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What healthcare leaders need to know now

Key Traits and Characteristics of the Best CHROs

By | February 6 th,  2019 | C-suite, CHRO, Global Leaders, globalization of business, HR, IIC Partners | Add A Comment

Image courtesy of IIC PartnersMembers of IIC Partners recently had the opportunity to engage in candid conversations with a variety of global leaders about the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role and what it takes to be successful. They offered insights into the world of CHROs, how critical the role is in an organization, and how instrumental it is in shaping the current and future growth of leading companies.

 

Below are a few of the key points that are covered in the article:

 

Background and Experience of a Successful CHRO
  • As a fundamental for human resource management, most professionals interviewed indicated that “people skills” were critical to their success.
  • Solid business experience and understanding of your individu­al business model is at least as important as intuitive human interaction skills for success.
  • For some of the CHROs interviewed, success could be attributed to individual challenges.
The Most Pressing Challenges for the Twenty First Century CHRO
  • “The ability to bring the right quality of talent in a highly competitive market,” says Arun Paul. With historically low unemployment rates throughout the world it is hard to find the right kind of talent for roles.
  • Some HR professionals mentioned distinct challenges related to the economic or political environment in which they operated and not just in developing countries.
  • Maintaining employee engagement is a huge challenge. According to Nicola Hale, “finding ways to continuously inspire and motivate others … whilst at the same time keeping this balanced and looking out for people… it’s very easy for leaders to lose a sense of perspective.” 
The Characteristics of the ideal CHRO in Future Business Models
  • When asked what characteristics or traits would be critical for a CHRO to meet an organization’s future needs, responses varied widely, no doubt reflecting the specific needs of the organization in question as well as the background of the individual CHRO.
  • One common theme was that leaders are going to have to really adapt to the changing environments and the HR person needs to be able to help other leaders in that transformation.
  • Most importantly, HR needs to focus on people and not so much on processes and measurement as they were before.

Download the full article here to see more insights on the CHRO role and its crucial impact on an organization.

 

Download Full Article

 


IIC Partners Global Human Resources Practice Group

The IIC Partners Global Human Resources Practice Group is comprised of a seasoned team of executive search consultants with unparalleled industry knowledge and expertise in identifying the best senior executive Human Resources talent. Human Resources executives must possess the technical qualifications, right leadership style and serve as a trusted advisor to the senior leadership team. The IIC Partners Global Human Resources Practice Group has unrivaled access to passive talent markets in over 34 countries and regularly collaborate to deliver the right candidate to the client.

 

Visit www.IICPartners.com for more information.

4 takeaways from NAHSE C-suite roundtable

By | July 17 th,  2018 | NAHSE, diversity, C-suite, Healthcare, healthcare executives | Add A Comment

Members and guests of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) got some candid advice on career and leadership development from a recent panel of industry executives at Northwestern University.

 

Panelists for “2018 C-Suite Roundtable-Lessons in Leadership” included:

  • Adrienne White-Faines, CEO, American Osteopathic Association
  • Barrett Hatches, CEO, Chicago Family Health Center
  • Donnica Austin-Cathey, Vice President of Operations, Acute Care Hospitals, Sinai Health System
  • Tim Page, CEO, Kindred Hospital

nahse-chi 

 

NAHSE Chicago President Philip Burton moderated the discussion, while the event was spearheaded by Tiara Muse, Director of Research for Furst Group and chair of NAHSE Chicago’s Planning Committee.

The C-suite executives offered four key takeaways for upwardly mobile healthcare leaders:

  • Hatches, who has a heavy travel schedule in leading a national association, said that being a CEO can be isolating at times, and that she is “thankful for a supportive spouse and friends.”
  • Austin-Cathey noted the decisions that women executives face throughout careers when they choose to have a family.

“There were opportunities presented to me, but I passed them up to be a mom,” she said. “Figure out what is most important for you.”

  • All of them reflected on their experiences with their boards, with Page noting that boards are keenly aware of the non-verbal messaging that executives convey.

“When you are confident, they will let you lead,” he said. “If not, they will manage you.”

  • Hatches reiterated a common them among healthcare leaders: the importance of mentors and sponsors.

“A mentor is someone you can choose,” he said. “A sponsor chooses you.” With senior leaders championing his candidacy for several promotions, it helped to accelerate his career in a big way, he said.

Several events are planned in the coming months by NAHSE Chicago, including a new member luncheon July 21 and “Addressing Healthcare Disparities Through Managed Care.” For details, visit www.nahsechicago.com  or contact Tiara Muse.

'What Does Leadership Look Like?' Read our new magazine

By | April 6 th,  2017 | Blog, C-suite, chief executive officer, Furst Group, governance, leadership, magazine, MPI, NuBrick Partners, What Does Leadership Look Like | Add A Comment

 

In today's healthcare climate, leadership is not easy. We're grateful for the insights and innovations of many of the industry's top leaders.

