Alivation’s Spooktacular Halloween

It’s one of our favorite times of the year!

We love the leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice-flavored everything, and of course, dressing up for Halloween. Really, is there anything better than that?

We do it tastefully, as we’re still a functioning medical facility. But we also have fun—it goes along with our good culture. Maybe it just speaks to what great people we have here that they’re able to do both simultaneously, and still be top professionals. The costumes are never too ridiculous, but don’t tempt us…we love going all in.

In a larger way, our Halloween spirit comes from our team culture and spirit. We wear our own costumes, design what we want independently, but also function together as a team, always while having fun and doing the best we can, no matter how we look. This is the key to our atmosphere. The Culture Club, which includes People Resources, is banding together to dress up as characters from The Wizard of Oz. The IT department, Shawn and Nate, are rocking Top Gun costumes. The actual film is playing on a loop in their office. There’s a Waldo, cats, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

We love the individuality and creativity that comes with Halloween. We like to think we do it the best too, but again, we’re biased. We believe in our company and its employees and their ability to rock any costume. All day today, we’ll be posting pictures on social media of the various getups we find and like, and we’ll be crowning a winner as well. So keep track of this page and our Facebook and Twitter feeds to see some of the exciting and amazing things our stellar team has come up with to celebrate this fun time of year with.

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Why People Want to Work at Alivation

Because we’re the best!

End of blog.

It’s possible we jumped the gun there just a little bit. But the fact remains people do want to work here, and for two big reasons: 1) The ability to help people with the most advanced technology in the industry, and 2) our great culture. This isn’t just a shameless plug for the benefits of working at Alivation—it’s the truth. Allow us to prove it.

At the Lincoln Business Expo this past Thursday, we talked with hundreds of people. Many of them worked at other great businesses around Lincoln, but many were just strangers off the street who had never heard of us before. The logo, with its rainbow of colors, catches the eye. When they ask what we do, we tell them. We state our mission, our history, our ideas and the services we offer.

And then they want to hear more.

It’s our pleasure to go into detail. We like working at a place where the atmosphere breeds creativity and originality. We aren’t owned by any larger corporations, not responsible to a conglomerate. We’re independent. We like to try new things, be pioneers; we like to meet new people, we like to make a difference. Nothing makes us more fulfilled than reading the testimonials or hearing from grateful patients about their experiences.

People get enthusiastic about EEGs. They love having the invaluable power of knowing when their brain is healthy, and when it is not. For many people we talked to, dementia and the care of the elderly, such as parents or grandparents, was of paramount concern in their minds. It can be hard to know when someone is slipping, or when their cognition is not 100% anymore. We like to offer them the ability to find out for sure, and to see what we can do to slow or reverse that process.

For parents with children in athletics, our brain health optimization program was of great interest. TBI is no longer a matter to be brushed aside, or dismissed by overeager coaches: it is a serious event. The data we can provide, and the science we show, demonstrates clearly how very real it is. To us, the brain isn’t something cut off and remote, unable to be studied. It acts concurrently with the rest of the body. Healthy mind, healthy body, and vice versa. That’s the definition of integrated care, and why we offer all of it here.

For those with depression, or bi-polar disorder, our therapy and pharmaceutical services are top-notch. We’re also one of the nation’s top providers of TMS, and we’re proud of that—it works. Study after study now concludes what we’ve said for years, and we’re happy to be there to help all that need it.

We’re always expanding. We get new patients every day, and the growth is exciting. We’re always selecting for new PA’s, and experience coordinators, and anyone else we can find to make sure we see you on the day you want to be seen. We don’t like waiting, and we know most patients don’t, either. Health should be a priority for all. Those who work best here are those who share in this vision, and this overall mission. We have the best technology to serve patients, and we love being on the cutting edge. We’re not ashamed to say it’s cool.

So, Alivation is selecting. If you fit our criteria, please apply. We’re happy to share our mission with you, and we’re happy you’re interested in us. We can all make a difference together, and there is nothing more exciting than that. You can be part of something big, something helping take us to the future. Our culture, our core values, our drive to be better—all integrated.

You could say people want to work here because we’re the best.

Careers at Alivation: https://alivation.com/careers/

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The Importance of the Flu Shot

No one likes being sick. This isn’t a revolutionary fact to admit, but it’s a simple truth. And coming up on this time of year, with the first snow already recorded, influenza will be rearing its head once more. You only catch influenza by being exposed to the virus. Cold weather does not cause influenza—flu season just happens to coincide with the cold season[i].

With that season comes the vaccine.

