6 hospital, health system CEOs pursuing passion projects

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As a hospital and health system CEO, this individual is charged with pursuing and heading up projects integral to an organization's mission and success.

Here are six hospital and health system CEOs currently working on projects pertinent to their organization.

1. Meri Armour, president and CEO of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital (Memphis, Tenn.). Le Bonheur Children's Hospital teamed up with Philips, a leading health technology company headquartered in the Netherlands, to implement a noninvasive ventilation program. The program worked to eliminate pressure injuries' commons effects through enhanced patient assessment and improved understanding fof the different masks.  

"Here at Le Bonheur, we have had a multi-year focus on reducing hospital-acquired conditions, such as pressure injuries resulting from ventilation masks. Patients, particularly children, shouldn't have to suffer from additional health problems when receiving respiratory care," Ms. Armour said. "Through our strategic partnership with Philips and its multidisciplinary approach to NIV mask rotation, we have not only been able to eliminate pressure injuries, but also established innovative best practices that combine teamwork and clinical approaches to deliver safe, quality care to the children who need it most."

2. Patrick Charmel, CEO of Griffin Hospital (Derby, Conn.). As CEO of Griffin Hospital, a 160-bed acute care facility, Mr. Charmel headed up the hospital's adoption of innovative technology that changes the way providers draw blood. Griffin teamed up with San Francisco-based Velano Vascular during the company's early stage investment round to develop a device that draws blood samples via an existing IV in a patient's hand or arm.

"Through a collaboration with Velano Vascular, we are introducing a patient-centered and compassionate approach to blood drawing for hospital inpatients that eliminates needle sticks. I am a passionate advocate of the use of innovative technology and care redesign to improve the patient experience," Mr. Charmel said.

3. Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (Michigan). Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is currently increasing its investment in its Howell, Mich.-based St. Joseph Mercy Livingston hospital and creating a short stay center at St. Joseph Mercy Brighton (Mich.). The short stay center will allow for overnight stays. The health system increased its investment from $25 million to $41 million.

"We're developing this unique short stay outpatient hospital to allow us to use new technology to move care from the inpatient to the outpatient setting. We are going to be using surgical and minimally invasive technologies and robotic surgery in this new environment designed to use technology to its full potential. This will allow us to greatly reduce the cost of very complex procedures that are currently high cost today," Mr. Casalou said.

4. Peter S. Fine, president & CEO of Banner Health (Phoenix). The health system recently launched an employee campaign that encourages all staff to complete an advanced directive that encourages patients to talk to their families about their decisions and make the document a part of their medical record.

"Working in healthcare, we have seen too frequently what happens when advanced directives are not immediately available to family and friends. With this initiative, Banner not only has the opportunity to help our employees create peace of mind for themselves and their families but we can also lead by example and help our patients and their families plan ahead," said Mr. Fine.

5. Barry S. Rabner, president and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System (Plainsboro, N.J.). Princeton HealthCare is working to improve patient care and move forward into healthcare's future by merging with Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania Health System. Princeton HealthCare System analyzed 17 potential partners to ensure the partner would best serve the community's local term interests and decided University of Pennsylvania Health System was the right partner to make that happen.

"At Princeton HealthCare System, we have been passionate about serving our community since 1919, and we are currently engaged in a process that we believe will enable us to continue pursuing that passion for many years to come," Mr. Rabner said. "This will be one of the most important decisions in our almost 100-year history."

6. John Jay Shannon, MD, CEO of Cook County Health & Hospitals System (Chicago). Cook County Health & Hospital Systems launched "Food is Medicine," a primary care screening tool that helps the health system identify at-risk patients. The system teamed up with Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide the health system's patients with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as summer meals for pediatric patients. The initiative also aims to increase healthy food options at community/corner stores, and educate the public about healthy diets and behaviors.

"I have seen firsthand how lack of access to healthy food is a major social determinant that contributes greatly to major killers in urban poor populations. For many of those served by the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, it is often a tradeoff in budget between food or medicine," Dr. Shannon said.

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