 

As part of our sponsorship of Modern Healthcare's Top 25 awards programs honoring diverse executives, we explore what leadership means through in-depth interviews with many of these top leaders.

 

We've compiled these profiles, along with pertinent articles on governance, in the new magazine "What Does Leadership Look Like?"

 

Stories from the 52-page leadership magazine include:

 

  • Philip Ozuah's journey from medical school at age 14 in Africa to caring for underserved populations in the Bronx
  • Pat Maryland's axioms of risk-taking as a leader
  • Bruce Siegel's observation that a diverse board will lead to a diverse organization
  • Debra Canales' insistence on people-centered leadership
  •  

    Click here to read the magazine.

     

     

    2016 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare--Bruce Siegel: Diverse leadership is a must on the road to equity of care

    By | December 14 th,  2016 | academic medical centers, America's Essential Hospitals, Blog, boards, C-suite, Center for Health Care Quality, CEO, diversity, Equity, healthcare disparities, Johns Hopkins, Modern Healthcare, population health, president, risk adjustment, safety net, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare | Add A Comment

     

    Classic content: One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    Thirty years ago, Bruce Siegel had what he calls “a rude awakening,” running headlong into the perplexing spider web of health disparities as a young MD. It’s been something that he’s spent his entire career trying to solve, albeit not with a stethoscope.

     

    “I went off to medical school and started my internship, and I was stunned by what I encountered,” says Siegel, now president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “I worked in the clinic at our hospital, and it was just a tidal wave of diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer. Most of it was preventable. And the other thing I noticed was that it was mostly affecting communities of color.”

     

    It was a frustrating experience, one that led Siegel to pursue a master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins University and try to find public-policy solutions to the nagging issues he saw as a physician. “I felt like I was running an assembly line that never ended. I’d see 200 people with these problems. I’d send them back out and they’d be back a month later.”

     

    The New Jersey Department of Health helped pay for Siegel’s education at Hopkins, so he owed them some time when he graduated. He did so well that he eventually became a very young state commissioner of health, then parlayed that experience into running New York City’s health system and a Tampa, Fla., hospital. His early years in leadership after being a clinician were rocky, he admits.

     

    “It was a crucible in many ways,” he says. “Sometimes, it was very uncomfortable and I was probably in over my head at points. But it’s where I began to learn that leadership is about giving people space. I really think a leader’s job is to create a safe space for talented people and tools to help them move forward. If I’m giving orders, then I’m failing.”

     

    Siegel joined America’s Essential Hospitals in 2010 after eight years as a professor and the director of the Center for Health Care Quality at George Washington University. But at each step of the way, his thoughts went back to those diverse patients in the clinic who found little hope in healthcare. “I had so many patients of color for whom the system simply wasn’t working, but I didn’t understand why.”

     

    In recent years, Siegel has begun to see a change as he leads the nation’s essential hospitals, his association’s term for public and other non-profit hospitals with a safety-net role. The association’s members often are a driving force, he says.

     

    “It’s great to be in the company of change agents,” he says. “Our members have leaders who care about these problems and are working to fix them. Equity is now front and center in the American agenda. We’re not there yet, but at least today we have the tools.”

     

    At times, it’s still a tough slog, he notes. One of the must-haves on the road to equity is diverse leadership, and the effort to improve that is stalled. Medical schools are failing to enroll minority communities, and boards have been far too quiet on the lack of diversity, Siegel says.

     

    “I don’t think our boards of directors are demanding this,” he says. “They need to be unequivocal that this is an expectation, not just a nice thing to do. But I don’t think our hospitals are going to look diverse in the C-suite if our boards don’t.”

     

    Lack of diversity, Siegel says, is short-sighted because it is harmful to patients and harmful to an organization’s bottom line.

     

    “The slow walk on diversity is just bad business,” he says. “We’re not going to succeed if our leaders don’t fully understand the lives of our community and their priorities.”

     

    America’s Essential Hospitals is working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on a population health project, and Siegel sees a disconnect between some healthcare executives and the communities they try to serve. “I’ve been in communities where, if you ask the CEO, he or she will talk about chronic disease management as their main concern on population health. But if you ask the people, they’ll say their most pressing need is a safe street for them to walk on, and safe playgrounds for their children. We’re not going to get to population health without addressing what people think of as health.”

     

    In the same way, he adds, population health can’t be attained if you weaken the academic medical centers which comprise much of the association’s membership. The AMCs, with their three-legged stool of clinical care, education and research, sometimes feel the ACA is applied like a wildly swung ax, Siegel says.

     

    “These are places in America that do what no one else does,” he says. “They attract the sickest people who have the greatest social and economic challenges. Home may be a homeless shelter. English may not be their first language. These patients may have a harder time navigating the healthcare system, and they may be readmitted through no fault of the hospital.”

     

    Siegel’s association is pushing Congress for a risk adjustment for these hospitals, which, he notes, had an aggregate operating margin slightly in the red for 2014. Compare that to, say, the pharma industry, which banks about 20 percent profits each year.

