15 quotes from healthcare executives reporters knew they had to write down

More than 150 hospital and health system executives gathered in Chicago a few days ago to discuss their industry, organizations, strategies, challenges and passions as part of the Becker's Hospital Review 6th Annual Meeting. Needless to say, our reporters left with notes upon notes when the event wrapped up.

Looking back, a few quotes really caught our ears when the executives first spoke them. Here are 15 of them, fresh from our notes, in no particular order.

1. "We shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves. A lot of us say, 'Oh my God, how could this be happening. Look at all the unpredictable things happening all the time.' These are happening in every industry."

Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Great Neck, N.Y.-based North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System

2. "The biggest [surprise] is just how hard it is to move our patient satisfaction scores. Our other one is just how slow the rate of change actually is despite how breathless we all feel. We talk a lot about how pay is reforming, but I don't know a system that is not still on fee-for-service."

Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center

3. "We work hard every day to engage physicians fully as partners. They literally can bring your system down, but when they're with you, there's nothing you can't do together."

June Komar, corporate executive vice president of strategy and administration for San Diego-based Scripps Health

4. "[Physicians] are going to look at you sideways if you ask them to align, but if you ask them to be the leaders and determine what the future will look like, they will rise to the challenge."

Lucy Hammerberg, MD, chief quality officer of Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill.

5. "When I go back to my hotel room, I will answer every email that has come to me while I was making this presentation."

Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder on his open-door email policy and diligent correspondence with employees and colleagues who write him.

6.  "I need to create the end of patients needing to see us."

Rod Hochman, MD, president and CEO of Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, referring to the goal he has in mind for his system's population health efforts.

7. "I don't think the president or HHS administrator is being coy when they say they don't have a plan B. It is inconceivable to have a plan B."

John Jay Shannon, MD, CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals in Chicago, on the King v. Burwell decision.

8. "We have the expertise to go in and educate legislatures to do the right things for our kids. You can educate legislative bodies and they will do the right thing."

Ronald DePinho, MD, president of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, on the institution's Moon Shots Program, which includes policy analysts, curriculum developers, nurse scientists, community-based navigators, mHealth professionals and others who link cancer research to public policy, education and community services.

9. "Detroit has gone through incredibly difficult times, with bankruptcy and a 30 percent drop in the population. We have to constantly think about how to drive strategy to grow an organization that's not in a market that's growing."

Nancy M. Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit

10. "Yes, that will reduce hospital admissions, but that is our long-term goal. It's especially counterintuitive to hospital executives. Once hospitals were revenue centers, and now they are cost centers."

Michael Rowan, president of health system delivery and COO of Catholic Health Initiatives, on the system's population health strategy.

11. "In the past I wasn't involved in many of the quality and infection control meetings, but with readmissions impacting reimbursement I had to get involved."

Pamela Hess, CFO of Saint Thomas Midtown and Saint Thomas West hospitals in Nashville, Tenn.

12. "It requires a combination of efforts. I'm incredibly optimistic, but I worry sometimes that it can't be a regulatory thing, it can't be a huge financial hit and it can't just be us."

Larry Goodman, MD, CEO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and president of Rush University, on population health management.

13. "I would just reiterate: Communicate, communicate, communicate. It's about the people and it's about relationships. We cannot forget that."

Joel Allison, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas

14. "Now more than ever do we need all hands on deck. Physicians, social workers, nurses and case managers are all needed to make sure the care continuum is addressed."

Gyasi C. Chisley, CEO of Methodist North Hospital and senior vice president of Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn.

15. "The essence of leadership is having the ability to alter what people think is possible, convince them that effort would be worth it and show them how it was their idea all along."

Teri Fontenot, president and CEO of Baton Rouge, La.-based Woman's Hospital

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