric patient services.

“I told the kids about your call, and their faces lit up,” Jillian said. “They were excited to donate the money to kids and families in need.”

Thank you, Daniel and Alexandra, from all of us at Southcoast Health! You are an inspiration, and we wish you the very best in your future endeavors … both entrepreneurial and charitable.

Click here for information on the Southcoast Health Annual Fund.


Southcoast Health Named Best of the Best 2022!

This year, Southcoast Health was named Best of the Best in all categories in which we were nominated, including the best place to work for the fifth consecutive year!

“Congratulations to everyone who helped make this remarkable accomplishment possible,” said Dr. Kruger. “Your continuous hard work is truly inspiring and I would like to thank each of you, not only for everything you do for our patients, but also for your ongoing support of your colleagues, and the entire Southcoast Health family.”

Click here to learn more.


Get Boosted at a Southcoast Clinic

Southcoast offers employee-only walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics at each of our three hospitals and the Southcoast Business Center in Fairhaven.

A booster shot helps protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Keep your colleagues, loved ones, and yourself healthy and safe by getting boosted.

No appointment is needed, and the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine is now available.  The full employee clinic schedule is available here.


Congratulations to the August Service Excellence Award winners: The SK3 Unit at Tobey Hospital

Congratulations to this team, and thank you for continuously providing exceptional patient care!

 “To earn the Service Excellence Award on SK3 means that our community sees the quality care our nurses, providers and staff give them,” said Tara Rosa, Patient Care Manager.

“This recognition gives our team pride, and it reinforces the commitment they have to excellence in the current healthcare environment.  Additionally it shows how well we all work together as a team, including with the Housekeeping, Dietary, Radiology and Lab teams, Providers, Nurses and so on. Teamwork is the secret sauce at Tobey!”


Parking Updates at Southcoast Health Hospitals

Please see the maps below with changes to the parking areas surrounding Southcoast Health Hospitals.

Charlton Memorial Parking

St. Luke’s Parking

Tobey Parking

It is important to park in the correct location to ensure our patients, visitors and vendors have convenient and accessible parking when arriving at the hospital.

Employees are required to park in the designated employee parking areas. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.


Take advantage of 20% off Tuition and Free Nursing CE courses at Capella University!

Eligible Southcoast Health Systems employees have access to benefits that include a 20% tuition discount for Capella bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.

If you’re interested in gaining CE credit, Capella also offers no cost webinars that are career-applicable and available on demand.

Next start dates: October 10th, November 7th, & December 5th

To Learn more Click Here


Welcome John Ponti, MD to Southcoast Health!

Specializing in Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, Dr. Ponti is board certified through the American Board of Family Medicine.

He first graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst before going on to pursue a career in health care. Graduating with his Doctor of Medicine degree from UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA.  Dr. Ponti completed his residency at Brown Family Medicine in Pawtucket, RI before completing his fellowship at UMass Sports & Exercise Medicine in Worcester, MA.   

Dr. Ponti has served as the team physician for many collegiate athletic teams. He will be a wonderful addition to Southcoast Health. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ponti.


LGBTQIA+ Welcoming & Knowledgeable

Southcoast Health’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Council and the LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), along with our Digital Health Services team and employees across our system, are launching the LGBTQIA+ Welcoming & Knowledgeable Project.

On Thursday, August 18, a new smartform and information will be added to Epic during quarterly downtime. For more details, including training opportunities and a style guide, please visit the LGBTQIA+ Welcoming & Knowledgeable Center.

This initiative’s mission is to enhance functionality in Epic to gather Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) information required to provide optimal care for LGBTQIA+ patients, while also building upon our cultural training to continue our journey toward strengthening patient experience.

Everyone at Southcoast Health plays a crucial role in this process, whether during face-to-face interactions with patients and their loved ones or in written correspondence via letters and MyChart messages.


Volunteers Needed for the United Way Mobile Markets

Southcoast Health is proud to sponsor the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Mobile Market in New Bedford and Wareham again this year! The mobile markets provide free, locally grown produce to low-income residents throughout the Greater New Bedford community.