     

    “To me, the future of healthcare is that hospitals will be at risk for dollars they get. I accept that,” Siegel says. “We’ll do everything we can to make that better, but we also need the regulators and the payers to do their part.”

     

    The challenges of America’s Essential Hospitals’ members are personal to Siegel. He and his sister were both born in a public hospital. Their mom emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti. “My family very much depended on a safety net when they came to America. So these issues are near and dear to me and my loved ones.”

     

     

    2016 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare--Patricia Maryland: Taking risks helps leaders grow

    By | December 12 th,  2016 | Affordable Care Act, Ascension, Ascension Health, Blog, C-suite, CEO, chief operating officer, diversity, leadership, Modern Healthcare, Patricia Maryland, risks, Sinai-Grace, St. John Providence Health system, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare | Add A Comment

     

    Classic content: One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    Patricia Maryland is talking about her role as chief operating officer for the Ascension Health system, but her message seemingly echoes the philosophy of her entire career: to grow, you must take risks.

     

    “A major part of my role is leading through change,” she says. “The healthcare industry is going through tremendous transformation which requires leaders to challenge the way we deliver care.”

     

    While Maryland has been honored with a number of awards during the four years she has served as COO and president of healthcare operations, she says the arduous role that preceded her promotion stretched her in ways that made her current success possible.

     

    In 2007, Ascension asked her to leave St. Vincent Health in Indiana and move to Detroit to become the CEO of St. John Providence Health System and Ministry Market Leader for Michigan. The recession was just getting started; General Motors and Chrysler were restructuring their debt through bankruptcy. The economic pain that Detroit became famous for was just taking shape. As a result, St. John was hurting too.

     

    “That was the most difficult time,” she says. “A number of our patients who were formerly employed ended up losing their insurance. We had to close hospitals. We had to consolidate programs and centralize services, and that was very risky. I had to lead through the change of reconfiguring the health system to create long-term sustainability given the external factors impacting the region.”

     

    It was a difficult professional time. But on the personal side, Maryland says she was taking a risk there as well. “My daughter was going into senior year of high school; my son was going into eighth grade. My husband was transitioning his career as well. I knew I had to make sure my family was settled and comfortable back in Michigan after having been away for 4-1/2 years.”

     

    Looking back, Maryland says the sizable risk proved to be more than worth it.

     

    “When I took on the role in Michigan, it was larger and more complex than my previous role, and I was further challenged because it was during the worse of economic times. But I felt like I grew so much from a professional perspective. That role really provided me with the experience I needed to prepare for my current role as chief operating officer. If I didn’t have that kind of experience in leading through change, I don’t think I would be as effective in my role today.”

     

    With success comes confidence, and Maryland is utilizing her voice as one of the most powerful healthcare executives in the country to take aim at healthcare disparities. Through a series of op-eds she’s written, she is candidly and forcefully encouraging healthcare organizations and patients to build on the momentum created by the Affordable Care Act and work toward equity of care.

     

    “Part of what spurred this outreach is that the African-American community has really embraced the ACA,” she says. “I think we’ve made some great progress to expand healthcare access for many minority populations, but we know that coverage alone is not enough to eliminate healthcare disparities.”
    To truly be effective, Maryland says, healthcare organizations need to help patients navigate health systems that can be difficult to utilize.

     

    “We must mobilize the newly insured to connect them to preventive care,” she says. “It’s really important that we get them into the appropriate setting right from the beginning. If you can get into a system early enough, see a primary care physician on a routine basis, and comply with your medication requirements, you can have a better outcome.”

     

    Maryland is seeing this prescription for good health lived out in her own family. As the oldest of eight children, she was the primary caregiver for her mother, who passed away from diabetes complications at an early age. Three of her siblings are genetically predisposed to diabetes as well, and they and Maryland are determined that their outcomes will be different.

     

    “They’re working hard to stave off diabetes,” she says. “They’re exercising, following and complying with their medication regimen, and keeping their weight under control. They’re taking personal responsibility to do what they need to do to stay healthy.”

     

    Not every family, of course, has an executive like Maryland to be its advocate. That’s one reason why Maryland also has long been a champion of diversity in the C-suite.

     

    “We definitely need to address the pipeline issues of finding more individuals who represent the type of patient we are treating within our organization,” she says. “But it’s also making sure that those who are in leadership roles have the cultural competency to be able to manage populations to which they are providing care.”

     

    Such leaders, though, need to have the attributes of servant leadership, Maryland adds.

     

    “The nature of our work requires humility,” she says. “The fact that we are taking care of people at their most vulnerable state, when they are entrusting their lives to us, requires a different kind of leader.”

     

    Maryland says her mentors Tony Tersigni (President and CEO of Ascension) and Bob Henkel (President and CEO of Ascension Health) have been her role models for servant leadership. In fact, it was Tersigni who identified her as a potential CEO leader within Ascension after observing her leadership style at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. Sinai-Grace also was where she’d unknowingly caught the attention of authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner, who ultimately featured her in their book “The Leadership Challenge” because of the work she did in transforming Sinai-Grace by challenging the process of how care is delivered. During this time, she was able to effectively garner the support from the Jewish community to assist in the transformation.

