What led you to join Leadership Health Care?
I joined Leadership Health Care (LHC) to network with emerging leaders, gain a better understanding of health care industry issues and develop a deeper appreciation for various health care business models.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a member of Leadership Health Care?
LHC fulfills an important role in strengthening the expertise of emerging health care leaders. As such, I have been delighted to participate as a member of LHC and honored to have served as Chairman of LHC during fiscal year 2014. Over the years, I have enjoyed seeing my LHC friends ascend to positions of executive leadership.
What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
I believe that the Nashville area is the best location in the country to establish, grow and cultivate successful health care companies. When you combine that with Country Music, ice hockey and hot chicken, you have an unbeatable combination.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
During an LHC Executive Roundtable discussion held in January of 2010, Jim Lackey, chairman of the board at Complete Holdings Group, offered some sage career advice: in times of great change and ambiguity, “always do what’s best for the company.” I agree. It has been my personal experience, too, that team players who put the company’s interests first, and who can work collaboratively across functional areas and among various industry participants, are those executives best suited to help build a culture dedicated to operational excellence.
What famous business person do you most admire and why?
For the past 16 years, the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Health Care Industry has included the business person I most admire, Mr. Wayne T. Smith, chairman and CEO of Community Health Systems (CHS). He is one of only four people to have been named to this Modern Healthcare list each year, since its inception.
Mr. Smith, as CEO, transformed CHS from a small hospital company into the second largest publicly traded hospital company in the nation. Under his leadership, CHS went public (for the second time) in June 2000, acquired Triad Hospitals in July 2007, acquired Health Management Associates in January 2014, and spun-off Quorum Health Corporation in April 2016. He is currently overseeing the company’s portfolio rationalization initiative that has resulted in accretive transactions, improved profitability and stronger free cash flow.
Mr. Smith is an advocate for what’s right in health care—most importantly delivering high-quality health services. When you ask him about the accomplishments for which he’s most proud, he will include employee and physician satisfaction and our organization’s commitment to quality, safety and a better patient experience.
As you think about the future of the health care industry, what is most motivating to you?