  • Volunteer shifts start at 5 pm for set up and end at 7 pm.
  • What volunteers do:
    • Unload produce off the Hunger Commission truck.
    • Assist with registration and helping patrons fill out required application.
    • Stock produce as it runs low throughout the early evening.
    • Assist Mobile Market patrons with “shopping” for food.
    • Talk to patrons about other information available at the market regarding other area services.

For more information and to sign-up to volunteer, please visit:

All Locations: Mobile Market | Volunteer SouthCoast

Wareham only: Southcoast Mobile Market Volunteers.


WGU’s Back to School Scholarship Is Here

Are you thinking of beginning a new degree program? Over the next several months, WGU is making it easier to do just that with a scholarship!

WGU Back to School Scholarship
Valued at up to $2,500
Apply by Dec. 31, 2022

WGU offers online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Healthcare, Nursing (RN-to-BSN), IT, Business and Education

With no set log-in times, a WGU program can fit your lifestyle even as you balance your work and family life. A Program Mentor will guide you through to graduation. Plus, you get to decide how long earning your degree takes—you can advance through coursework and tests as quickly as you show mastery of the material.

Learn more about this exciting scholarship here and apply today


The Gratitude Report

At Southcoast Health, every patient receives a Patient Satisfaction Survey that asks them to tell us what we did well, or how we might have improved their experience.

Please take a moment to review all of the staff members recognized in recent patient surveys and congratulate your coworkers on the amazing work they provide day in and day out!

Because of your commitment to service excellence, our Service Excellence & Patient Experience Department is often flooded with positive feedback, comments and stories recognizing our staff for the outstanding service provided to our patients, families and community. Thank you for all that you do!

Click here to view the report.


Mileage Rate Increase

June 2022

Effective July 1, 2022, the reimbursement rate for mileage is increasing from 58.5 to 62.5 cents per mile. An updated mileage form will be posted on the intranet on July 1. The updated form will contain all the rates for FY22 (going back to October 1, 2021). The mileage rate used to calculate reimbursement will be based on the date entered on the form.


Volunteers Needed!

July 2022

Employees and providers – We would love to welcome your family members and friends who are interested in volunteering at Southcoast.  We have volunteer opportunities helping patients directly in meaningful ways. Whether helping patients find their way in the hospital, providing them with reading material from our book cart, spending time with those needing conversation, or any number of other important activities, volunteers gain as much as they give.

If you know of anyone who may be interested, have them reach out to us. We will be happy to discuss what it’s like to be a Southcoast Health Volunteer. More information on how to contact us is available on our website here.

In keeping with our COVID-19 policies, volunteers must be fully vaccinated. 


Donate Your New Baby Items – Support New Beginnings!

We are always in need of:

The New Beginnings Program provides
support to opiate exposed newborns and
their mothers with the goal of improving
long-term outcomes. More than 87 moms
were referred to the program during FY20.
In response to the national epidemic of
opioid abuse and addiction and its impact
on the health of our most vulnerable
lives, Southcoast Health has operated the
New Beginnings Program since 2016 to
improve outcomes for substance exposed
newborns (SEN) and their caregivers.

  • Outfits and sleepers 0-3 and 3-6 month
    sizes (seasonal appropriate)
  • Packages of newborn diapers
  • Baby wipes (non-scented)
  • Baby blankets
  • Baby bath towels and washcloths
  • Bibs and baby bandanas
  • Soft newborn baby toys
  • Hats, coats, warm sweaters

Donations of new items will be accepted in large bins located at the Charlton
Memorial and St. Luke’s hospital lobbies.

Printable flyer here.


Does Your Department Need Short-Term Light Duty Assistance?

Employee Health places employees gradually returning to work with restrictions in short-term light duty assignments until they are able to resume full duty in their regular department. The assignment can be for a few weeks or a few months. Light duty hours are billed to the employee’s home department. 

If you are able to provide light duty work to an employee in your department on a short-term basis, please complete the RTW manager’s request form on the Employee Health intranet page and provide us as much detail as possible.  Click here for RTW form. (Please note: Do not use this form to request light duty for an employee who works in your department.) 

Once you submit this form, Employee Health will be notified directly. The information will be added to a database for Employee Health to refer to when needing to place an employee. 

For questions, please email Teri Kinder, Employee Health Manager, at kindert@southcoast.org.