     

    “You never know who’s paying attention to you,” Maryland says. “So always do your best – and do it with grace.”

     

     

    2016 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare--Tauana McDonald: Leaders remove roadblocks so their people can succeed

    By | December 8 th,  2016 | Blog, bundled payments, C-suite, Catholic healthcare, change management, electronic health records, IBM, ICD-10, leadership, Modern Healthcare, Rometty, SVP, Tauana McDonald, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, Trinity Health | Add A Comment

     

    Classic content: One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    She paved the way for the ICD-10 project at Trinity Health in Michigan. She led the move to electronic health records. She mastered meaningful use. Now, she’s wrapping up bundled payments.

     

    If you need a major project orchestrated correctly at Trinity Health, you inevitably turn to Tauana McDonald, senior vice president of clinical business operations for the Catholic health system.

     

    “I know that I am not a clinician,” she says. “I identify the strategy needs and develop the plans. I lead the work from the corporate office so our clinicians don’t have to focus on operational issues and they can do the work they do best, which is taking care of patients.”

     

    From the standpoint of organizational mission and personal satisfaction, it’s a role that McDonald says is a good fit for her.

     

    “I think some of the projects I lead are making very positive change,” she adds. “That’s how I get to impact both the patients and the caregivers.”

     

    McDonald came close to becoming a physician herself. Both of her mother’s sisters were nurses – one in the operating room and one in pediatrics. She remembers them both as being very nurturing people.

     

    “People in the community looked to them during their most vulnerable times and there was something about that quality that really appealed to me,” she says.

     

     

    So she completed four years of college as a pre-med, but the doubts about whether it was a good fit for her intensified as she sat down to apply to medical school.

     

    “I called my parents and said, ‘I don’t think I want to be a doctor.’ And they said, ‘That’s fine. You just need to do something that is going to make you happy and contributes to society.’ ”

     

    Giving back is a crucial part of McDonald’s ethics, a trait that she says was instilled by her parents. “In our household, we were always taught to serve because we were blessed and we should use our gifts and talent to help other people,” she says. “I thought healthcare was a great way to do that.”

     

    After deciding to pursue a different future than medicine, she enrolled in the University of Michigan graduate school, where she earned a master’s in health administration. “From the first day in the first class, I knew I had landed in the right spot for me. That’s what got me started on my healthcare journey.”

     

    Her path had several key stops along the way – IBM, where she was hired by future CEO Ginny Rometty; Deloitte, where she spent seven years doing strategy and operations consulting with healthcare organizations around the country; and motherhood – she stayed home for several years after her children were born.

     

    The traveling that came with the Deloitte job was more than she wanted as she balanced family responsibilities, but her former employer Deloitte helped her find a good match at Trinity Health, where she gravitated to the system’s mission that echoed her mother’s advice that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

     

    “A few days after I joined Trinity Health, I was in a meeting and we had to make a tough decision,” McDonald remembers. “The CEO leading the meeting said, ‘Can we bow our heads in prayer? Lord, let us put the patient first and ourselves last. Let us do the best thing for our patients.’ At that moment, I understood what it meant to be part of a faith-based organization. It really resonated with me. It still does.”

     

    She says she also appreciates the diversity of the ministries that Trinity Health offers.

     

    “If there is any kind of work you want to do in healthcare, you should be able to do it at Trinity Health,” she says. “Because we’re so big, there are so many different experiences. If you want to work in a large urban environment or an academic setting, you can work with our Loyola system. If you want to work in a small space, you can do that too. If you are interested in advocacy, we have a huge advocacy team.”

     

    The diversity of the staff is of utmost importance to McDonald as well.

     

    “Developing diverse leaders is really my passion, and I am intentional about it every day, looking at people in our organization who have a lot of talent that other people may not see right away,” she says.

     

    “I believe that having a diverse workforce as well as a diverse leadership team helps us serve our patients better, because we’re bringing those same perspectives. We look like the patients we serve.”
    As healthcare continues to evolve, the need for new ideas is critical, and a diversity of experiences can catalyze that, McDonald says.

     

    “I take every opportunity that I can to help people with different perspectives share their voice and get a place at the table that allows them to do that.”

     

    As the leader of so many key initiatives at a major American health system, McDonald is highly sought after as a mentor. Yet she says many of her key takeaways in leadership come not from another healthcare executive but from Florence Ferguson, her 102-year-old grandmother.

     

    One key lesson Ferguson taught her repeatedly was, “You need to begin with the end in mind.”
    “She said that a lot,” McDonald recalls. “She said that you need to think about where you want to end up because, as you’re going down that path, you need to be very thoughtful in order to get the results you want.”

