What attracted you to Stanford Health Care?
My primary reason for choosing to work at Stanford Health Care was the people. The conversations I had with many of the clinical chairs and board members about their vision for strengthening the clinical enterprise made me want to be part of the work being done here. The opportunity to work with David Entwistle again was another determining factor. We spent nine years together at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics.
What do you see as the priorities for Stanford Health Care as you take control of operations?
In the most general sense, focus and prioritization. My mantra has always been: We can solve any problem, but we cannot solve every problem at the same time. As an academic medical center, we are surrounded by staff and faculty with a high degree of intelligence and curiosity, and an inclination to pursue the latest innovations and improvements. With that comes a need for focus and prioritization. The key to our success will be to hone in on four key areas—creating the highest quality care and the highest patient experience, achieving impeccable financial strength and retaining great people.
The landscape of health care is continuing to change. How do you see Stanford Health Care evolving?
Stanford Health Care is located in an area of intense competition from nationally recognized health care organizations. Although we have a great reputation and a great organization, we have a small percentage of the health care market share. We are going to need to evolve and be adaptive in this crowded space. Rather than relying on our reputation, which is stellar, we need to make sure that the value we’re providing to the community is on par or better than the value others are delivering. With a finite amount of capacity on our main campus, growth and partnerships in the community are going to be pivotal to our success in the future.
We also need to be cost effective, which is possible for an academic medical center. At the University of Utah, we improved efficiencies, while also improving quality to become number one in the nation. Our patient satisfaction and employee engagement scores also rose to the 90th percentile.
What do you think differentiates Stanford Health Care?
The staff and faculty are really the differentiating factors for Stanford. That is one part of the organization that we absolutely do not need to change. The preeminence of our faculty and the quality of our staff are superb.
You and Stanford CEO David Entwistle worked together at University of Utah Hospital and Clinics. What are you bringing to Stanford Health Care from that successful partnership?
Our first step will be to bring focus and prioritization to Stanford Health Care. That’s what really led us to success at Utah. What you say no to is almost as important as what you say yes to. The second thing we’re going to bring to SHC is shared governance. We work very hard and diligently to get decisions made further and further into the organization to leverage the intelligence of 12,000 people, rather than just a few at the top. Our third priority is to bring transparency to SHC. You will see a lot of information-driven decision-making. And lastly, we promote building a culture that has a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Can you share some highlights from your resumè?
I served as COO of the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and Executive Director of the University of Utah Hospital for nine years. Before that, I was COO for the University of Washington in Seattle and Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. I earned a Master of Health Administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from Utah State University. I have four grown children, and three grandchildren, and enjoy spending my free time outdoors, preferably hiking with my family.