Last fall, I was honored and delighted to be chosen to succeed retiring president, Richard Reif, as President/CEO of Doylestown Hospital. I arrived in Doylestown at the end of January to bitter temperatures but an extra-warm welcome, and in the brief time that I've been on the job, I've begun to appreciate what an extraordinary institution I have joined. Doylestown Hospital has a rich history of quality and service to its community, and I believe it is well positioned to maintain its prominence through the challenging times that lie ahead.
I began my career in health care at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, more than three decades ago. My commitment to healthcare quality and community engagement has taken me to a series of rewarding positions in multiple states, most recently to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as president and CEO of the Erlanger Health System. While I enjoyed my tenure at every institution- some much larger than Doylestown Hospital-I have come to realize that bigger is not necessarily better, and that high quality, community-based hospitals like Doylestown areplaying a key role in improving the delivery of patient care in today's fragmented American healthcare system.
My years of experience as a healthcare executive have given me a broad perspective on the financial and organizational challenges that lie ahead for all hospitals. But two recent events offered me a different level of insight into what we need to do to serve the patients and families who rely on us for care. Almost two years ago, I fell off a ladder at home and underwent emergency surgery for a shattered left arm and seriously injured shoulder. Post-surgery, I went into respiratory arrest. I spent a week in the ICU and experienced firsthand the value of quality clinical care and effective communication.
Only two months later, our beautiful twin daughters were born four weeks premature, and they spent 14 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. As I sat with my wife, Kelly, next to their bassinettes, and peered through the webof tubes and wires, I wasn't a hospital administrator; I was simply an anxious parent whose primary needs were information and reassurance.
Fortunately, both of these events had extremely positive outcomes. The lessons I learned as a patient and a parent have deepened my belief that it is my responsibility as the hospital CEO to make sure that all team members- doctors, nurses, clinicians, technicians, support staff and volunteers-have the skills and resources they need to do their jobs at the highest possible level, and that we are always sensitive to the feelings of those for whom we provide care.
In my new role at Doylestown Hospital, I hope to serve as both the "face" and the "voice" of our organization to members of the hospital family and the community at large. As a firm believer in "servant leadership," I will work collaboratively with our physicians, our associates and our boards to keep Doylestown Hospital a strong and vibrant resource for patients and their families. I will strive to understand the needs of our community and work with leaders both inside and outside the hospital to design and implement strategies to meet those needs. And as a lifetime champion of quality, I will continue to embrace the metric-driven, systematic approach to problem solving that has allowed Doylestown Hospital to build its award-winning Heart Institute, earn national acclaim for patient safety and patient experience, and be recognized as one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals.
Kelly and I wish to thank you for the warm welcome you have extended our family and us. We look forward to becoming a part of this wonderful community, and I look forward to helping guide Doylestown Hospital through its next era of exciting change.