     

    Ferguson’s other key concept echoed the best leadership experts in her own less-fancy words.

     

    “We always hear people talk about the shadow of the leader,” she says. “In her words, my grandmother would say, ‘Tauana, your actions are speaking so loudly that I cannot hear your words.’ If you speak things and your actions go in a different way, I don’t think you’re credible as a leader. So I try to have my actions support what I say – and I learned that from my grandmother.”

     

     

    2016 Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare: Nicholas Tejeda responds to healthcare's need for younger leaders

    By | November 21 st,  2016 | academic medical center, Blog, C-suite, CEO, El Paso, leadership, Modern Healthcare, Tenet, the Hospitals of Providence, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, Transmountain | Add A Comment

     

    Classic content: One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    When Nicholas Tejeda got his first CEO post at the ripe old age of 32, he made a running bet with his assistant.

     

    “Every time someone new would come into my office and meet me for the first time, our bet was, ‘How long will it take for the person to make a comment about my youth?’ Almost inevitably, it would be seconds, not minutes,” Tejeda remembers.

     

    Now, two promotions later within the Tenet organization, the 36-year-old Tejeda is the CEO of a hospital that hasn’t even opened yet, the Transmountain Campus of The Hospitals of Providence in El Paso, Texas. The comments keep coming, albeit less frequently, and he sees it primarily as a function of working in healthcare.

     

    “Certainly, no one is commenting in the Bay Area on anyone in technology being young when they’re 36,” says Tejeda, a student of history. “Quite the opposite – they’re considered quite aged for the industry at 36. But if you look back in time at what Thomas Jefferson was able to accomplish by the time he was in his early 30s, or Albert Einstein and his miracle year that he had well before his 30s, you realize that it’s a unique function of hospitals to look at youth that way.”

     

    Tejeda says he finds that large health systems are more open to younger leaders than community hospitals or small systems.

     

    “I find that independent hospitals and smaller systems don’t appear to have the luxury or the comfort with taking a risk on people who might be younger,” he says, “and it’s for a couple legitimate reasons. One is that they question the experience relative to the other people who are willing to come there. The other thing that the hospitals question is the young executive’s willingness to remain in the organization for a sustained period of time.”

     

     

    Some in the industry have questioned whether the changes engendered by the Affordable Care Act have deterred organizations from hiring or promoting young C-suite leaders, but Tejeda doesn’t see that as an impediment.

     

    “I don’t think the ACA has been at all harmful to younger leaders,” he says. “In fact, I believe it has reinforced the need and the recognition by boards of trustees that a different talent set and a new sense of energy and curiosity is needed in leadership to adapt and understand the ACA. What has worked in the past might not work going forward, and so that’s given those in governance a reason to look at new types of leaders.”

     

    A new approach is certainly what Tenet has in mind with the Transmountain Campus which, when finished in 2017, will be the fourth acute care hospital in The Hospitals of Providence health system in El Paso. The new facility is a teaching hospital developed through an academic affiliation agreement with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. El Paso is sorely lacking physicians and the new venture will play a major role in solving this challenge.

     

    “This hospital is a large step in helping address that shortage,” he says. “Studies have shown that physicians are more likely to remain where they train. The relationship between Tenet and Texas Tech is very strong, and I’m intrigued by what we can do in this market.”

     

    Although he left a non-profit system (Catholic Health West, now Dignity) to join for-profit Tenet, he says the differences between the two types of organizations are exaggerated.

     

    “Both want to strengthen clinical quality and safety, improve the patient experience, and remain a financially viable partner for the community. At the end of the day, healthcare is a physician or nurse taking care of a patient, and they don’t care if the parent company has bondholders or shareholders.”

     

    Tejeda has only been in El Paso for about a year. He has moved several times in response to career opportunities.

     

    “I often get asked by early careerists, ‘How have you had such success?’ ” Tejeda says. “There is no shortcut to hard work, diligence, risk-taking and luck. But one thing I can’t overemphasize is mobility, and for me, mobility comes with a strong supporting partner, my wife. We have moved several times.

     

    “We just moved from California, where we lived next to her parents – and we have their only grandchildren. Yet she supported the move to a community that we didn’t know, where we’d never been, and where we didn’t have any family because she knew this was a wonderful opportunity for us.”

     

    As to hard work and luck, Tejeda grew up in Wichita, Kan., and he and his siblings worked in his father’s pharmacy from a young age.

     

    “It was my dad’s expectation that my sisters and I would know the customers’ names by the third time they came in. He’d remind us that the customers never wanted to be in the pharmacy, because they were sick and sometimes grumpy. But he said, ‘Imagine what you’ve won if they leave the pharmacy with a smile because of how you’ve treated them.’ I’ve never forgotten that.”

     

    Luck intervened when the college-age Tejeda found a university and a part-time job close to his girlfriend Elena, who is now his wife. He stumbled into a job working in patient registration at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, Calif. It was there that he had a chance encounter with the hospital CEO, Michael Mahoney. The two had an instant connection, as St. Rose was owned by a parent company in Wichita, Tejeda’s home town. They spent an hour talking, with Mahoney telling him to look him up after college if he wanted a job. Tejeda did.

