The next 5 years of health system growth from 66 executives

Becker's asked C-suite executives from hospitals and health systems across the U.S. to share their organization's areas of growth for the next few years. 

The 66 executives featured in this article are all speaking at the Becker's Healthcare 11th Annual CEO+CFO Roundtable on Nov. 13-16, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

To learn more about this event, click here.

If you would like to join as a speaker or a reviewer, contact Mariah Muhammad at or For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Cole at

As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who will speak at our conference. The following are answers from our speakers at the event.

Question: Where are your health system's biggest opportunities for growth over the next three years?

David L. Callender, MD. President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston): Memorial Hermann Health System has proudly served the Greater Houston community for 115 years. To continue serving one of the country’s fastest-growing regions for the next 100 years, our smart growth strategy combines growing our physical footprint with the services and partnerships that fuel our journey to value-based care. 

We are increasing beds and capacity for hospitals in high-growth areas and expanding our high-performing physician network by creating innovative alignment opportunities.  We are also intentionally pursuing partnerships to help enhance timely, personalized and high-quality care with the ultimate goal of improving the health of our region. Two of these recent partnerships, - with GoHealth and AccentCare, – are helping to increase access to care by creating more entry points for timely, high-quality service. 

Our partnership with GoHealth helps to eliminate barriers to access by expanding urgent care throughout the communities we serve. In partnership with AccentCare, we are enhancing home-based care services. These and other partnerships are purposeful and align with our goals for value, which are aimed at tackling healthcare's quintuple aim.

Finally, the rich diversity of the Houston community makes our city an ideal location to pioneer innovative solutions to the nation's complex health equity crisis. We continue to focus on solutions both within and outside of our walls to help combat the social determinants of health and grow health equity to benefit our neighbors in Houston and communities across the nation.

David Lubarsky, MD. CEO and Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences of UC Davis Health (Sacramento, Calif.): Health systems face strained hospital capacities, burned-out physicians and care teams, and escalating per-patient costs. All of these challenges demand we revolutionize care delivery with AI and digital health technologies such as remote patient monitoring.

The integration of AI will enable informed decision-making for earlier discharge (freeing up capacity and low-value room occupancy) and personalized treatment plans for more effectiveness. Wearable continuous monitoring and AI together will allow for intervention to prevent adverse events both inside and outside the hospital. AI will also streamline documentation and other repetitive low-value tasks, liberating physicians to focus on important aspects of patient care and reducing their burnout.

Moreover, a pivotal aspect of transformation lies in redesigning care models to embrace patient-centric approaches. This fundamental shift from reactive and episodic care to proactive and continuous care significantly improves care equity, quality, accessibility, and outcomes. By providing comprehensive care at home or in outpatient settings, we minimize the need for having to visit a clinic, providing better patient experiences, care coordination, and stronger patient-provider engagement – all of which lead to more equitable and improved health outcomes.

Bill Gassen, President and CEO of Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.): At Sanford Health, we are investing in bold initiatives to transform care for communities across the rural Midwest and build the workforce we need to deliver the best possible care to our patients.   

Our landmark $350 million virtual care initiative will allow us to reimagine how we deliver care. Patients will save on time, travel and expense. By providing the most advanced technology close to home, patients will be able to immediately access care, monitor their health and connect with a trusted provider from home or a nearby satellite clinic. We also plan to open a new Innovation Center, which will allow our researchers to reach more patients and offer easier access to clinical trials. An Education Institute will serve as a training ground for the next generation of physicians, residents, medical students and nurses and will provide shared learning opportunities to support education for students across the globe.  

The future health of our communities rests on our ability to attract and develop highly trained clinicians. Expanding the number of medical residency training programs in rural areas is key to filling gaps in care because many doctors, including more than half of family medicine physicians, stay within 100 miles of where they train. While the number of training programs has increased in rural areas during the past few years, 98 percent of residencies nationwide are in urban areas. We have invested in an unprecedented expansion of graduate medical education programs to bring clinical expertise, resources and subspecialties to the upper rural Midwest. In partnership with universities across our region, Sanford Health will fully fund 15 additional residency and fellowship programs, which will train more than 300 residents and fellows a year for rural practice.   

We are also investing in innovation in areas like data analytics, automation and AI to support our workforce needs and improve clinical outcomes. These initiatives would not be possible without our extraordinary leaders and talented caregivers who carry out our mission every day to deliver world-class care for the patients and communities we have the privilege of serving. Their unwavering commitment to advancing solutions that improve access, reduce disparities and strengthen our workforce, will help us to shape the future of healthcare for generations to come.

Paul Hinchey, MD. COO of University Hospitals (Cleveland): At University Hospitals, we are planning for growth by implementing long-standing initiatives that put the patient squarely at the center of care. We recently completed a five-year, $236 million expansion of UH Ahuja Medical Center, which nearly doubled its footprint. Residents and families of Northeast Ohio now have access to a Level II special care neonatal unit in an accessible location on the east side of Cleveland, an innovative center devoted to men's health that reimagines past tired approaches and gets men engaged in their own healthcare, as well as one of the most advanced sports performance centers in the nation. 

These new offerings put people and their different needs, preferences and attitudes at the center of care, and we're confident that our patients and families will benefit from them for years to come. But we're also making many patient-centered changes to better meet our patients' needs that extend far beyond any physical building. One key area is access. We're investing heavily in people and technology to streamline the appointment scheduling process to make it more seamless for patients who are seeking care at UH. 

We also see an opportunity for growth in our five successful Centers of Excellence devoted to hip and knee replacement, atrial fibrillation, cochlear implant, bariatric surgery and cervical and lumbar spine. These high-value, integrated care programs embrace a patient-centered approach, promote best practice guidelines and eliminate unnecessary treatments and procedures, with a detail-oriented focus on each individual step of the patient's care journey. They're deeply designed and deeply thought about in terms of getting the best outcome for the lowest cost. 

