DBT40 Honoree: Jonathan Contant
Director Performance Improvement, Connections CSP (Wilmington)
Introduction: I work as the Director of Performance Improvement for a local nonprofit that assists people with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities, substance-use disorders, homeless veterans and their families, families in crisis, and provides health care, behavioral health care, and re-entry services to men and women who are incarcerated. This work includes leading a statewide team in continuous quality improvement activities, developing monitoring tools and feedback to aid managers, reporting on contract and grant deliverable services, and maintaining accreditation with multiple nationally recognized accrediting bodies such as CARF, NCCHC, and ACA.
Why me? To me the DBT 40 is a group of young professionals who go above and beyond to be assets to their companies and their communities. This doesn’t mean they are talking about leading tomorrow. It means they take the initiative and are leading today. Every day we hear people complaining but not many people are trying to improve. The first step to improving anything is the hardest and I encourage others to get involved and inspire them to achieve new heights. This means helping people to understand how to be an agent of change, no matter where or who they are, and getting my hands dirty while being that agent.
Professional accomplishments:My biggest professional accomplishment is launching the Performance Improvement (PI) Department for Connections, CSP’s Correctional Healthcare Services. I started with a single CQI coordinator position and grew it into a dedicated nine-member team that collaborates with dozens of subject matter experts covering a broad spectrum of health-care disciplines to coordinate improvement activities with 10 facilities to enhance the delivery and quality of services offered to more than 5,000 people a day. The department was needed upon Connections being awarded the Delaware Department of Correction’s medical contract, which doubled the size of the company nearly overnight.
Not only does the PI Department help facilities to identify opportunities for improvement, it has evolved into a more streamlined and responsive team that is constantly increasing its own efficiency. One primary way I improved how we operate was automating as much of the data processing and analyzing as possible. Due to limited resources, the need to use data from multiple sources, and keeping the end-user in mind, I turned to Microsoft Access and advanced formulas and functions in Microsoft Excel to automate data processing and provide site leadership with easy to understand tools and reports based on their services.
Leadership: In today’s work environment, turnover is significantly higher. That rate is compounded in the correctional and healthcare fields because of burnout and the high demand for health-care professionals everywhere creating highly competitive salary offers. Despite difficult working conditions, increasing workload, and the difficulty of a nonprofit competing with for profit companies on benefits, I am honored and proud to have zero turnover within my core staff since the department started in 2014. I state my expectations and explain what they mean and how to achieve them so there is little miscommunication about what we need to achieve. I also involve myself in their projects and offer to help whenever they need it. You cannot lead if you do not know what you are asking staff to do and are unwilling to do it yourself.
Community service: My wife and I regularly donate to our church to support multiple outreach programs that provide meals, utility assistance, and personal items not covered by state assistance to those who cannot afford them. We also donate regularly to a nonprofit radio station in Milford and support the humanitarian aid organization World Vision with monthly donations. I have served on the HOA Board for the Village of Westover neighborhood since 2014 and was recently able to work with local and state officials to have a playground built in our development for children to have a common, safe place to gather.
Tell us something that’s not on your LinkedIn profile: I will make a spreadsheet for anything … and I like doing it.
Where are you most at ease? Listening to music while driving with the top down.
Currently reading: “Grown-Up Faith,” by Kevin Myers.
Favorite superhero? Captain America.
First job: Delaware State Parks Admin Support.
Advice 10 years ago: Invest more and invest now!
Family and education: Wife Heather and son Elijah. Bachelor’s in political science/public law and a masters of public administration from the University of Delaware.