Creating a Culture of Improvement at Southcentral Foundation

Southcentral Foundation (SCF), a two-time Malcom Baldrige award-winning Alaska Native healthcare system, has made continuous improvement one of the key focuses of the organization. At SCF, change is driven by patients (who are called “customer-owners” at SCF). SCF constantly solicits their input, and engages with the community in a variety of ways on a regular basis, to gather their feedback and determine the changes and improvements they want to see made. Once the customer-owners have given direction for what to do, SCF implements change on an organizational level. SCF’s leadership encourages calculated risk-taking, innovation, and creativity on the part of employees to help bring about needed change. This session will cover the ways in which SCF supports change and innovation at an organizational level, and empowers employees to make quick change in response to customer feedback. 


  • Identify the key components of SCF’s comprehensive improvement systems 

  • Analyze the ways in which SCF collects and implements customer-owner feedback 

  • Evaluate the ways in which SCF supports and empowers employees to make changes requested by customer-owners

Speaker(s):

David Lessens headshot
David Lessens, Medical Director, Primary Care 1 West
Monica Lee headshot
Monica Lee, Senior Improvement Advisor, Southcentral Foundation
David Lessens headshot