In the end, we believe that growth only comes when health systems anticipate and are responsive to their patient's needs and desire for value in healthcare, and we are committed to continuing to do just that.

Tony Coleman, DHA. President and CEO of Broadlawns Medical Center (Des Moines, Iowa): At Broadlawns Medical Center, our largest opportunities for growth over the next three years are providing brain health and memory care for the region, expanding our primary and mental healthcare footprints to meet increasing demand signal for care in our communities and optimizing the patient-payor-provider triangle to ensure affordable, high-quality care.

Mark Behl, MHA, MBA. Executive Vice President and COO of Froedtert Health (Milwaukee): For Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Network, we see a few emerging priorities over the next three years. First, we have publicly announced that we have signed a letter of intent with ThedaCare to combine organizations early in 2024. This represents a great opportunity to accelerate the work we are doing here in Wisconsin, leverage the capabilities of each organization, and deliver on our commitment to improving the health and well-being of the people of Wisconsin. So, I would have to say combining two leading healthcare organizations in their respective markets is a good start.

Secondly, we are continuing to expand our broad outpatient network to communities throughout our service areas. Focusing on meeting patient populations where they are rather than where they have historically been. This means we are placing bets on remote monitoring, virtual care, and healthcare-at-home initiatives. As a result of the pandemic, when patients do require in-person care, they are seeking care close to where they live, as opposed to close to where they work, which has led us to deploy community-based services outside of our primary service. Again, this strategy is about getting the right care, to the right patient, at the right location (which is most convenient for them).

Finally, we see value-based care as a largely untapped market in our region. Although VBC has not really produced the intended results in our area of the country, we believe there is potential. Wisconsin is not experiencing population increases. In addition, we have an aging population that is living longer, often with chronic conditions. This has led to a smaller market of commercial patients and an increase in Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, for the first time, we are seeing the majority of the Medicare population in Medicare Advantage plans rather than Medicare fee-for-service. This represents a significant growth opportunity to capture market share through managing value-based populations. 

However, to attract MA members, we must be able to execute effective population health strategies and that will require strategic investments. With the capital constraints we face over the next few years, we can't afford to miss.

Jason Lineen. Chief Strategy Officer of UVA Health (Charlottesville, Va.): Earlier this year, UVA Health announced its new 10-year strategic plan. Our aspiration is to be the nation's leading public and academic health system and the best place to work by transforming patient care, research, education, and engagement with the diverse communities we serve. Less than one year after implementing the plan, we have some exciting momentum that will enable growth across all of our mission areas. 

Clinically, we have a new platform for growth with our new community hospital division, including Culpeper, Haymarket and Prince William Medical Centers. In Charlottesville, we recently opened a world-class orthopedics facility that is one of the largest in the country. Our research enterprise is primed for growth on the heels of the recent announcement of a transformational philanthropic gift from Paul and Dianne Manning that will enable us to build a new Biotech Research Institute. 

Finally, from a community mission standpoint, we have redoubled our efforts to engage the diverse communities we serve and are working on launching a new mobile health unit to enhance access to UVA Health closer to home throughout our region. These are just a few of the exciting initiatives underway as a part of our new strategic plan.

Peter D. Banko, President and CEO of Centura Health (Centennial, Colo.): We view health system growth in the same way that the S&P 500 companies have demonstrated consistent growth over the decades.

Growing in the right places with the right services. We just added five Holy Cross hospitals and a medical group in the new and growing market of Salt Lake City in May and are expanding our acute presence in both Denver and Colorado Springs. We also see this 'where-to-win' growth over the next three years in physician partnerships, core service lines (especially cancer, cardiac, neuro, and ortho care), and the ambulatory network in the growth markets of Colorado, Kansas and Utah.

Leveraging the existing chassis to explore mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. We have found ourselves extremely active in this space, unlike anything I have seen in three decades. These explorations involve physician groups, health systems, payors, and adjacent healthcare players who view growth and opportunity in the same ways that we do. 

Charles Powell, MD, MBA. CEO of Mount Sinai Respiratory Institute  (New York City): The Mount Sinai Respiratory Institute is poised for substantial growth in the next three years, capitalizing on emerging trends in the healthcare industry. These are the key areas of opportunity:

  1. Maximizing the MyMountSinai digital front door: By harnessing the power of the MyMountSinai digital platform, the Respiratory Institute can modernize appointment scheduling and patient communication. This technology will facilitate seamless access to care, ensuring convenience and satisfaction for patients while streamlining operations for the institute.
  2. Integrating comprehensive dashboards across healthcare settings: The Respiratory Institute recognizes the importance of integrating retrospective inpatient dashboards and prospective ambulatory disease-specific dashboards across various healthcare sites and clinicians within the system. This integration will enable the efficient sharing of resources and the standardization of quality practices, ultimately enhancing value for patients.
  3. Expanding remote monitoring systems for broader application: Building upon our successful program for COPD patients, the Respiratory Institute aims to broaden the use of remote monitoring systems. By extending this technology to other respiratory conditions and at-risk patient populations, the institute can provide proactive care and support between traditional clinic visits. This approach not only improves patient outcomes but also leads to cost reductions through the delivery of preemptive interventions.

William Davis. CEO of Crossroads Community Hospital (Mt Vernon, Ill.): Over the next three years, we anticipate some of our more significant growth opportunities will focus on population health initiatives, increasing mental health access points, developing community-based initiatives to address gaps in social determinants of health, and focusing on strategic outpatient offerings to be amongst the top opportunities. 

Population health will target a larger range of our demographic makeup, raising awareness and emphasizing preventative wellness. While challenging, there is a considerable opportunity for those addressing the growing mental health needs nationwide and we anticipate this trend to continue. We understand that addressing potential inequity in healthcare is critical as a community-based hospital, so being able to focus on methods to reduce disparities (healthcare access and quality) in healthcare access and outcomes among various populations is essential to growth. 

