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Phelps Health Hosts First Innovation Summit Focused on Transforming Healthcare

Casey Burton hosts summit
Casey Burton, PhD, host of the Innovation Summit, kicks off the event, inspiring attendees to embrace a culture of innovation and transform healthcare at Phelps Health.

Published on May 29, 2024

Read Time: 2 Minutes

Three Things to Know

  • Inaugural Innovation Summit: Phelps Health hosted its first Innovation Summit on May 17, 2024, to promote high-quality healthcare through collaboration and innovation among leaders in various healthcare sectors.

  • Focus on Training and Efficiency: Key initiatives highlighted include the Student Nurse Intern program and the Earn While You Learn program, which aim to improve job readiness and licensure exam pass rates while allowing students to earn income during their training.

  • Commitment to Innovation: The summit emphasized the importance of fostering a collaborative and innovative culture to enhance patient care, employee engagement and overall healthcare efficiency in south-central Missouri.

Phelps Health hosted its inaugural Innovation Summit on May 17, 2024, bringing together leaders with a shared mission to provide high-quality healthcare to residents of south-central Missouri. Innovators from different areas such as data security, nursing, finance, cancer care and quality improvement came together to share their problem-solving strategies, aimed at improving patient care and efficiency and training future caregivers.

The idea for the summit originated from Phelps Health executives, with a vision to promote innovation across the organization.

“We are thrilled with the energy and ideas our leaders brought to this first event. We hope attendees can apply some of those ideas to their everyday work,” said Phelps Health President and CEO Jason Shenefield. “Our team’s dedication to improving healthcare delivery is crucial in driving advancements to better serve our community.”

The Innovation Summit highlighted the organization’s dedication to improving patient care, employee engagement and retention, and community well-being. The event featured sessions where participants explored new models and methods for improving the efficiency and quality of our processes.

Nursing leaders discussed how they are preparing the next generation of healthcare providers through training programs for surgical technologists and nurse interns. The Student Nurse Intern program is improving readiness on the job with a 25-50% reduction in orientation time and increased rates of passing the nursing licensure exam. The Earn While You Learn program allows students in their last semester of nursing to earn a living while finishing their training. The program also allows clinical leaders to evaluate students’ performance for potential employment at Phelps Health.

Innovation summit
Melissa Johnston, Surgical Services Educator, and Emily Buckley, Director of Surgical Services, discuss the Surgical Technologist Training program to Phelps Health leaders.


The summit also focused on redefining the work environment in healthcare, with an emphasis on fostering a collaborative and innovative culture.

“The healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving,” said Casey Burton, director of Health Innovation and Policy, who served as the event’s host. “If we want to improve the health and wellness of people in our region, we must embrace a culture of innovation. That means constantly challenging the status quo to drive new efficiencies and outcomes.”

Additional presentation topics included groundbreaking work in healthcare cybersecurity, oral chemotherapy, laboratory automation, continuous improvement, cancer screening, virtual registration and advancements in patient billing.

Phelps Health aims to create a more efficient, effective and compassionate healthcare system in south-central Missouri by prioritizing innovation and collaboration.

Burton quoted Theodore Levitt in telling event attendees, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

Phelps Health expressed gratitude to all participants for their enthusiasm and contributions, and leaders look forward to implementing the innovative solutions discussed at the summit.

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For more information about Phelps Health, please visit or call us at (573) 458-8899.

Found in: Health Innovation