Leading by example, Chief Executive Officer Pat Walz, gets out of his office once a week and takes a shift behind the wheel of a shuttle cart at Yuma Regional Medical Center.
It's a nice break from meetings, Walz said, and he appreciates the opportunity to meet the hospital's patients and visitors face-to-face.
"Absolutely, I'm having a good time doing it," he said. "I get outside and find out how customers feel about coming to the hospital and for the most part it's positive."
They've also been understanding about the current constraints on parking as the hospital embarks on construction of a new parking garage, he said. He asks for the community's support during construction of the garage and other building projects the hospital has underway.
When completed, YRMC’s campus will offer improved services and more convenient access to services, he said.
The three-level, 391-space parking garage is now underway on the northwest corner of the hospital campus where the main parking lot for patients and visitors previously was located. It will create a few additional parking spaces. But more importantly, it will eliminate the hike up the steep hillside to the hospital. The parking garage's top floor will be level with the main entrance.
The structure is expected to be completed in early 2014. In the meantime, parking is a premium with the loss of that parking lot.
“We recognize that construction makes it more difficult for patients and families to get around our campus,” said Walz. “We want to do everything we can to minimize the inconvenience to those we serve.”
That includes constant planning for parking alternatives. And it has volunteers stationed around the campus to direct people to available parking. It also has expanded the number of parking shuttle drivers and hours shuttles are in operation in an effort to improve service for patients during construction.
Flag down a passing cart for the free shuttle service, or call 336-7927 weekdays or 336-7061 evenings and weekends to request a ride.
The CEO of the hospital just may be behind the wheel of the cart.
“Our primary value is Patients Come First," Walz said. "It is a privilege to serve this community. As a parking shuttle driver, I hope to inspire others to give a few hours of their time over the next few months to help.”
The Volunteer Services department at YRMC has immediate openings for late evening and weekend parking shuttle drivers. Parking shuttle drivers play an integral role on the YRMC campus, offering patients and visitors a golf cart ride between their vehicle and an entrance at the hospital. Parking shuttle drivers are asked to commit to a minimum of one day per week for a four-hour shift.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Elizabeth Hammonds, Volunteer Services coordinator, at (928) 336-2005 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.