     

    The rest, of course, is history, albeit a short history. He is, after all, just 36.

     

     

    Bruce Siegel: Hospitals need to listen to their communities to tackle health disparities

    By | July 18 th,  2016 | academic medical centers, America's Essential Hospitals, Blog, boards, C-suite, Center for Health Care Quality, CEO, diversity, Equity, healthcare disparities, Johns Hopkins, Modern Healthcare, population health, president, risk adjustment, safety net, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare | Add A Comment

     

    One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    Thirty years ago, Bruce Siegel had what he calls “a rude awakening,” running headlong into the perplexing spider web of health disparities as a young MD. It’s been something that he’s spent his entire career trying to solve, albeit not with a stethoscope.

     

    “I went off to medical school and started my internship, and I was stunned by what I encountered,” says Siegel, now president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “I worked in the clinic at our hospital, and it was just a tidal wave of diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer. Most of it was preventable. And the other thing I noticed was that it was mostly affecting communities of color.”

     

    It was a frustrating experience, one that led Siegel to pursue a master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins University and try to find public-policy solutions to the nagging issues he saw as a physician. “I felt like I was running an assembly line that never ended. I’d see 200 people with these problems. I’d send them back out and they’d be back a month later.”

     

    The New Jersey Department of Health helped pay for Siegel’s education at Hopkins, so he owed them some time when he graduated. He did so well that he eventually became a very young state commissioner of health, then parlayed that experience into running New York City’s health system and a Tampa, Fla., hospital. His early years in leadership after being a clinician were rocky, he admits.

     

    “It was a crucible in many ways,” he says. “Sometimes, it was very uncomfortable and I was probably in over my head at points. But it’s where I began to learn that leadership is about giving people space. I really think a leader’s job is to create a safe space for talented people and tools to help them move forward. If I’m giving orders, then I’m failing.”

     

    Siegel joined America’s Essential Hospitals in 2010 after eight years as a professor and the director of the Center for Health Care Quality at George Washington University. But at each step of the way, his thoughts went back to those diverse patients in the clinic who found little hope in healthcare. “I had so many patients of color for whom the system simply wasn’t working, but I didn’t understand why.”

     

    In recent years, Siegel has begun to see a change as he leads the nation’s essential hospitals, his association’s term for public and other non-profit hospitals with a safety-net role. The association’s members often are a driving force, he says.

     

    “It’s great to be in the company of change agents,” he says. “Our members have leaders who care about these problems and are working to fix them. Equity is now front and center in the American agenda. We’re not there yet, but at least today we have the tools.”

     

    At times, it’s still a tough slog, he notes. One of the must-haves on the road to equity is diverse leadership, and the effort to improve that is stalled. Medical schools are failing to enroll minority communities, and boards have been far too quiet on the lack of diversity, Siegel says.

     

    “I don’t think our boards of directors are demanding this,” he says. “They need to be unequivocal that this is an expectation, not just a nice thing to do. But I don’t think our hospitals are going to look diverse in the C-suite if our boards don’t.”

     

    Lack of diversity, Siegel says, is short-sighted because it is harmful to patients and harmful to an organization’s bottom line.

     

    “The slow walk on diversity is just bad business,” he says. “We’re not going to succeed if our leaders don’t fully understand the lives of our community and their priorities.”

     

    America’s Essential Hospitals is working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on a population health project, and Siegel sees a disconnect between some healthcare executives and the communities they try to serve. “I’ve been in communities where, if you ask the CEO, he or she will talk about chronic disease management as their main concern on population health. But if you ask the people, they’ll say their most pressing need is a safe street for them to walk on, and safe playgrounds for their children. We’re not going to get to population health without addressing what people think of as health.”

     

    In the same way, he adds, population health can’t be attained if you weaken the academic medical centers which comprise much of the association’s membership. The AMCs, with their three-legged stool of clinical care, education and research, sometimes feel the ACA is applied like a wildly swung ax, Siegel says.

     

    “These are places in America that do what no one else does,” he says. “They attract the sickest people who have the greatest social and economic challenges. Home may be a homeless shelter. English may not be their first language. These patients may have a harder time navigating the healthcare system, and they may be readmitted through no fault of the hospital.”

     

    Siegel’s association is pushing Congress for a risk adjustment for these hospitals, which, he notes, had an aggregate operating margin slightly in the red for 2014. Compare that to, say, the pharma industry, which banks about 20 percent profits each year.

     

    “To me, the future of healthcare is that hospitals will be at risk for dollars they get. I accept that,” Siegel says. “We’ll do everything we can to make that better, but we also need the regulators and the payers to do their part.”

     

    The challenges of America’s Essential Hospitals’ members are personal to Siegel. He and his sister were both born in a public hospital. Their mom emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti. “My family very much depended on a safety net when they came to America. So these issues are near and dear to me and my loved ones.”