Lastly, it will be important to continually improve outpatient service offerings as the payers continue to shift models moving towards outpatient procedures. Our facilities are located in predominantly rural areas, which can be challenging to recruit specialists, so focusing on the ability to attract and retain top talent presents itself as an opportunity for continued and sustainable growth.

Donna Lynne. CEO of Denver Health (Colo.): (1) Expansion of ambulatory sites — both geographically and scope of non-traditional medical services. (2) Expansion of telehealth and home monitoring. (3) Integration with non-profits and government agencies to provide solutions to problems of homelessness, mental health and substance abuse.  These services are fragmented and coordination across these sectors can improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Robert Corona. CEO of SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, New York): I think the biggest opportunities exist in distributed health services. The new hospital has a spectrum from wellness care to acute care with easy access through new bricks and mortar sites (ASCs, hospital at home, etc.) and virtual care enabled through new technologies in computing, communications and wearable technology.  It is a hospital with hospitality and one not limited by its walls. Our health system cures very little…it manages and mitigates the diseases and problems of our patients/customers. What we can control most is the hospitality we provide.

Bob Sarkar. President and CEO of Arkansas Health Network (Little Rock): Here are some of the biggest growth opportunities for the sponsors/participating health systems' of our clinically integrated network: 

(1) Value-based care - in both commercial and governmental populations, could have a significant positive impact on volume-based care. In other words, value could drive volume; 

(2) Focusing on network integrity; 

(3) Employer services and relationships; i.e., managing total costs of care for area employers; 

(4) Repositioning and enhancing service lines, such as behavioral health (and associated areas), telehealth, social determinants of health; 

(5) Streamlining access to care both in the outpatient/ambulatory and inpatient sites.

Arianne D. Dowdell. Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of Houston Methodist (Texas): Health equity will be a continued priority for us over the next three years – from partnerships to sustainability of current and future efforts, it's important to us as an organization to contribute to better health outcomes for our patients and community. Another area that has a lot of opportunity for growth is enhancing participation in underrepresented groups in clinical trials and our research workforce, both through our Academic Institute and the Houston Methodist Neal Cancer Center. 

While we have always had a commitment to DEI at Houston Methodist, we began our official DEI journey with the formation of our department almost three years ago and proudly met the foundational goals we set for ourselves. We know this path is not a race, but a core piece of who we are as a hospital and we remain flexible with our efforts to meet the evolving needs of our patients, employees and communities we serve.

Kenneth Waller, MBA, FACHE. CEO of Norwalk (Conn.) Community Health Center: Our top priority at Norwalk Community Health will be to continue strengthening our workforce to expand our service delivery capacity. We also aim to grow our existing community partnership portfolio to ensure more access for our most vulnerable and to enhance our digital health services footprint to diversify how patients access healthcare services at our organization. We also anticipate reimagining our customer service element and leveraging this vital service component as a competitive advantage we believe will serve to differentiate us from the other medical provider organizations in our market.

Kenneth Rose. President and CEO of Texas Health Hospital Mansfield: Consumerism – how we go about creating processes and value for consumers, especially with our digital strategy;

Primary care – the growing population in North Texas is fairly young and is going to require more primary care in the future rather than acute care;

Outpatient access – the healthcare world is moving so quickly out of the hospital that we will need to focus more on providing care for our patients closer to or actually in their homes.

Greg Feirn. CEO of LCMC Health (New Orleans): Investing in future healthcare providers. LCMC Health is committed to delivering health, care and education beyond extraordinary for the communities we serve. In doing so, we are investing in our patients and future healthcare with strategic partnerships and pipeline programs. Our system has recently signed letters of intent to partner with regional colleges and universities to support full-time students with tuition-free enrollment as they pursue degrees in healthcare professions. By creating pipelines and workforce development opportunities, the healthcare industry can create sustainable solutions for our communities and invest in the future of healthcare.

Expanding patient access - We also see a massive opportunity for partnership to expand our community's access to quality healthcare. LCMC Health is and has been aligning with like-minded organizations to expand access to comprehensive and specialty care, advanced academic medicine, innovation and training, and other services and resources. Ultimately, this brings the best of community healthcare and academic medicine to all those we serve.

Chris Bjornberg. CEO of Mayers Memorial Healthcare District (Fall River Mills, Calif.): As a critical access hospital coming out of the pandemic, we found ourselves with a tremendous opportunity. Our community, for the most part, is very supportive of our hospital. We took the opportunity to pull data about services that people leave our community to obtain. This was a large part of setting up our new strategic plan and master planning.

The data showed that we had a large opportunity with surgery, specifically general surgery and orthopedic surgery. We currently have inpatient surgery that is not in service because of facility issues. This lead is to making an ASC high on our priority list for both strategic planning and master planning. 

Second, we found that we had a large opportunity with clinic services. Currently, we have one rural health clinic in a town about 18 miles away from our hospital campus. We found that there is a need to expand that rural health clinic and then put one in the town where our hospital exists. Woman's health and mental health were recognized and big opportunities in our clinic setting. We are also adding a mobile clinic to our arsenal as well to help with this opportunity.

Third, we found that we also have an opportunity with MRI services. We currently do not provide this service. By providing this service, we will round out our imagining services. All of our goals with growth are to better provide services to our communities so they don't have to travel great distances for basic care. These are just a few areas of opportunity for us, but we look at it as a moving target. As we work this plan to fruition, new things will be added. We always want to have our top three that we are constantly working on for growth so that we can remain viable in our community.

Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE. President and CEO of FHN Memorial Hospital (Freeport, Ill.): I believe our rural community hospital's biggest opportunity for growth and impact is to maximize our prevention screenings and early intervention strategies.  This will result in less costly care while increasing access and timeliness to higher-end specialty care and procedures. In addition, this can help free up our limited resources to be reallocated to innovative care projects outside of the hospital setting.