The flu shot protects against the three or four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season[ii]. There are several different types of vaccine available. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends any of the various licensed, age-appropriate vaccines for the 2018-2019 season, with no preference for one over any of the others[iii]. The important thing is to get inoculated, especially for the very young, the elderly, or those who risk serious complications from contracting influenza. Since 2010, the CDC has recommended anyone over the age of 6 months receive a vaccine every season[iv].

The vaccine isn’t just for your health—it’s for the health of those around you, too.

You can potentially carry the virus to many people and spread it instantly, even without realizing it. And lack of symptoms is no indication of being clear, according to Harvard Health: 20%-30% of people carrying the influenza virus have no symptoms[v]. Every time you enter a public place carrying a strain, you have the potential to spread an illness.

The first recorded pandemic of influenza was the 1918 Spanish Flu. It infected 500 million people around the world, including on remote Pacific islands. It is estimated to have killed from “20 to 50 million people”[vi]. The Spanish Flu pandemic was a very unique circumstance, and one that has, thankfully, not been repeated on that scale since. But every year, it is estimated that “36,000 people will die from influenza strains”[vii]. 200,000 will be hospitalized for the flu[viii]. Those most vulnerable have weakened immune systems, predominantly children and the elderly. During past seasons, approximately 80% of flu-associated deaths in children have occurred in children who were not vaccinated, according to the CDC[ix].

Given such statistics, why do people still not receive the vaccine?

It isn’t just a fear of needles. Many people do not see the necessity of it, or have heard various myths surrounding the vaccine that deter them. One large misconception is that you can catch the flu from the vaccine. This is false: the vaccine is made of inactivated strains that are not able to transmit infection. Those who got sick after receiving the vaccine were going to get sick regardless[x]. But the correlation is assumed to indicate causation, though it did not occur.

Others will say that you don’t need a vaccine every season. But the flu mutates each year, so getting a vaccine each season is essential to inoculating yourself from potential outbreak strains, according to the Mayo Clinic[xi]. When you get vaccinated, you’re not only preventing potential illness for yourself, you’re also preventing illnesses that could prove life-threatening to those around you. If you’re a parent, it’s also one of the safest decisions you can make for your child and the children they associate with[xii]. Social illnesses like the flu survive and thrive by human contact with one another. It only takes a few not being vaccinated for a deadly strain to spread like wildfire.

From the CDC, there are even more things you can do to prevent this:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Regularly disinfect public or work surfaces[xiii]

Preventing the spread of infectious illnesses is everyone’s responsibility. We at Alivation encourage everyone reading this to take the appropriate steps to safeguard their health, and the health of those around them. Little things can produce big results. If you’d like a flu vaccine, request one today. Alivation is always prepared to help you avoid contracting a potentially serious illness.

Sources and Further Reading:

[i] https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/10-flu-myths

[ii] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] https://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100224.htm

[v] https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/10-flu-myths

[vi] https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic

[vii] https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/10-flu-myths

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] http://templatelab.com/us-flu-related-deaths-study/

[x] https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/10-flu-myths

[xi] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/in-depth/flu-shots/art-20048000

[xii] https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/5-reasons-your-child-should-get-the-flu-vaccine-every-year/

[xiii] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm

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Profile: Trevor Bullock, CEO

Alivation doesn’t have corner offices and corporate suits. You won’t see a closed-off boardroom for VIPs only, or multi-storied buildings where the chief officers are walled away from the lower levels. Our CEO is Trevor Bullock, and his office is on the garden level, down the hall from People Resources. His door is always open. If you need to talk you can walk in or email, time-depending. The entire structure here is different than a normal successful organization. We like to say it’s been revamped.

Trevor is homegrown. From Lincoln originally, he played baseball for UNL and was recruited by the Philadelphia Phillies as a left-handed pitcher. He played for 2 ½ seasons. He got his degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management from Doane College. He ran a local IT firm as their COO and landed them on the Inc 500/5000 for seven years in a row. Trevor worked for government and non-profit organizations for many years. He worked closely with adolescents in his roles, always striving for a culture of safety and protection. Through his work with Health and Human Services, he became acquainted with Dr. Walt Duffy and Premier Psychiatric. It would be a fortuitous association: He joined the team in 2015, and helped shepherd the transition to Alivation Health in 2017. He shared in the organization’s great passion for reducing the stigma of mental illness.

