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Shadale Jacobs Recognized for Leading the Empowerment Culture Group

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — July 11, 2019 — 4 min read
In an effort to educate staff on the functions of various departments within Cardinal Innovations Healthcare and ultimately improve the corporate culture, Shadale Jacobs led a Culture Ambassador effort to create a series of lunch and learns featuring each department. 

“The lunch and learns brought people together and also gave a better understanding of what 'they' do over there," said Jacobs, Cardinal Innovations' Access Call Center Manager and Veteran Point of Contact. “One consistent thing that I heard after just about every lunch and learn was, 'I didn't realize they did all of that.' That's a very powerful realization because it makes people more aware and more understanding when an email is overlooked or a response is not immediate."

Human Resources Director Angela Genero-Ruilova said Jacobs' leadership in making the lunch and learns happen (along with the group effort) should be recognized. The idea originated from Cardinal Innovations' Employee Survey, where people stated that they wanted to know more about the various departments and the roles of their peers. It was then turned into an organizational goal for the Empowerment Culture Group, a subcommittee of the Culture Ambassadors. They hosted seven lunch and learns in six months.

“(Jacobs) is the leader of the Empowerment Culture Group," said Genero-Ruilova. “They have conducted several lunch and learns for the organization over the last several months. (Jacobs) also was recently given more responsibility as a manager in Access, and is also a liaison to the Board of Directors regarding the employee engagement survey. She is a model leader."

Jacobs said she believes the lunch and learns helped empower those who attended because they became more knowledgeable. “With the additional knowledge, they could ask more in-depth questions or have a better understanding of how and why things operate in the manner that they do," she said. 

Jacobs, who has worked for Cardinal Innovations for over 11 years, said she first got involved with the Culture Ambassadors when she raised her hand to volunteer during an all staff meeting several years ago. 

“From that, I became the team lead for the Empowerment Culture Group in which I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing peers that I may not have encountered any other way," she said. “Together, we discuss ways to empower each other and our peers and are really a very cohesive group of individuals."

The Empowerment Culture Group met biweekly to come up with the plan to host seven lunch and learns, soliciting volunteers to determine which departments would go first. They coordinated with the various departments each month and requested that they make a 30 to 45 minute PowerPoint presentation, create fact sheets about their departments, and be prepared for question and answers.

Jacobs also was named the Culture Liaison to the Cardinal Innovations Board of Directors during the past fiscal year. She shares updates from the Culture Ambassadors groups, information derived from surveys, and provides the board with insight from an employee perspective. 

“I take my role as a Cultural Ambassador very seriously because I want to make sure that we are good stewards of the opportunity we are provided to influence our experience at Cardinal Innovations," she said. 

In her role as Access Manager, Jacobs is responsible for a team of 37 people who provide telephonic screening, triage, and referral for behavioral health services, crisis situations, and community resources 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. 

“I provide real time response and support to our team when they encounter difficult situations or upset members/stakeholders. I try to ensure that our entire team provides excellent customer service (internally and externally), both accurately and efficiently, by conducting needs assessments, performance reviews, and monitoring and advocating for upgrades to our call center technology," she said. “My position allows me the opportunity to work across various levels of leadership to improve processes that put our member's needs first." 

Jacobs also serves as Cardinal Innovations Veterans Point of Contact, which has a personal meaning for her, too, as the wife of a N.C. Guardsman. 

“I became involved in Cardinal Innovations' commitment to serve those who served us when we became a part of the America Serves Network in 2014 - first, as the only managed care organization in the network and then later as the back office coordination center for the Central Carolina region," she said. “As the spouse of a NC Guardsman, the efforts were near and dear to me so it was really cool for me to be involved in that manner. Fast forward a few years and the opportunity to become the Veteran Point of Contact presented itself."

Jacobs said she tries to keep internal employees who served, or who are currently serving, informed on the various events and resources available within the community. She also spends time with the Service Member Veteran and Family Suicide Prevention Workgroup, attempting to create initiatives and plans that will reduce and Veteran Suicide. 
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