Chad T. Lefteris. CEO of UCI Health (Orange, Calif.): One of our most significant opportunities lies in the completion of the new UCI Health – Irvine medical campus. This cutting-edge facility will be the first all-electric hospital in the nation, symbolizing our commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability. With advanced healthcare services and an expanded community presence, the campus will serve as a beacon of excellence, and bring our world-class experts closer, improving access and the overall experience.

UCI Health also recognizes the importance of expanding our care-at-home program to meet the evolving needs of our patients. This includes further developing our mobile urgent care partnership to provide convenient and more accessible healthcare options.

Additionally, UCI Health is actively pursuing strategic partnerships with industry leaders to enhance our service offerings and foster innovation. By collaborating with best-in-class providers, we can leverage their unique expertise and ours to deliver care differently, extending our impact even further, and improving the health of our community.

As we navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape, our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional healthcare experiences remains at the core of our mission. Together, with our dedication to excellence, UCI Health is poised to embrace growth and shape the future of healthcare.

Deborah Weymouth. CEO of Eastern Connecticut Health Network (Manchester, Conn.): The biggest opportunities for long-term growth are in technology, specifically healthcare's harnessing of AI,  but the foundation must be built now. The potential for the use of this new tool is profound. Action in the next three years to build a solid strategic framework for future success is essential. Organizational skills to manage AI and complete the basic steps such as: inventory your level of digitization, develop your AI narrative, ensure data quality, and determine which workflows will deliver the highest return are the starting points. It is moving too fast to wait and see.

Lynne Fiscus, MD, MPH. President and CEO of UNC Physicians Network (Durham, N.C.): We are fortunate to serve one of the nation's fastest-growing markets – North Carolina's Triangle region. In order to care for this growing population, we are expanding our services, both through the construction of new facilities and in enhancing our virtual care offerings. Just as our population has grown over the last few years, their expectations have risen as well and we are committed to making sure we can meet their needs for care no matter the location.

Craig Kent, MD. CEO of UVA Health (Charlottesville, Va.); Executive Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Virginia: Bringing expert care to all Virginias underpins UVA Health's 10-year strategic plan and presents significant growth opportunities in the coming years. One of the key initiatives in our plan is specific to growing our translational research; related, the University of Virginia recently announced the creation of our new Paul & Dianne Manning Institute for Biotechnology, which will advance translational research and innovation to benefit patients everywhere. This will put us at the very forefront of cellular and gene therapies that revolutionize how diseases are treated and cured, drawing in additional patients with complex needs who could benefit from these therapies, attracting additional research faculty, and bringing new biotech/Biomed partnerships to Virginia.

Paul Taylor, JD. CEO and Chair of the Board of Ozarks Community Hospital (Gravette, Ark.): We recently became a nonprofit health system following three decades as a for-profit. Uniquely for us, we have an opportunity to pursue revenue outside normal patient services by participating in the 340B drug discount program available only to nonprofits, grants targeting rural safety-net health systems such as ours but limited to nonprofits, and donations. We are also increasingly 'subsidizing' negative margins inpatient services by becoming more aggressive in collecting revenue from pay-for-performance and other quality programs. 

The most significant opportunity for us to grow revenue in traditional patient services is, frankly, by demanding that commercial payers pay us what they are contracted to pay us. During the last two years (2021-2022), we identified over $8 million per year in underpayments — a significant percentage of our total patient service collections which were $45 million per year. Not surprisingly, that underpayment was roughly the same as our operating loss in those two years. These 'underpayments' were created under a variety of payer rationalizations: by claiming a clearly in-network provider was out-of-network, by claiming obviously pre-authorized services were not pre-authorized; by placing arbitrary limits on payments not imposed by contract; and by simply not paying claims for no apparent reason.     

Helen Johnson, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE. President of Sparrow Eaton Hospital (Charlotte, Mich.): Sparrow Health System recently completed their integration with Michigan Medicine, offering some exciting opportunities for growth in access, collaboration and recruitment. These include expanding access to specialty and more complex care to Mid-Michigan patients both on-site and remotely, solidifying a collaboration model which preserves a local community-care focus, and creating additional ways to train, access and recruit the highest echelon of students and residents.  These are just a few of the areas where Sparrow Health System and Michigan Medicine will be leading and growing over the next three years.

Russ Johnson. President and CEO of LMH Health (Lawrence, Kan.): I think I will answer this differently than the typical way we address growth in terms of expanded services and greater volume through one of our service lines. In addition to these, my focus will be on the growth of our expertise and execution around processes and systems that support our broader operation. It is absolutely critical that we have top-performing people, processes and technologies supporting the revenue cycle and we will be investing in that area. 

It's also vital that we develop our competencies and build relationships with larger organizations around data and analytics capabilities, including artificial intelligence, that will support both the clinical and 'back-office' aspects of our organization. On the more traditional side of growth, we will continue to invest in our orthopedic and musculoskeletal service line and our primary care network with related strategies in consumer access, population health, and digital technologies.

Jennifer Schneider, MD. Co-Founder and CEO of Homeward (San Francisco): While Homeward is not a health system, we partner with health systems and providers within rural communities to help close gaps in care. First and foremost, we understand that we cannot improve healthcare in rural America without strong partnerships with local hospitals and providers. There simply aren't enough physicians to address the problem at hand. 

That is why we are currently evaluating and implementing innovative partnership programs that help providers by increasing access to clinical resources for patients, closing gaps in care and providing a pathway to more easily operate in a value-based care environment, and experiencing the financial impact of doing so. I fully believe that value-based care is here to stay, and our only goal is to help extend the reach of our partners by delivering a consistent experience from the hospital to the home while supporting their efforts in value-based care. 

William G. Morice II, MD, PhD. President and CEO at Mayo Collaborative Services/Mayo Clinic Laboratories (Rochester, Minn.); Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (Rochester, Minn.): Mayo Clinic Laboratories' biggest opportunities for growth over the next few years is in the rapidly advancing field of clinical diagnostics, as well as the application of tools such as digitization, artificial intelligence, and automation. The influx of innovative diagnostic technologies will allow drive growth in healthcare by seamlessly connecting more patients and their providers and creating opportunities to improve efficiency and optimize care delivery by interweaving artificial intelligence applications. It is an exciting time to be on the leading edge of this evolution.