     

     

    Patricia Maryland: Taking risks helps leaders grow

    By | July 8 th,  2016 | Affordable Care Act, Ascension, Ascension Health, Blog, C-suite, CEO, chief operating officer, diversity, leadership, Modern Healthcare, Patricia Maryland, risks, Sinai-Grace, St. John Providence Health system, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare | Add A Comment

     

    One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    Patricia Maryland is talking about her role as chief operating officer for the Ascension Health system, but her message seemingly echoes the philosophy of her entire career: to grow, you must take risks.

     

    “A major part of my role is leading through change,” she says. “The healthcare industry is going through tremendous transformation which requires leaders to challenge the way we deliver care.”

     

    While Maryland has been honored with a number of awards during the four years she has served as COO and president of healthcare operations, she says the arduous role that preceded her promotion stretched her in ways that made her current success possible.

     

    In 2007, Ascension asked her to leave St. Vincent Health in Indiana and move to Detroit to become the CEO of St. John Providence Health System and Ministry Market Leader for Michigan. The recession was just getting started; General Motors and Chrysler were restructuring their debt through bankruptcy. The economic pain that Detroit became famous for was just taking shape. As a result, St. John was hurting too.

     

    “That was the most difficult time,” she says. “A number of our patients who were formerly employed ended up losing their insurance. We had to close hospitals. We had to consolidate programs and centralize services, and that was very risky. I had to lead through the change of reconfiguring the health system to create long-term sustainability given the external factors impacting the region.”

     

    It was a difficult professional time. But on the personal side, Maryland says she was taking a risk there as well. “My daughter was going into senior year of high school; my son was going into eighth grade. My husband was transitioning his career as well. I knew I had to make sure my family was settled and comfortable back in Michigan after having been away for 4-1/2 years.”

     

    Looking back, Maryland says the sizable risk proved to be more than worth it.

     

    “When I took on the role in Michigan, it was larger and more complex than my previous role, and I was further challenged because it was during the worse of economic times. But I felt like I grew so much from a professional perspective. That role really provided me with the experience I needed to prepare for my current role as chief operating officer. If I didn’t have that kind of experience in leading through change, I don’t think I would be as effective in my role today.”

     

    With success comes confidence, and Maryland is utilizing her voice as one of the most powerful healthcare executives in the country to take aim at healthcare disparities. Through a series of op-eds she’s written, she is candidly and forcefully encouraging healthcare organizations and patients to build on the momentum created by the Affordable Care Act and work toward equity of care.

     

    “Part of what spurred this outreach is that the African-American community has really embraced the ACA,” she says. “I think we’ve made some great progress to expand healthcare access for many minority populations, but we know that coverage alone is not enough to eliminate healthcare disparities.”
    To truly be effective, Maryland says, healthcare organizations need to help patients navigate health systems that can be difficult to utilize.

     

    “We must mobilize the newly insured to connect them to preventive care,” she says. “It’s really important that we get them into the appropriate setting right from the beginning. If you can get into a system early enough, see a primary care physician on a routine basis, and comply with your medication requirements, you can have a better outcome.”

     

    Maryland is seeing this prescription for good health lived out in her own family. As the oldest of eight children, she was the primary caregiver for her mother, who passed away from diabetes complications at an early age. Three of her siblings are genetically predisposed to diabetes as well, and they and Maryland are determined that their outcomes will be different.

     

    “They’re working hard to stave off diabetes,” she says. “They’re exercising, following and complying with their medication regimen, and keeping their weight under control. They’re taking personal responsibility to do what they need to do to stay healthy.”

     

    Not every family, of course, has an executive like Maryland to be its advocate. That’s one reason why Maryland also has long been a champion of diversity in the C-suite.

     

    “We definitely need to address the pipeline issues of finding more individuals who represent the type of patient we are treating within our organization,” she says. “But it’s also making sure that those who are in leadership roles have the cultural competency to be able to manage populations to which they are providing care.”

     

    Such leaders, though, need to have the attributes of servant leadership, Maryland adds.

     

    “The nature of our work requires humility,” she says. “The fact that we are taking care of people at their most vulnerable state, when they are entrusting their lives to us, requires a different kind of leader.”

     

    Maryland says her mentors Tony Tersigni (President and CEO of Ascension) and Bob Henkel (President and CEO of Ascension Health) have been her role models for servant leadership. In fact, it was Tersigni who identified her as a potential CEO leader within Ascension after observing her leadership style at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. Sinai-Grace also was where she’d unknowingly caught the attention of authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner, who ultimately featured her in their book “The Leadership Challenge” because of the work she did in transforming Sinai-Grace by challenging the process of how care is delivered. During this time, she was able to effectively garner the support from the Jewish community to assist in the transformation.

     

    “You never know who’s paying attention to you,” Maryland says. “So always do your best – and do it with grace.”

