Greenville, SC—In July, Mark S. O’Halla came onboard as Prisma Health’s first president and chief executive officer (CEO). He has spent his first 90 days at every level of the organization engaging team members, developing strategies with the executive leadership team and learning more about the communities Prisma Health serves.
With more than 30 years of experience in senior executive roles in the health care industry, O’Halla brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Since he has been at the helm, a few themes emerged – including further integrating the health company, improving the team member experience and relentlessly pursuing perfection for patients.
O’Halla wants to emphasize that Prisma Health is South Carolina’s largest health company and no longer the two separate organizations that it was founded by. He says although there are historic identities from each organization, Prisma Health now is poised to realize its goal of improving the health of South Carolinians. “We want to operate as one seamless organization, so regardless of where patients enter our system, they can expect a consistent, high quality level of care,” he said. “I believe that our organization must relentlessly pursue perfection for our patients. The patient is at the center of everything we do.”
Prisma Health must engage its team members to achieve any of its goals, said O’Halla, stressing that the organization’s success is in the hands of those who interact every day with patients and their families. “As a health company that touches the lives of 1.2 million patients every year, Prisma Health is many things,” he said. “But above all else, it is 32,000 team members. Our philosophy is simple – team members come first.”
As part of positioning the organization for the future, O’Halla recognized that Prisma Health was behind the market in offering many team members competitive pay. He took immediate action and put in place a plan to bring lagging pay rates up to market.
“We have a strong organization, and we will offer competitive pay and benefits to recruit and retain the highly qualified workforce our patients and community deserves,” he said. “Our initial focus on pay changes was for front-line team members, such as nurses and support positions. Over the last two months, more than 75 percent of our team members have received pay adjustments. Our goal is to address all team members’ pay that is behind market by the end of the current fiscal year.”
For example, a new graduate nurse will now earn $29 per hour as a starting wage. Nurses currently employed by Prisma Health received an average salary increase of $3-5 per hour.
“We understand that this large investment in our people will require changes in other areas. We know this is the right thing to do – for our team members, our community and the patients we serve.”
O’Halla understands that questions arise when people see things changing inside the organization. He said, “Change is part of creating something new. We have to change to meet the demands on our industry and the needs of our patients. I want to assure everyone that the changes we are making are to better serve our community and our patients as we live our Purpose: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference.”
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and South Carolina’s largest private employer. We are committed to excellence in providing patient care, conducting clinical research and teaching the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals. Our organization was formed in late 2017 when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health joined together, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. With nearly 32,000 team members, 18 hospitals and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million patients annually – about one quarter of the state’s population. Our goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by improving clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care. Our groundbreaking programs in cardiovascular, diabetes, neuroscience, oncology and orthopedics care – as well as our two renowned Children’s Hospitals – attract patients from throughout the Southeast. Ultimately, we are dedicated to transforming the health care experience for our patients and their families, our team members and our guests by bringing our purpose to life: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.