Steve Roach. President and CEO of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance - Clinton Hospital (Mass.) and Marlborough Hospital (Mass.): Our system's biggest opportunities are around the reduction in agency spending so we can make targeted investments in growth opportunities, take advantage of advanced therapeutics and specialty pharmacy, and focus on regional care management with a focus on maximizing our asset utilization.

Marty Bonick. CEO of Ardent Health Services (Nashville, Tenn.): Healthcare is quickly evolving beyond the 'four walls' of the hospital. Ardent sees a great opportunity to embrace a consumer mindset in providing services beyond our hospital from a digital, virtual, and ambulatory perspective. Developing services that meet our patient's needs in the most accessible and affordable setting will strengthen our relationship as a 'trust broker' for all their healthcare needs while driving new sources of revenue into our system.  

Amy Smiley, MSW, MBA, FACHE. CEO of Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute (Falls Church): Since my health system is a state-operated public mental health system, 'growth' may mean something slightly different to us. I will say that the expansion of services is concentrated in the community at the local level to mitigate dependence on acute care. Within the next three years, we may see more crisis-oriented services and prevention.

Julia E. Hanigsberg. President and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Ontario, Canada.): We will be expanding services by growing our team for more rapid access to address the care children missed during the pandemic. We also have an opportunity to build care networks so we can expand into new regions through partnerships with other organizations and strategically targeting services to materially deprived and underserved children and families. Finally, we'll enhance the ability of teams to access and use data most relevant to them.

Donald Lloyd II. President and CEO of St. Claire HealthCare (Morehead, Ky.): For St. Claire Healthcare, we see significant opportunities for growth both organically and geographically. With respect to organic growth, we see our current retail strategy far exceeding growth projections and new service developments in specialty service lines have been extremely accretive. With regard to geographic growth opportunities, we see some regional systems in contraction mode, which presents opportunities to fill the void in both primary and specialty care.

Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD. Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive of Houston Methodist (Texas); President and CEO of Houston Methodist Physician Organization (Texas): Houston Methodist continues to grow — in our footprint in the Houston area and in our use of innovation to help our patients receive the best care in a timely manner. We are expanding our services into areas of Houston with population growth to better serve the residents there and we are growing our physician organization to double in size in the next decade to serve our communities. Our goal has never been to be the biggest but to be the best: we are therefore focused on adopting technologies that will allow seamless access to our services. We are quickly adopting new technologies to improve patient safety and quality. In fact, we have a team dedicated to doing just that — using innovations to improve care.

Melisa Adkins, EJD, MBA, BSN, RN. CEO of UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital (Louisville, Ky.): Behavioral Health is an important part of our growth plan. The pandemic brought with it a greater awareness surrounding the need for more comprehensive behavioral health services. Women's services play another important part. Women are the ones who direct healthcare for their families, and it is important to have the services needed to bring them to our facilities. 

Outpatient centers are on the rise for our system as well. With insurance companies pushing for more and more healthcare needs to be taken care of outside of hospitals, it is important to start thinking about how our healthcare system can support this movement without losing momentum on the hospital side. It is a balancing act. Direct-to-employer and strategic partnerships are frontrunners as well. This is really the future of healthcare, in my opinion. These programs promote not only network integrity but also future growth and expansion of the entire organization.

Ronda Lehman. President of Mercy Health Lima (Ohio): One of the biggest opportunities for growth in healthcare today is technology and artificial intelligence. It is advancing at a lightning pace and is impacting everything from how we perform surgery or schedule patients to how we educate healthcare professionals.

This opportunity has the potential to be incredible, but I also believe we need to closely evaluate how we continue to address the personal aspect of healthcare that AI cannot replace. Face-to-face interactions and communication skills can too quickly be discarded, and this will further exacerbate issues with loneliness and behavioral health challenges in our society.  In addition, we need to be mindful that rapid progress with technology and AI doesn't simply widen the chasm between people in our community who have access and can quickly adjust to these new processes and those who are marginalized.

Ewa Schafer, MD. Clinical Associate Professor at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine; Vice Chair of Outpatient Specialty Quality and Operations, Department of Medicine and Section Head Allergy and Immunology at NorthShore University HealthSystem (Evanston, Ill.): Our biggest opportunities for growth are leveraging the use of telemedicine and desktop medicine including remote monitoring across the system to provide care for our patient population.

Chad M. Teven, MD, MBA, FACS. Reconstructive Microsurgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgery Department at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago): There are many opportunities for growth in the health system space in both the near and far term. Indeed, it will be challenging for systems to pick which few to allocate their limited resources, capabilities, and funding to.  

In our institution, exciting growth opportunities include leveraging emerging technologies for clinical and research advancements. Clinically, implementing various forms of artificial intelligence will lead to improved patient care and outcomes. From a research and analytics perspective, digital transformation will allow for a shift from big data to potentially more useful small data. Both will allow for a more individualized approach toward patient care, likely leading to an improved patient experience. 

Another area of growth relates to the broader implementation of value-based care. We already see its use and benefits in some areas of medicine and believe its application more widely to others will similarly be favorable. Finally, innovative and effective strategies for recruiting and retaining a talented workforce will be critical to successful growth.    

Angelo Milazzo, MD, MBA. Vice Chair, Practice and Clinical Affairs, Department, Pediatrics; Professor, Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology of Duke Health (Durham. N.C.): Our most significant opportunities for evolution — and growth — will be opportunities to enhance the total experience of care. We want to impact the entire service-value chain of care from the time before a patient chooses us through all episodes of outpatient, inpatient, procedural, diagnostic, primary, specialty, and preventive care. And we want to extend that experience into the general wellness of our patients in between those episodes. To complete the chain, we want patients to come away from those episodes in a position and with a mindset to recommend our services to neighbors, friends, and family.