     

     

    Strategic excellence is Tauana McDonald's calling card at Trinity Health

    By | July 1 st,  2016 | Blog, bundled payments, C-suite, Catholic healthcare, change management, electronic health records, IBM, ICD-10, leadership, Modern Healthcare, Rometty, Tauana McDonald, Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, Trinity Health | Add A Comment

     

    One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare for 2016.

     

    She paved the way for the ICD-10 project at Trinity Health in Michigan. She led the move to electronic health records. She mastered meaningful use. Now, she’s wrapping up bundled payments.

     

    If you need a major project orchestrated correctly at Trinity Health, you inevitably turn to Tauana McDonald, senior vice president of clinical business operations for the Catholic health system.

     

    “I know that I am not a clinician,” she says. “I identify the strategy needs and develop the plans. I lead the work from the corporate office so our clinicians don’t have to focus on operational issues and they can do the work they do best, which is taking care of patients.”

     

    From the standpoint of organizational mission and personal satisfaction, it’s a role that McDonald says is a good fit for her.

     

    “I think some of the projects I lead are making very positive change,” she adds. “That’s how I get to impact both the patients and the caregivers.”

     

    McDonald came close to becoming a physician herself. Both of her mother’s sisters were nurses – one in the operating room and one in pediatrics. She remembers them both as being very nurturing people.

     

    “People in the community looked to them during their most vulnerable times and there was something about that quality that really appealed to me,” she says.

     

     

    So she completed four years of college as a pre-med, but the doubts about whether it was a good fit for her intensified as she sat down to apply to medical school.

     

    “I called my parents and said, ‘I don’t think I want to be a doctor.’ And they said, ‘That’s fine. You just need to do something that is going to make you happy and contributes to society.’ ”

     

    Giving back is a crucial part of McDonald’s ethics, a trait that she says was instilled by her parents. “In our household, we were always taught to serve because we were blessed and we should use our gifts and talent to help other people,” she says. “I thought healthcare was a great way to do that.”

     

    After deciding to pursue a different future than medicine, she enrolled in the University of Michigan graduate school, where she earned a master’s in health administration. “From the first day in the first class, I knew I had landed in the right spot for me. That’s what got me started on my healthcare journey.”

     

    Her path had several key stops along the way – IBM, where she was hired by future CEO Ginny Rometty; Deloitte, where she spent seven years doing strategy and operations consulting with healthcare organizations around the country; and motherhood – she stayed home for several years after her children were born.

     

    The traveling that came with the Deloitte job was more than she wanted as she balanced family responsibilities, but her former employer Deloitte helped her find a good match at Trinity Health, where she gravitated to the system’s mission that echoed her mother’s advice that “to whom much is given, much is required.”

     

    “A few days after I joined Trinity Health, I was in a meeting and we had to make a tough decision,” McDonald remembers. “The CEO leading the meeting said, ‘Can we bow our heads in prayer? Lord, let us put the patient first and ourselves last. Let us do the best thing for our patients.’ At that moment, I understood what it meant to be part of a faith-based organization. It really resonated with me. It still does.”

     

    She says she also appreciates the diversity of the ministries that Trinity Health offers.

     

    “If there is any kind of work you want to do in healthcare, you should be able to do it at Trinity Health,” she says. “Because we’re so big, there are so many different experiences. If you want to work in a large urban environment or an academic setting, you can work with our Loyola system. If you want to work in a small space, you can do that too. If you are interested in advocacy, we have a huge advocacy team.”

     

    The diversity of the staff is of utmost importance to McDonald as well.

     

    “Developing diverse leaders is really my passion, and I am intentional about it every day, looking at people in our organization who have a lot of talent that other people may not see right away,” she says.

     

    “I believe that having a diverse workforce as well as a diverse leadership team helps us serve our patients better, because we’re bringing those same perspectives. We look like the patients we serve.”
    As healthcare continues to evolve, the need for new ideas is critical, and a diversity of experiences can catalyze that, McDonald says.

     

    “I take every opportunity that I can to help people with different perspectives share their voice and get a place at the table that allows them to do that.”

     

    As the leader of so many key initiatives at a major American health system, McDonald is highly sought after as a mentor. Yet she says many of her key takeaways in leadership come not from another healthcare executive but from Florence Ferguson, her 102-year-old grandmother.

     

    One key lesson Ferguson taught her repeatedly was, “You need to begin with the end in mind.”
    “She said that a lot,” McDonald recalls. “She said that you need to think about where you want to end up because, as you’re going down that path, you need to be very thoughtful in order to get the results you want.”

     

    Ferguson’s other key concept echoed the best leadership experts in her own less-fancy words.

     

    “We always hear people talk about the shadow of the leader,” she says. “In her words, my grandmother would say, ‘Tauana, your actions are speaking so loudly that I cannot hear your words.’ If you speak things and your actions go in a different way, I don’t think you’re credible as a leader. So I try to have my actions support what I say – and I learned that from my grandmother.”

     

     

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