The current that runs through Trevor’s life is one of passion and drive. He has a fervent moral compass guided by his faith and a fundamental belief in society and fellow humans. Every day, he walks Alivation for fifteen minutes and talks to team members, seeing how they are, getting a pulse on the prior day. But this isn’t micromanaging: his first goal is to select the most capable people, and then leave them alone to do the best job possible. It’s his signature leadership style. Why select the best if you don’t trust them? Innovation and collaboration go hand in hand, and Trevor’s knowledge of IT led him to not build a team with a single point of failure, and services that are all integrated. The whole is stronger than the sum of its parts.

For the people of Alivation, Trevor urges them to trust the process, and believe in change and the inherent progress of medicine. The crucial leadership elements are trust and flexibility. One must remain nimble in an unexpected situation to adapt with the circumstances, and you must trust those around you with the outcomes. We’re all in it together, and we can all be better when we help each other. Speak your mind, help others, have the drive and passion to succeed on your best terms. Don’t be afraid of failure. Never settle.

For patients and the larger community, Trevor urges them to have the same faith, to not ever settle for the mundane or the expected and to always care enough to challenge and be challenged in return. Survive versus Thrive is an easily settled dichotomy: always thrive. You’re worth it. Next Level You isn’t just a slogan, it’s a promise, and one we can all have a hand in helping to achieve. Trevor believes we’re all able to flourish together.

This is where Trevor sees Alivation going in the future. Our trajectory is always upward, and our challenges are also opportunities. It’s an area Trevor relishes being in. He believes in being a center of excellence, and building a platform from which to give back. He trusts in the process that he urges others to trust in, and won’t let the familiar or routine overcome the necessity of exploration. It’s essential to ignore naysayers and to speak to the right in us that must be kindled. Alivation will grow by providing the best services possible, and by assisting others in joining that mission.

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Customer Service Week

We’re in the business of customer service.

We normally refer to our customers as patients. But we’re celebrating Customer Service Week (Oct. 1-5), and highlighting the ways we serve the community and the people who come through our door.

Many members of Alivation’s ever-growing staff has the word patient in their title. Patient Experience Coordinator, Patient Account Specialist, Patient Services Care Coordinator, Patient Service Specialist, Patient Navigator—any way you slice it, all these titles and the busy men and women filling them are in the business of customer service. Not a lot of places can boast so many resources and so much time devoted to ensuring a great experience.

When you first enter the building, you’ll likely meet Jen, Jamie, Abi, Ariel, or Veronica first. They’re excellent at what they do, friendly and accommodating—essential traits for the frontline of service. We always want the patient to start by feeling welcome, and to meet people who are engaged and helpful. You’ll see smiles when you open the door. They’ll get you set up, find your information, or chat on the phone with incoming patients. No sweat.

In addition to the front desk, Alivation commits to customer service by expanding our assistance reach in all three integrated affiliates. What does that mean? Simple: we’re available, and the divisions work together.  Alivation Pharmacy is not only a branded affiliate of Alivation, it is also a full-service pharmacy, able to fill scripts for patients’ family members as well. They have a free mobile app designed to make refilling your medications or keeping up with your prescription regimen a breeze. They’ll give out bubble packs for those who are on a series of medications—also free of charge.

Alivation Health, our largest division, employs many MD’s and PA’s to care for as many patients as we can. If there’s one thing we hate, it’s a three-week wait for providing services such as appointments or refills. We want to see you this week. Dr. Walt Duffy, Alivation’s founder, president and Chief Medical Officer, is always booking it through the halls, happy to see as many patients as he can. He’s here early, leaves late. His driving mission is to always help, and he really listens when you tell him about your challenges.

Alivation Research goes above and beyond, organizing studies and doing work with national significance. They helped test and develop the medication for tardive dyskinesia, and are always working on doing more. They listen closely to the patients and participants, provide for their needs—all to look forward to the treatments of tomorrow being developed today. Their customer service potentially extends many years into the future. What’s a better service than a new treatment option or a potential cure?

The Culture Club in the basement, where these blogs are produced, is dedicated to not only reaching out to customers, but educating them as well. Our blogs, while we hope entertaining, are also meant to teach customers in a friendly manner. Our educational materials, such as pamphlets, handouts, cards or posters, are also dedicated to patients. We want you to know about our options, be they TMS, EEG assessments or DNA testing. We serve the customer by arming them with the information necessary to make the best decisions for themselves, and answering any questions they have, when they have them.

To us, the motto Next Level You is our definition of customer service, and why we’re commemorating Customer Service Week. We want to highlight exceptional service and what it means. We want to reinforce to our customers and our team members that great care is a great policy. Next Level You is a process, a conversation—we need you to partner with us, and we appreciate the opportunity when you let us help you.