At a time when economies are built around services that are efficient, on-demand, and hyper-local, we will need to meet the expectations of patients who are accustomed to such convenience and availability. Our services have traditionally been built around the preferences of people who are delivering care. That approach will not serve us if we want to reach new cohorts of recipients of care.

Jim Heilsberg. CFO of Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Medical Campus (Clarkston, Wash.): Developing new models and software/technology that automates delivery models for nursing, MDs and other clinical department workflows.

Amanda Buirge, MBA, CHFP, CRCR, CSPR, CSMC. CFO of Roxborough Memorial Hospital & School of Nursing (Philadelphia): The most significant opportunity for Roxborough Memorial Hospital is to expand our service lines and look for new potential payers to assist in increasing our patient base. Service line analysis is also critical to understand a hospital's bottom line and where there may be an opportunity.

Christine Asato. Regional CFOof Hawaii Health System (Honolulu): (1) Expanding service line to include outpatient recovery clinic and behavioral health services (2) Primary care – population health management through annual wellness visits, chronic care management, transitional care management, and sports physicals (3) Mobile medical – working with our homeless population to provide primary care in the community (4) Free skin screening - this will help our new general surgeon grow her outpatient clinic and provide a needed service in the community since Kauai has a shortage of dermatologists (5) Adding CT imaging services to our eastside hospital this summer. This will help increase ED visits and critical access hospital admissions. 

Peter W. Odenwald, MHA, FACMPE. COO of Luminis Health Clinical Enterprise (Annapolis, Md.): At Luminis Health, our biggest opportunities are in the ambulatory environment. We believe it is better for our patients if they can receive care in their community versus 'having to go to the hospital.' As payers continue to push for lower-cost treatment options, the site of care becomes more important.

Chad Dilley, FACHE. COO of IU Health Saxony (Fishers, Ind.): I have the privilege of leading the team carrying out Indiana University Health's growth strategy in the expanding northeast suburbs of Indianapolis. IU Health is investing $300 million to expand its hospital in Fishers, increasing the bed count from 38 to 88, adding a pediatric emergency department and broadening specialty services. 

The expansion responds to pressing community needs for access to the full spectrum of care, from pediatrics to geriatrics. As the demand for growth increases, we're working to ensure we have the access and resources needed to grow. In the process, we're adopting best practices from recent large-scale expansions within our system that have been executed successfully, such as the opening of a 48-bed vertical expansion of IU Health West in Avon and a cancer center on the IU Health North campus in Carmel.

Allison Roditi. Vice President of Orthopedics at Catholic Health Services of Long Island (New York): One of our health system's greatest opportunities is in creating more access and continuity of care for our patients. We have the full continuum of clinical services available to our patients right here on Long Island, and we can work to ensure that everyone has access to those services and that when they need referrals for specialty care, they can get an appointment easily. We have an opportunity to leverage technology and address the baby boomer population and their unique health needs, including long-term management of chronic disease, and do so by bringing as much care to the patient as possible. We also have an opportunity to refine our service line structure to support these clinical initiatives.

Michael Archuleta. CIO and HIPAA and Information Security Officer of Mt. San Rafael Hospital (Trinidad, Colo.): Over the next three years, our health system sees significant growth opportunities in several key areas. First and foremost, we aim to enhance our patient engagement strategies by leveraging innovative technologies to deliver personalized and accessible care experiences. Additionally, we are focused on expanding our telehealth services to reach broader populations and improve access to care, particularly in underserved areas. 

Another area of growth lies in data analytics and artificial intelligence, as we aim to harness the power of data to drive informed decision-making, optimize workflows, and improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, we are actively exploring partnerships and collaborations with other healthcare organizations to expand our network and deliver seamless, coordinated care. Lastly, we are committed to investing in cybersecurity measures to ensure the privacy and security of patient data in an increasingly digital healthcare landscape.

Karen McKeely, DNP, APRN. Service Line Chief of Baptist Behavioral Health (Jacksonville, Fla.): Challenges often present opportunities for evolution, which is certainly true in health systems. With the ever-increasing need for behavioral healthcare and limited resources, our primary opportunity will be an expansion of innovative care models to better serve the Northeast Florida region. These include our APRN fellowship and other training programs, which increase the number of providers and access to care while simultaneously generating cost savings for the system at large.  

Lorraine Hutzler, MPA. Program Director, Center for Quality and Patient Safety of NYU Langone Orthopedics (New York): Artificial Intelligence and data analytics are potential opportunities for growth over the next few years. Utilizing machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, we will be able to improve diagnostics as well as patient outcomes. Data security for healthcare organizations will also be a crucial component as these structures continue to grow.

Kenny Yu. Senior Director, Pharmacy Services of NYU Langone Hospitals (New York): From a pharmacy perspective, an opportunity is to consistently continue the work to improve the overall continuity of care for our patients, especially as they transition into the ambulatory setting, so we can ensure they are receiving the appropriate care, access and touchpoints. Maintaining a 360 lens on our patients' medication profiles will help decrease side effects, ensure they are receiving the right drug and dose, and play a role in reducing readmissions.

Lee Ann Wallace. Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and CNO of Nationwide Children's (Columbus, Ohio): With healthcare as a whole continuously changing, Nationwide Children's is excited to be part of that evolution. The translation of research to bedside clinical care continues to be closely connected and critically important, and we anticipate growth in the areas of genomic medicine and personalized medicine as we seek to deliver the most beneficial treatments to each patient exactly where they are on their care journey. 

As both research and clinical care continue to expand over time, so will the need to match that growth in our team members, both in bringing in new talent and nurturing and developing our existing talent. Growing our most vital resource, our people, happens in many ways, including identifying opportunities in our education systems to create pipelines, partnering with schools to inspire students to consider healthcare as a career field, and meeting the needs of today's workforce who expect a work/life balance that will require us as leaders to innovate and align with staff's needs and expectations.