Protect Yourself from Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens!

May 2022

The prevalence of bloodborne pathogens in our patient population has increased, making exposure to blood/body fluids a much greater risk, and we have seen an increase in employee exposures. Many exposures are preventable by following established safety policies and procedures as outlined in the Exposure Control Plan (ECP), located on the intranet under Infection Prevention Policies and Manuals.

 Please review the ECP and the Message of the Week Sharps Injury Prevention to keep yourself safe.

  • Activate the safety device immediately! Safety devices are designed to be activated with one hand. Never use a second hand to manipulate the safety device. If it fails to immediately activate, dispose of it at once in the sharps disposal box.
  • Immediately dispose of sharps at the point of use directly into a sharps container. Do not place contaminated sharps down on a surface to retrieve later.
  • Do not travel with sharps or hand them to another person for any reason. Use a “safe” or “neutral zone” in procedural settings.
  • Do not use any sharps with which you are unfamiliar. Know how to safely and appropriately activate the safety engineered device before use.
  • Utilize proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent any contact with blood or body fluids.
  • Anticipate patient needs! Obtain help to position or help manage patients, as indicated, to prevent jarring or sudden movement that can cause injury.
  • Monitor sharps containers and notify EVS to exchange them when nearing the two-thirds (2/3) full line.

Newly Revised Southcoast PowerPoint Templates

We recently updated our Southcoast PowerPoint templates for your use. We also added a tip sheet to help you learn how to use the templates and which template is best for your use based on the type of presentation.

Go to Signature, PowerPoint, Flyer Templates on the intranet and scroll down to PowerPoint Template.


Southcoast’s NEW Employee Answer Line

Employees may now call 973-2600 (ext. 32600) or submit a Southcoast Employee Answer Line ServiceNow ticket for questions on benefits, payroll, leave of absence and other employment-related matters.

Learn more details here.


Getting Support from the Marketing & Communications Team

Do you need assistance from Marketing & Communications? Making a request is simple and straightforward.

All non-emergency requests should be submitted through ServiceNow, and not sent by email. Requests are reviewed in the order submitted and project completion time varies depending on the type of request. Once a request is submitted, a Marketing & Communications team member will reach out within 5 business days to discuss your project and the estimated completion date.

Easy-to-follow instructions, a tip sheet for submitting requests, and the link to a ServiceNow Marketing & Communications ServiceNow request are available on the intranet here.

When completing the request form, please remember to select “Marketing & Communication” in the Lead Committee field.


Ukraine Relief Fund

Southcoast Cares has set up a fund through the SouthCoast Federal Credit Union for employees and providers who would like to support the relief efforts in Ukraine. Donated funds will be directed to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army for the direct benefit of Ukrainian residents and refugees.

Employees who wish to donate may do so in person at any of the SouthCoast FCU branches. Donations can be made by check, cash or, for those with SouthCoast FCU accounts, through an account transfer or online Bill Pay options. Account transfers can be made online, through the SouthCoast FCU mobile app, or by phone with appropriate identifying information from a SouthCoast FCU member.

SouthCoast FCU locations and telephone numbers are listed below:

  • Main Branch: 271 Union St., New Bedford, MA 02740 508-997-4475 
  • Charlton Site: 363 Highland Ave., Fall River, MA 02720 508-997-4475, Ext. 301
  • Fairhaven Site: 200 Mill Road, Fairhaven, MA 02719 508-997-4475, Ext. 401
  • St. Luke’s Site: 101 Page St. New Bedford, MA 02740 508-997-4475, Ext. 201
  • Tobey Site: 43 High St., Wareham, MA 02571 508-997-4475, Ext. 501

For location hours, click here.

If you have questions, please contact Rachel Davis, Director Community Health & Wellness, by email at davisra@southcoast.org.

Thank you for your support!


Employee Referral Program

Southcoast Health’s Employee Referral Program gives you a cash reward whenever we hire someone you refer! Learn the details on how you can earn a cash reward. Click here.


Have an idea for Southcoast Weekly and/or our social media accounts?

Feel free to send us your ideas, pictures with release forms and stories!

NOTE- All photos used for Southcoast Health published materials require a signed release form.

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Check us out and stay part of the conversation!