The latest issue of Fast Company magazine has a remarkable story about a turnaround at a public hospital - Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. The article seems destined to make the architect of that renaissance, CEO Wright L. Lassiter III, a national figure.
Besides the inspirational aspect, there is plenty to discuss in leadership and healthcare circles about the article:
- Does Alameda's success provide a blueprint, or at least a framework, for other public hospitals in the U.S. to consider?
- How will reform change the jobs of public-hospital executives like Lassiter?
- What are some of the best turnarounds you have seen?
While you ponder those questions (and please consider using the "comment" link right below the headline of this story to respond), C-Suite Conversations caught up with one of the people responsible for launching Lassiter's career.
David Cecero was CEO of JPS Health Network in Ft. Worth, Texas, when he hired Lassiter as vice president of operations. Cecero was so impressed with Lassiter's work that he promoted him to senior vice president after just one year. He said Lassiter possesses an abundance of two key qualities he looks for in building his leadership team.
"It's always about character and commitment," Cecero tells us. "Competency is something I assume all candidates will have - you look at the pedigree and resume for that. But Wright has heart and soul."
Cecero, now a top executive with QHR in Texas, says it would be a mistake to underestimate what Lassiter has achieved at a public hospital.
"Public hospitals are large political animals with a lot of special interests and a lot of governmental influence. That can be good, but it also can keep an organization from achieving its true potential."