Terrie Andrews, PhD. Vice President of Baptist Behavioral Health (Jacksonville, Fla.): At Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital, the biggest opportunity for growth over the next three years is expanding access to mental health services in our community. The demand for outpatient, inpatient, and emergency room visits is forecasted to significantly outpace the expected population growth, which means an already taxed mental health system will be greatly challenged in ways we have yet to imagine. 

Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital are deeply committed to providing mental health services to our community; they say there is no health without mental health. We are now seeing one in three individuals with mental health issues, which is an increase from the prior research that indicates one in five will experience a mental health issue. With the expected growth and demand for mental health services, Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital launched several initiatives and pathways to access mental health services.  

One that we are very proud of and is changing how we deliver mental health services is the collaborative care model. This model provides immediate access to our mental health providers through the primary care office. Patients are no longer waiting six to 12 months for an appointment; they and the PCP are helped immediately by a psychiatrist and a licensed master's level clinician. The CoCM is evidenced-based and a huge patient and PCP satisfier.

As part of a robust mental health clinical and training program and part of a workforce innovation strategy, we launched a two-year post-graduation APRN fellowship, which we will present at Becker's CEO+CFO Roundtable this November in Chicago, Ill. This wonderful two-year model provides close training with psychiatrists and seasoned APRNs, didactics, supervision, and grand rounds; the program closely resembles a physician residency program with clinical rotations based on a year in the program. The APRNs are compensated at the lower quartile in exchange for close supervision and continued training.  The APRNs nearing completion of the two-year APRN fellowship are ready for outpatient practice. As you know, we need more competent and well-trained practitioners in outpatient to meet the ever-growing demand for mental health services.

Lastly, Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital opened The Bridge Clinic, which provides quick access to mental health providers. The Bridge Clinic provides seven-day hospital follow-ups post discharge from the psychiatric units, follow-up appointments for those patients not meeting inpatient admission when in the emergency room, bridge appointments for medication while the patient is waiting for a mental health provider in the community, and patients who call our 24/7 crisis line and through a mental health assessment do not meet criteria for inpatient admission. The Bridge Clinic offers a time-limited series of appointments while the coordination team assists the patient with finding long-term care providers.  The Bridge Clinic reduces the utilization of the emergency room.

John P Erwin, III, MD, FACC, FAHA, FACP. Louise W Coon Chair of Internal Medicine of NorthShore University HealthSystem (Evanston, Ill.); Clinical Professor of University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (Ill.): Speaking from the standpoint of our system's internal medicine department, our biggest opportunities for growth will be in cardiovascular diseases with the opening of our new Heart and Vascular Institute/Hospital in 2024, as well as continued growth in digestive health, cancer services, and leveraging our tremendously successful clinical genomics space across all of the disciplines of medicine.

Paul Casey, MD. Chief Medical Officer of Rush University Medical Center (Chicago): Over the next three years, I believe our growth will primarily be driven not only through continued ambulatory expansion but also through digital expansion. We understand that convenience is paramount for our patients, so we continue to drive digital innovation both through internal development and optimization as well as through novel partnerships.  

J.J. Kuczynski, PT, DPT. Senior Consultant, Team Performance and Execution of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus): Our health system's biggest opportunities for growth over the next three years include the activation of our new inpatient hospital tower, expansion of key service lines, and evolution of our talent development processes.  

The Columbus metropolitan area is projecting rapid growth through 2050. To that end, in early 2026, we will be activating our new 1.85 million square foot hospital, which will enable us to provide a significant expansion of perioperative and procedural services. In addition, we'll be able to expand our innovation and care capabilities in key service lines, such as critical care, neuro, transplant, and cancer. 

Lastly, and even just as importantly, is our enhancement and expansion of our talent development processes. Meaningful investment in not only our recruitment and retention processes but also our talent development processes is a critical aspect of our future and strategic plan.  Taken together, these opportunities provide a means by which we intend to provide patient-centered, world-class care for decades to come. 

Cristy P. Page, MD, MPH. Executive Dean, UNC School of Medicine; Chief Academic Officer of UNC Health (Chapel Hill, N.C.): In North Carolina, we are fortunate to have some of the nation's very best healthcare, education, and research. Those resources have not been easily accessible, especially to those living in rural parts of our state. Our goal as North Carolina's health system is to better connect our citizens to high-quality care and cutting-edge research close to home. Clinically, we cannot continue to focus on the growth of the old model of care.  We must innovate and fundamentally redesign how care is delivered using tools like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and strategic home-based technology. 

It's essential that we tailor our services to the specific needs of the individual communities we serve and embrace the challenges of doing so under the limitations of our current financial realities. We will measure success by expanded access, improved patient outcomes and the well-being of our providers.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD. Chief Physician Executive of Luminis Health (Annapolis, Md.); President of Luminis Health Clinical Enterprise (Annapolis, Md.): Luminis Health is a four-year-old health system. We are committed to building an integrated health system, combining two hospitals and more than 100 clinical care centers into one system. The key to growth is creating a clinical platform organized to deliver access to the communities we serve. Online scheduling, overall digital transformation and expansion of services and access points will all contribute to that effort.   

The use of technology will also greatly enhance our health system's efficiency and effectiveness. This would include using technology that offers predictable solutions to both clinical process improvement and the opportunity to eliminate administrative burdens. As always, growth is dependent on caregivers. We are committed to recruiting and retaining high-quality clinician leaders who not only offer great care but are also interested in becoming part of the culture of Luminis Health.  

Susmita Pati, MD, MPH. Chief, Primary Care Pediatrics and Chief Medical Program Advisor of The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University (New York): Our biggest opportunities for growth in our clinical enterprise are in our primary care service line and providing related care coordination/care management services. In our academic enterprise, our biggest opportunities are in growing multidisciplinary population health research and educational initiatives leveraging the strengths of our multiple health sciences schools and our university, a flagship in our state.

Armando Llechu. Chief Office of Hospital-Based Care at Lee Memorial Health System (Fort Myers, Fla.): There continues to be out-migration from this community to nationally recognized care providers. While this is highly dependent on the means of the patient, what we learn is that patients who have a choice, on certain occasions, choose other providers over us. Understanding the root cause (quality, reputation, access) of those choices and creating an environment where the patients can choose us is paramount to our long-term growth and success.

Ellen Feinstein, RD, MHA, FACHE. Vice President, Cancer Service Line Administration of Advocate Health (Downers Grove, Ill., and Milwaukee): The opportunity to meet the needs of our communities while supporting growth is ample. The following are some examples of how we are prioritizing our tactics to address those needs:

We know that continued outpatient growth requires convenient off-campus offerings in specialty care centers, ambulatory surgery centers, and other community-based bricks and mortar investments. In real-time, this is evidenced by the migration of inpatient care to the ambulatory setting and the growth in telemedicine, driven by patient preference for convenience and technology. This, too, helps us reach more patients at home, most notably in behavioral health.

We are expanding our number of new payer contracts to capture new sources of revenue from new patient populations through direct-to-employer agreements which offer high-touch direct access, value-based contracting, and bundled payments driven by high-quality care. We are continuing to grow and optimize patient access channels to offer faster and more convenient care, using data to identify leakage opportunities and deploying dedicated care coordinators to retain patients within our systems of care.

James F. Kravec, MD, FACP. Market Chief Clinical Officer of Mercy Health Lorain (Ohio) and Mercy Health Youngstown (Ohio); Medical Director of Graduate Medical Education at Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati): For Mercy Health in Lorain and Youngstown, Ohio, we continue to focus on the recruitment of high-quality physicians both in primary care as well as select specialists. We are focusing on in-network utilization to promote the already high quality of our accountable care organization, as well as continue to focus on key primary care metrics within the ACO. As we grow our service lines and our physician practices, to allow for this growth, we continue to focus on core hospital metrics,  such as like to stay, to allow for this growth in our current footprint.

Tom Spiegel, MD, MBA, MS. Vice President and Health System Chief Quality Officer at University of Chicago Medicine (Ill.): We are focused on expanding our clinical network to help patients access our specialty and subspecialty care while offering access to the latest clinical trials. We also seek to bring academic medicine closer to where people live and where there is a need for this care.

As one of the largest healthcare providers on the South Side of Chicago, which serves some of the city's most vulnerable patients, we are committed to addressing social determinants of health, reducing health disparities, and improving health equity. Finally, we are leveraging the latest digital technologies across the care continuum to improve access, experience, and value for patients and clinicians.

Mary Frances Southerland. Chief Administrative Officer of UVA Health (Charlottesville, Va.): There is so much opportunity for UVA Health to deliver high-quality care to more communities across Virginia in the next three years and beyond. We recently integrated three community medical centers and dozens of outpatient sites onto the same infrastructure as our flagship academic medical center — including unifying all locations on our Epic instance. We are accountable to Virginians to deliver not just exceptional tertiary and quaternary care but to grow in ways that increase access to high-quality primary and specialty care that meets our patients where they are, close to home. This is all part of our mission to transform health and inspire hope for all Virginians and beyond.

Eric Tichy, PharmD, MBA. Division Chair of Pharmacy Supply Chain at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): One of our biggest opportunities for growth is implementing emerging pharmaceutical technologies such as gene therapies. The new drug pipeline is loaded with these innovative therapies that will transition US healthcare from disease management to curative disease treatment. Implementing these treatments will require a new level of integration of clinical, operational and financial wherewithal to ensure sustainable long-term success.

Jody K. Reyes. Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Penn State Health, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Hershey): In 2022, Penn State Health opened its fifth hospital. In the next three years, the health system is, therefore, better positioned to reach its long-term goal to ensure that everyone in the communities we serve is able to easily access a Penn State Health primary care provider, specialty care service or acute care hospital.

The health system is also optimizing its use of technologies to deliver trusted care, investing in technologies that facilitate early detection, offer telehealth solutions and reduce costs for both patients and the system. Our patients can expect that their health records and results are accessible regardless of the location. Our teams can streamline tasks, improving the scheduling and billing experience for our patients. Overall, the improved coordination will continue to enhance the quality of care and outcomes with standardized processes and effective delivery of care.

Lastly, Penn State Health and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are academic partners of Penn State College of Medicine. Together, the organizations will focus on advancing new and continuing initiatives in education and research.

Julie DeLoia, PhD. Chief Academic Officer of Dignity Health Global Education (Ontario, Canada): Two of the largest threats currently facing health systems are dwindling budgets and dwindling staff. In fact, according to the 2023 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, each percent change in RN turnover will cost or save the average hospital $380,600 per year, and that's only accounting for one position in the workforce.

Learning to successfully attract, retain and upskill top talent through workforce development through continued education is the largest necessity and simultaneously the biggest opportunity for growth. From advanced degrees to population-specific training (such as senior living, social determinants of health and rural healthcare), creating career growth opportunities and upskilling employees benefit the entire organization and health systems that take advantage of this approach will reap the rewards. 

Colin LeClair. CEO of Connections Health Solutions (Phoenix): Connections is poised to open several psychiatric emergency treatment centers in 2024, bringing immediate-access behavioral health crisis care to three large metropolitan communities. Our centers provide the right behavioral health crisis treatment to any and all individuals in need right when they need it. Our upcoming and future growth is fueled, in part, by the launch of the 988 crisis line and the recognition that for crisis care to be most effective, people in crisis need someone to respond and a place to go. 

In addition to 988, the Consolidated Appropriations Act included provisions intended to enhance and build holistic continuums of behavioral health crisis care across the nation, and we've seen communities, local elected officials, providers, and other members of the healthcare ecosystem prioritize improving access to care for behavioral health crises. Immediate-access crisis centers that serve any and all patients sit at the center of the crisis continuum and help drive us to a system with better access, better quality, and better outcomes for the patient. 

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars