77 great leadership quotes from the "Corner Office" in 2017

The "Corner Office" interview series takes the time to explore both the personal and professional interests of some of the healthcare industry's most influential executives. As we begin 2018, we look back on the insight and guidance from our 2017 interviews to help us usher in the new year.

Here is every answer from all 11 executives interviewed for the "Corner Office" in 2017.

Question: What's one thing that really piqued your interest in healthcare?

"When I entered college I thought I wanted to be a physician. Science was my favorite subject in high school. While at college, I loved everything I studied — I was all over the map trying to figure out at the ripe old age of 18 what to do with the rest of my life. I pursued a biology and medicine track, but I was also interested in the business world. By the time I finished, I found I liked the intersection between medicine and business so I hopped over to the hospital administration side. It was a combination of my natural interests and also the recognition that on the administrative side, you have the ability to impact entire healthcare systems. I wanted to impact public policy and do things on a broader level" - Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, president and CEO of Children's Hospital of Orange (Calif.) County

"My first experience in healthcare was when I was in high school and volunteered at Temple University Hospital's emergency room in Philadelphia. It was eye opening and showed me just how important healthcare was, and also how much opportunity there was to improve. There was a lot of waiting and down time between each event that occurred in the hospital. There wasn't as much effort around treating patients in the friendliest or most efficient manner. This is why I am passionate about UCHealth’s focus on improving the experience for patients and their family members." - Liz Concordia, president and CEO of Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth

"I was always interested in doing something where I could connect with people. A long history with an ill relative — my brother — definitely helped shape my thinking and made me want to do something that would allow me to contribute to something bigger than myself.

I think most people who get into healthcare have that drive. And a lot of healthcare executives and providers have had some sort of experience, either with a relative or themselves, that connects them to the healthcare industry. It's nice to connect your personal and professional life in that way — it's what makes healthcare such a fulfilling line of work." - Michelle Conger, CSO of Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare

"My uncle and great uncle were surgeons and my family heritage inclined me toward medicine. Additionally, in college I helped a friend who had a sprained ankle. I knew how to wrap ankles from playing sports, but there was something about laying strong but gentle hands on someone to help them heal that appealed to me. That small incident was a big contributor of my interest in medicine on top of my family in the background telling me this is a worthwhile thing to do.

From taking care of one patient at a time to running systems, I've been fortunate to leverage my knowledge and have the chance to affect so many people. I do miss treating patients. I stopped practicing about eight years ago because cardiac surgical patients require a doctor who has the ability to respond to them any time, day or night, and my administrative duties wouldn't allow that. But by helping to run a health system, I have the opportunity to make a positive contribution beyond a single patient at a time." - Verdi DiSesa, MD, president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Temple University Hospital

"My interest in healthcare started when my grandfather was dying of cancer and going through the system. I became very interested in end-of-life care processes, ethics and philosophies — or lack thereof. I was struck by how people nearing the ends of their lives were treated with such a lack of dignity and respect in the healthcare industry.

Today I carry that passion for how to improve the death and dying experience, and how to support people's dignity in that process." -Jena Hausmann, CEO of Aurora-based Children's Hospital Colorado

"There are a couple of things. As I was growing up, I had a very close relationship with all four of my grandparents. I spent a lot of time with them as they were in and out of hospitals and nursing homes. They suffered from heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia during the aging process. But my interest in healthcare grew the most when I was in college after I fell asleep at the wheel early one morning after driving through the night. I fractured my spine and suffered a collapsed lung and failing kidneys. I spent six weeks in Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey. The clinicians and staff not only cared for me, but they also cared for and bonded with my parents and family. It was a cathartic experience for us all. That probably piqued my interest in healthcare the most, demonstrating how impactful the entire care team impacts the lives of others. It also helped me gain a level of resiliency and perseverance." - Michael Dandorph, president of Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center

"It's hard to point to one thing, but the fundamental mission of healthcare and the ability of providers to help people during their most vulnerable moments is what drew me in. Previously I worked in manufacturing at GM. It was fun and rewarding, but I was missing that larger connection to a purpose. I went back to business school and there I met alums that were in healthcare. I realized that is where I wanted to be — that is my calling." - Eric Evans, president of hospital operations at Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare

"Being a business and finance major in college, I was always looking for a direction I could go with those degrees that would also serve a strong social purpose. For me it was very important I use the skills I developed in college and throughout life — my planning, management and finance skills — to serve a bigger mission. I knew I really wasn't cut out to be in investment banking, manufacturing or sales. It had to be something that brought those two skill sets together. Healthcare to me was the solution. It didn't hurt that I grew up in a medical family, with parents who served on the board of the local hospital. I spent many a year roaming the halls of the place, got to know the CEO over time and loved the environment, but ultimately it was really more of a personal mission." - John Haupert, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Grady Health System

"The intersection between the power of people and the power of art and science is what really got me interested. I have a degree in chemistry, and from a chemist's perspective, the world is all about chemical formulas; atoms and molecules, getting the right proportions of this and that to create something new. In healthcare it's not an exact science, there's a lot of gray area, there's a lot of interpretation. The fact is that when you're doing things with the human body, it's not always exactly what you learned in the textbook. When you're making decisions about healthcare, you're using judgments that might not necessarily have data, so the art is about how you lead other people and how you make decisions when there's not a direct formula. That's why it's an art and that's why I like it so much." - Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System

"When I was in kindergarten, we were sitting around in a circle and our teacher was asking everyone what they wanted to be when they grew up. I said I want to be a doctor and she quickly said, 'Oh no, girls can't be doctors.' And I went, 'Wow, really?' That just stuck with me and made me want to be a physician even more."

I was motivated by someone telling me 'no,' telling me I couldn't do something. But once I got the bug and understood what healthcare was all about, about the impact you can have on people's lives when they're at their most vulnerable — that's when I knew I made the right decision, although maybe it was for the wrong reason at the beginning [laughs].

Years later I was working at the emergency room one evening, and I was asked to see someone with a critical medical condition who was probably not going to survive the episode. It turned out it was my kindergarten teacher, the one who said girls couldn't be doctors. So I came full circle and took care of her at the end of her life. She was still alert at that point and absolutely recognized me, and was actually smiling ear-to-ear and saying how proud she was of me." -Susan Turney, MD, CEO of Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System

"I've had a lifelong interest and passion for the science of medicine and the utmost respect for physicians and all caregivers. I started my education with the intent to become a doctor, and I was talked out of it by my older brother. He graduated from undergraduate with a pre-med degree a year ahead of me. He had taken organic chemistry and said, ;Have you thought about this, because you're actually going to have to work. You're not going to be able to enjoy college the way I think you were expecting.' Then he told me about four years of medical school, three years of residency and two years of fellowship. You know, it's a long haul, and at the time I hadn't really thought it through that way.

So I changed my major the start of my freshman year from biology and pre-med to accounting. During my sophomore year at Providence (R.I.) College, a counselor called me in and said he had noticed my previous interest in healthcare, and asked if I ever thought about running a hospital. I told him I didn't even know that job existed. He said not only does it exist but we have a major called healthcare administration that I've enrolled you in alongside your accounting major. I didn't know this counselor from Adam, but in a very fortunate stroke, that's what set my path in healthcare." -Michael Maron, president and CEO of Teaneck, N.J.-based Holy Name Medical Center

Q: What do you enjoy most about where you work?

"Orange County is a fabulous place to live and raise a family. The weather is amazing, it has a good lifestyle and the population is diverse. It is also very family oriented, which I appreciate since I work in pediatric healthcare. And we have one of the best children's hospitals in the world." - Ms. Cripe

"I moved [to Aurora] from the East coast. I love it out here — the sunshine, the amazing weather, the mountains. Our state has a growing population, as well as a strong focus on health and wellness. From a professional perspective, it's really nice because it's a great match for what UCHealth wants to do and what the population of Colorado is really interested in: staying healthy and implementing wellness projects." - Ms. Concordia

"[Peoria is] small enough for the community to feel connected, but large enough to offer a lot of the same things you find in larger cities. There's a huge healthcare talent pool and substantial diversity in terms of restaurants and entertainment.

From the healthcare perspective, the size of Peoria gives us a large opportunity to design care for a variety of communities. The Peoria metro area has about 350,000 people, whereas some of the smaller communities we serve have between 18,000 and 20,000." - Ms. Conger

"There is a lot to like [about Philadelphia]. I've lived in the Northeast most of my life. New York City and Washington, D.C., aren't far away. I like the climate and geography. It's pretty — we have four real seasons. There's also a fair amount of diversity, both culturally and otherwise. I've raised four sons in Philadelphia. There are great educational opportunities, both in public and private schools." - Dr. DiSesa

"Colorado is an extraordinary place to live. You can't beat the climate or the scenery. You can be in a major metropolitan area, then 90 minutes later be in some of the most beautiful parts of nature in the country. And I love the spirit of the people of Colorado — they're highly collaborative, innovative and there is just a thriving energy." - Ms. Hausmann

"I'm a transplant from the East Coast. The adjustment to living in Chicago has been incredibly easy for me and my family. There's a lot to like — the people are incredibly welcoming. There is amazing diversity, culturally and otherwise. I enjoy the arts, the lakefront, and the fanatic sports fans. Generally speaking, Chicago is a city that has a lot of opportunities and promise, given all the talent and resources across the metropolitan area. It's just hard to find a convenient mountain to satisfy our passion for hiking and skiing." - Mr. Dandorph

"It's definitely the people. Dallas has some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I've lived all across the country and Dallas is one of the friendliest cities I've come across. The people are committed to the betterment of the city. They're entrepreneurial. They have a history of thinking big and believe nothing is impossible. And they're big supporters of culture and the arts. It's a fantastic place to raise a family. I have three boys, ages four, five and six." - Mr. Evans

"There's a lot to like about Atlanta. It's a big city built in the middle of a forest, so it's incredibly green. When you fly over Atlanta, you really don't see the houses, you see the trees. It's green; it's hilly, with lots of lakes and ponds. As far as topography, it's just a beautiful place to live. It also means it's cooler than other places I've lived in my life, such as Arkansas and Texas.

On top of that, it's incredibly, richly diverse — uniquely diverse, I think, in large cities across the country. I love the history and the parallel this institution, Grady, has had along with the Civil Rights Movement. It's a prosperous city with lots of positive growth and opportunity for lots of different people. It's really a growing, thriving community, which means there are a lot of fun things to do, sports-wise, arts-wise, food-wise. I lived in Dallas for 20 years and thought that was the end-all, be-all. I love Dallas, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose Atlanta." - Mr. Haupert

"Without question, what I enjoy the most about Detroit is the amazing resurgence that’s been happening here and the combined efforts of businesses from various sectors and the communities that are working really aggressively to make the city and region a better place. I've never experienced the kind of rebirth, resurgence and rejuvenation that's happening here in Detroit. Seeing the excitement about how much is going into rebuilding a city and a region that have gone through tough times — I'd say that's what I'm enjoying the most." - Mr. Lassiter

"I was here for 25 years, left for 10, and now I'm back. I'm very excited to be back in Marshfield because I relish the sense of community in a small town and I'm proud that we provide world-class care to our rural communities. What struck me most, particularly after I left, was that the sense of community translates to what we do every day. We are not simply an entity in the community, we are a major part of the fabric of the community. People are very generous here and eager to help each other. They support us in many volunteer and philanthropic capacities. When you go to the grocery store, church or movie theatre, you tend to know the people there.

We're family oriented, we're small, we're a giving community, and people live our mission — to enrich the lives of others — in their everyday lives." - Dr. Turney

"Teaneck's a great town. It's culturally diverse, plus it's right on the doorstep of Manhattan. We have many, many cultures here and it's a real melting pot.

Being in such a diverse area exposes you to a whole host of different cultural beliefs and mindsets. One of the big initiatives at Holy Name has been our culturally sensitive healthcare delivery. We've really focused on having empathy and understanding for the nuances of the different cultures around us. Our population contains a mix of Korean, Hispanic and Jewish people, and there's a host of nuances in each of these communities that affects their healthcare. It affects how they acquire disease, the diseases they get and how we can treat them. We've introduced that into the fiber in the culture of Holy Name. We are responsive and sensitive to the needs of these people and try to be knowledgeable of the more prevalent disease categories that affect the people around us." - Mr. Maron

Q: If you could eliminate one of the healthcare industry's problems overnight, which would it be?

"I would focus on the disparity of funding and reimbursement for different segments of our population. In particular, I think we need to better recognize and value the health and well-being of our youth. A lot of children have coverage through government programs — Medicaid in particular — but there is inequity in reimbursement between them, especially when you compare Medicaid to Medicare." - Ms. Cripe

"I would choose to eliminate the roadblocks patients face when trying to interact with the system. We are so far behind other industries when it comes to putting our customers first. We have to figure out how to improve those experiences. When you think about shopping online, booking airlines and hotels, healthcare is far behind in customer service. We must think about how we can use technology to interact with patients, such as for scheduling appointments or holding virtual visits." - Ms. Concordia

"When I really get down to thinking about it, I'd like to eliminate the barriers that exist between traditional healthcare providers and other providers in the realm of social services, behavioral health, housing and food security. If we could eliminate the barriers in how we work together, we could move up stream to create value and really keep people healthy. It moves us from episodic care for disease to community care." - Ms. Conger

"There are obviously a lot of problems. If I had to pick, I would say to standardize credentialing for providers and standardize the metrics that determine how we're paid, rather than every payer saying here's what you have to do to be credentialed or here is the idiosyncratic way we want to be billed or paid. If the requirements could be streamlined and standardized, it would be easier for everyone and save a lot of money because all of that work requires a lot of infrastructure." - Dr. DiSesa

"Regulation. Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries, and the rules are often old, archaic and conflicting with one another. They create waste, inefficiencies and costs, and they really inhibit our ability as an industry to innovate and transform the care delivery system the way we need to best serve our patients." - Ms. Hausmann

"I think it would be a significant overhaul of the financing of our health system. I've seen economic incentives drive behaviors that at times get in the way of things like preventive services, or ways we might more holistically improve the health of the people and communities we serve. It's remarkable that we're a country with such an enormous wealth of medical talent and technology, yet we struggle with improving health status of populations. We also have significant health inequities in many pockets of the nation, including many urban and rural areas. I believe we need to better align the economic incentives for healthcare delivery in ways that allow us to better partner with others to address the social determinant issues contributing to poor outcomes, and achieve the systemic quality improvements we aspire to." - Mr. Dandorph

"We have challenges in healthcare, but if I could get rid of one, I would ensure everyone has access to primary and preventive care. We currently all too often care for people in a reactive way, when they are already sick or show up in the emergency room. There are multiple factors that create inequities of care. It's awful and also drives up unnecessary costs.

There's a lot going on with regulation, oversight and funding of healthcare. We as providers are most concerned with making sure we provide access to care at the right time, place and cost. Anything that takes that level of access away is a step backward. It's very important for every American to have the opportunity to remain healthy. [Tenet is] working hard to be a part of the solution to this challenge... We support anything that helps increase and maintain access to the most appropriate level of care." - Mr. Evans

"Among the hundreds of things that need to be addressed, I would eliminate access issues. We have a very developed healthcare system in this country that is not accessible to all people, and sometimes it's not even accessible to people who have insurance, or Medicare or Medicaid." - Mr. Haupert

"I would say silos and complexity. I think healthcare is a wonderful industry, but we have become way too comfortable with creating vertical silos, which create complexity for consumers. Whether its departments within hospitals or the silos we've created around acute care versus post acute care, we haven't always built ourselves around the customer as the central cog in what we do. So I would eliminate the vertical barriers that our customers have to deal with because of complexities and how we've constructed ourselves." - Mr. Lassiter

"I think one of the key issues that holds back innovation, especially for us in a rural area, is the affordability of care. Although there is innovation taking place, the payers and providers aren't evolving in sync together. As we move from a fee-for-service toward a value-based system, payers aren't really keeping up with the pace of change, but on the other side, providers aren't always quickly embracing the changes either.

Innovation in healthcare is rampant with new technologies, new therapies through precision medicine, personalized medicine and genomic care, but providers aren't always embracing changes. That makes innovation and controlling the cost of care more difficult." - Dr. Turney

"To me one of the single biggest problems in this day and age, one of the major drivers of the healthcare problems across the country, is the lack of transparency and the lack of a singular pricing methodology. I would make the process public, transparent and consistent.

As a consumer today, if you wanted to see how much a procedure would cost at a hospital, it's a black box. You can't price shop across providers and every insurer, including the federal government, pays under different methodologies at different rates. Consumers can't go to insurers and ask, "What do you pay Holy Name compared to a competitor? What's my co-pay or deductible going to be?" It actually costs you as the beneficiary, because you're blinded to that." - Mr. Maron

Q: What do you consider your greatest talent or skill outside of the C-suite?

"I think this applies both inside and outside of the C-suite, but my biggest talent or asset is having an enormous sense of curiosity and drive. I love to learn, innovate, read and find better ways to do things at work and home. I have an ability to look ahead and see a different future, and I'm a good active listener." - Ms. Cripe

"I can't say this is a skill, but I'm most proud that I have three great kids and an amazing husband. In my office I have a five-foot by five-foot board covered with pictures of my family. I think it's really important for people to recognize that work-life balance is important and being a mom is something to be proud of." - Ms. Concordia

"I studied psychology and social work, and I think one of my strengths is connecting with and getting to know people — meeting them where they're at. I enjoy doing that not only at work but also in the community. There are lots of ways to extend that capability beyond my daily work. I think these interpersonal skills are sometime more complex than the day-to-day technical skills we need to be successful." - Ms. Conger

"Fatherhood. Some of the skills I've learned as a parent are helpful in what I do now — like how to help folks work together, grow and develop. How to give them enough rope so they can come up with their own solutions but not so much as they hang themselves. This is how I approached being a father to four sons. They're nice kids — young adults now. I'm proud of the results so far." - Dr. DiSesa

"I'm not sure if this is a talent, but I'd say it's being a mom of a 16-year-old daughter, 14-year-old son and eight-year-old son. Parenting is the most important thing that I try to be intentional about. It's very different as a working mother at the executive level. I can't always look for a large quantity of time with my children and family, but I can make quality time." - Ms. Hausmann

"I think I can get people comfortable with taking risks and overcoming resistance to trying new things. It starts with developing relationships, listening to people's anxieties and concerns about risk taking and overcoming the fear of failure. Sometimes in life you just have to go for it. I loved coaching youth sports for my kids to experience the thrill of team sports or helping them get comfortable taking the risks necessary to experience the exhilaration of things like downhill skiing or cliff diving. As a leader, I've developed an appreciation that influence is far more powerful than control, and is essential to enabling others to aim high. I've found it helpful in my relationships inside and outside the C-suite." Mr. Dandorph

"Most of what I do outside of the C-suite doesn't take talent or skill — I love reading, running and parenting. My wife would say my best talent is my ability to fall asleep anywhere at any time.

But seriously, I think I bring great curiosity and problem solving skills to any endeavor whether at Tenet or at the community boards I participate on. I'm also active in organizations that support community health and child development. These have been great experiences and have enabled me to communicate the broad importance and impact of healthcare on society and the economy." - Mr. Evans

"My greatest talent or skill outside of the C-suite is working hard to maintain balance in life and making sure, because I have this demanding of a job, that my family and extended family are not neglected by me because of that. And that takes a lot of doing and energy and effort, but that's really where life is lived. It's incredibly important to me." - Mr. Haupert

"So I would say my greatest skill outside the C-suite is in the culinary realm. I absolutely love food. I love cooking it, I love eating it, I love exploring it, I love learning about it and I love travelling around the world to sample different kinds of food. The thing that I get the most fun out of is going to a very nice restaurant and having a great meal, having the opportunity to talk to the chef about how he or she prepares those dishes, and then going home and trying to replicate them." - Mr. Lassiter

"My husband raises and trains hunting dogs, and I really love being around the discipline of training dogs and being out in the field with him while he trains. That's really a lot of fun. It's a lot more complicated than people think, so even though I don't possess the talent to train them, I enjoy it tremendously.

It also takes skill to say: I need a break. My brain needs a rest. I've got to do things that are enjoyable. Maybe that's a little different than other people, but I think that's my great skill." - Dr. Turney

"I consider myself a good parent. I have four boys and I'm very proud of how we raised them. I try to be a good communicator in terms of being empathetic and understanding to all the people here at the hospital." - Mr. Maron

Q: How do you revitalize yourself?

"I haven't quite mastered the work-life balance, I admit, but I revitalize myself by spending time with my family. I adore my husband and kids, and spending time with them is a great way to rejuvenate and enjoy life. I love the outdoors. Outdoor activities — skiing, waterskiing, hiking, walking, horseback riding — give me a lot of energy. I love the mountains and beaches. I also love to listen to music and read all kinds of books.

I recently reread a few things, such as The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. It's amazing you can pick up books — some that have been around for decades — and they are still so relevant. This is especially true for books about the importance of treating people with respect and dignity, understanding other people's perspectives and how we have the power to unify people or polarize them." - Ms. Cripe

"Exercise is an important stress reliever for me. I like to swim, run and hike. I also like to spend as much time as possible with my family. I always carve out a couple of nights per week dedicated to my family so I can make sure I'm home for dinner with them." - Ms. Concordia

"I revitalize myself in a couple of ways, one mental and one physical. I think executives can get overwhelmed with all of the information they're constantly having to take in, but I really like to read. I force myself to read things other than nonfiction — books and stories that help you think differently and more creatively. Right now I'm reading a novel called Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. It's a story about loss and how it impacts people over time. It's sad, but very good.

I also like to run. I do it for relaxation and to release some energy outside of the work environment. And now I have a teenage son that goes for runs with me. It's great when you have a teen you can share a hobby with that you both enjoy." - Ms. Conger

"I exercise pretty regularly. I also like to read, especially history and biographies. I've gotten into cycling in this phase of my life. I have a sore knee so I can't run on the road anymore, but I can cycle, which allows me to travel and to see the world at a human rate of speed. It's also very important to me to stay involved in our kids' lives. One is married now and another is getting married, and one is in law school and another in medical school." - Dr. DiSesa

"I'm a big believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of sleep. I also practice yoga, meditation and snuggle time with my family. After a long, tough day, there is nothing better than a hug and hearing the words, "Welcome home, mommy," or "I love you." I enjoy nothing more than snuggling with my kids, reading them a book or tucking them in. That brings me positive energy." - Ms. Hausmann

"I try to immerse myself with my family as much as possible, and like doing things that allow us to meet new people and experience different cultures. I have found the stories of others can be quite inspiring, especially when I have the opportunity to learn about their successes or the hardships they've had to overcome. It helps me stay jazzed about leading an organization with the passion of making such a big a difference in the lives of others." - Mr. Dandorph

"First, I'm truly energized by the job I get to do each day. It's naturally motivating and revitalizing to help improve outcomes, the patient experience and value of care. Tenet's mission statement is to help people live happier and healthier lives. It's a mission that connects all of our colleagues, and it's how I want to spend my time.

Outside of work, I try to get regular exercise. I run three to four times a week and go to the gym twice a week. I always take my vacation time. It's important to get away and gain some perspective when you're not in the everyday business of work. And I love spending time with my three sons…" - Mr. Evans

"The way I really revitalize myself is taking trips to the mountains, usually to Santa Fe, N.M., to 'get away from it' and revitalize. We go hiking; we also work with abused and abandoned horses, helping them recover, taking care of them, training them. The other way I revitalize myself is through my at-home time. Being at home with family, just living at home here in Atlanta, is very revitalizing to me." - Mr. Haupert

"Travel is one way. Most of my travel is centered around food, wine and the beach. I'm also a very big jazz fan and I listen to music constantly; jazz and gospel are my two favorite genres. I travel a fair amount to jazz festivals, I've hit Montréal and Newport this year. I exercise a fair amount, I enjoy biking and try and keep some semblance of physical activity." - Mr. Lassiter

"We always need to find ways to rejuvenate and give our brains a rest and engage with others, talk about things that don't relate to work. For me it's really being with my family, my children, my grandchildren. I love being outdoors, so we do lots of things together like skiing. My daughter and I have also run a marathon together. And I love reading — I read anything and everything." - Dr. Turney

"The most revitalizing activities for me are sports and other outdoor activities. In the winter it's skiing, in the summer it's the beach. Exercising, keeping myself physically fit and engaging in sports as best I can is what keeps me going. I played ice hockey until a few years ago. Pick any sport you like, I'm a fan of them all and I love engaging in physical activity. If not that, then just sitting on the beach, reading a book and listening to the waves roll in — that's probably the most relaxing and revitalizing time for me." - Mr. Maron

Q: What's one piece of advice you remember most clearly?

"I remember being told about the importance of hiring a great team and of always trying to hire people who are smarter than you. I learned you can't be intimidated by smart people. It's important to surround yourself with diverse perspectives and know when to listen to other people." - Ms. Cripe

"Never compromise your values. Integrity, honesty and your reputation are priceless. They can take a lifetime to establish and a day to lose."- Ms. Concordia

"One is the importance of courage in leadership. I remember one of my first mentors, the COO at a large hospital where I was working in a project capacity. I was looking for guidance. She taught me that when you don't have the answers, you have to have the courage to move forward to try to solve the problem without all of the answers.

Another memorable piece of advice came from my boss today, OSF HealthCare CEO Kevin Schoeplein. He told me that you have to find joy in the everyday because healthcare can be a difficult business. It can become overwhelming if you don't purposefully try to step back and find joy in the work environment and celebrate success. I think that's good advice in the work environment and in one's personal life." - Ms. Conger

"I have two, and both came from my dad, who died a while ago when he was too young. The first is the importance of giving an extra effort. This is what separates the good from the outstanding. He taught me this when I was in school and I think that it still applies today.

The other is if you're doing something, don't think nobody ever saw. Someone always sees. Not only does someone always see, but nowadays, someone always records it.

Another piece of advice I would offer others is don't write an email you're not prepared to see on the front page of The New York Times tomorrow." - Dr. DiSesa

"Don't be afraid to fail. If you fail, fail quickly and make sure you learn from it. Most importantly, make sure you grow from it. That advice came from the first CEO I reported to directly, a dear mentor of mine at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in the Fairview Health System. We were in the middle of an extraordinary merger and it felt like we were failing on a daily basis. But he was so good at helping us realize that setbacks were part of the process. If we got too hung up on failure we would fall into a downward spiraling attitude that would have affected our ability to lead. We had to be resilient and learn from it." - Ms. Hausmann

"I grew up in an Italian family, so I've received a lot of advice in my life [laughing]. But seriously, there have been a few pieces of advice that stick out. My mother once told me to always tell the truth and you won't need to have a good memory. And my dad taught me to never be afraid to challenge the status quo.

Another important experience in life was realizing when you can gain the shared commitment of individuals to work together for the success of a team, that team can achieve almost anything. When people on a team share common goals, they support one another, but also challenge each other in a way that helps the team excel. Trusting relationships really matter, and in teams, it's critical to getting that chemistry to work." - Mr. Dandorph

"I was fortunate to grow up in a small rural community in Indiana. I learned that how you get where you're going is more important than where you end up. The journey is more important than the destination.

Another piece of career advice that's stuck with me is to take the challenge or role that makes you most uncomfortable, where success isn't guaranteed. It's easy to follow the path, but accepting a challenge outside of your comfort zone is both harder and more rewarding." - Mr. Evans

"People are the most important asset you have in any business. The way that applies here, or in healthcare period, is if you don't create a culture that's highly engaging for physicians, staff and employees of all kinds you are not going to be able to provide the level of care you should to your patients. In some ways — although it's somewhat unpopular to say — the patient benefits from that work as well. You can have every initiative in the world to drive quality improvement and patient experience, but if you haven't done the hard work around creating a highly engaged workforce and the culture that goes with that, I don't think you will ever get there." - Mr. Haupert

"Early in my career, when I was finishing up my two-year administrative fellowship and going into my administrative job at Methodist Health System in Dallas, I remember someone telling me to learn influence skills as opposed to learning to boss people around.

Our business is much more about influence than it is telling people what to do. It really begins with understanding how important collaboration is, how important listening is. When you're bossing people around, you don't necessarily care what they think, you don't care about the words that are coming out of their mouth as opposed to the ones that are coming out of your mouth. So with influence you start off with having a common goal that you agree on. It's important to learn how to build consensus and listen to alternate views, and those are the skills that are really important. Now as the CEO of a big company with 30,000 employees, you can try and run an organization that complex with an iron fist, telling people what to do. But if you have buy-in with people, it's much easier to get things done than if they fear you." - Mr. Lassiter

"When I was in high school and thinking about being a physician, my dad said I better have something to fall back on. He told me to take classes in shorthand and typing, and I thought, 'Really? You have that much confidence in me?' But I realized what he was really telling me was that you better have a plan B,C, D and E because life doesn't always go the way you think it will. You need to learn how to be resilient, agile and nimble, and learn how to pick yourself up and move on." - Dr. Turney

"I came up through the financial ranks because of my accounting background, so I started off in budget reimbursement. My first boss, Rich Keenan — a brilliant man who's very well respected and still active as the CFO of Ridgewood, N.J.-based Valley Health System — gave me some great advice. He told me to never ever lose sight of what is behind the numbers on the page, and if you're not sure what's behind those numbers, get out of the office. Get out on the floor of the hospital and go to where patients are cared for. Make sure you can connect the reality of what's going on there to the numbers you're seeing on your balance sheet or income statement.

People have a tendency to bury themselves in their computers or the data, and they have no idea what's happening in the ER or the patient floor or in the operating room. I enjoy actually putting on scrubs and rounding through the OR when I get the chance, engaging with the surgeons while they're in surgery, understanding the business and what's going on that's very important." - Mr. Maron

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement at your hospital?

"I've been in this position for quite some time. When I initially was appointed to my role, we were not in good shape financially. I led a financial turnaround, which positioned us to think about the future differently. On the onset of the recession, we became a fully freestanding children's hospital and opened a beautiful $560 million tower in 2013. Those two factors play a role on a national level in our ability to be leaders in pediatrics.

Another accomplishment I'm proud of: We are reinventing the healthcare delivery system for children and adolescents. In particular, we are spending a lot of time and resources on mental health. There is a serious mental health crisis on a national level, but here in Orange County about one out of five children suffer from a serious mental health condition. As we implement new ways of relating to kids and families, there won't be a division between mental and physical health — they will both be completely embedded in the health system. My biggest passion right now is to more fully embrace mental healthcare." - Ms. Cripe

"We're a young system. When I arrived here, we just had a little amount of clinical integration among our hospitals and clinics. Over the last couple of years, leaders and providers have come together to drive clinical integration, expand access to clinical trials and dramatically improve quality and safety. Now, the University of Colorado Hospital is ranked among the top 20 hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, and all of the system's hospitals are among the best in the state. This really speaks to the hard work that happens here every day from our talented staff." - Ms. Concordia

"I've been here for 23 years. I think I achieved my biggest accomplishment when I took my current role. One of the first things I had the opportunity to do was work with the CEO and the board to rethink our vision and determine how we could move forward to achieve our mission and move from a holding company to a fully integrated delivery system that cared for patients throughout the full continuum of life. Being a champion for that, revising our vision and ultimately helping improve the lives of the people we serve has been my greatest accomplishment. In my mind, it's been the best opportunity because we've taken a single idea and through the collective power of 19,000 mission partners, we are working together to improve people's lives." - Ms. Conger

"I think we've done a good job in the past year of improving engagement of our medical staff and employees. Since I'm a physician, I think we've been able to bridge the connection between the hospital administration and medical staff. We've held focus groups as well as periodic town hall types of meetings, and our employee engagement scores have improved significantly — they're up 10 percentage points from a couple of years ago.

We also implemented Epic last August and we're going to survive that, I think. We haven't had any big catastrophes. The Epic team said it was one of the better go-lives that they've done. Now with the EMR we are starting to take advantage of new capabilities, such as data collection and analysis and process improvement." - Dr. DiSesa

"It's been a decade in the making. Children's Hospital of Colorado is an integrated system that touches children in all 50 states, as well as around the world. I'm most proud of our growth as a regional and international provider, as well as our research and science that's advancing pediatric medicine and our training of the next generation of pediatric professionals." - Ms. Hausmann

"One major accomplishment was working with our boards and leadership teams to position Rush as an integrated academic health system. Our governance and management philosophy allows us to all focus on a shared health system vision, while ensuring each entity in the system is supported to execute on specific strategies that allow us to fulfill our mission — to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. In my heart I really do believe there's a bold and exciting future ahead of us, and an opportunity to do something truly distinctive and transformative for Chicago and the country.

We've also been recognized among the top five from a quality perspective across all academic medical centers in the country. We've achieved top decile performance in quality, safety and patient experience measures, and that is only possible through the talented and dedicated team members that make Rush such a special place." - Mr. Dandorph

"I've been with the company for 13 years, and my answer will continue to change over time. I'm just getting started.

With that said, I don't believe there is such a thing as an individual achievement in healthcare. Healthcare is a team sport. Rarely anything that is accomplished comes from an individual effort. I'm most proud of helping empower my colleagues to reach their full potential. We have a driven and diverse team that is making progress every day on more fully delivering on our mission." - Mr. Evans

"My greatest achievement has been recruiting the right people who, along with me, led the turnaround of an organization that was about to fail. You try to find people who have really solid experience, but their emotional intelligence also has to be aligned with the organization's values. It's finding the executives who have both. Sometimes leaders are really good at what they do and can get results, but if they leave a wake of carnage in their path, they're really not doing their job and they're not contributing to the development of the culture. I was very fortunate to find people who were up for the challenge and fit both definitions. Plus, quite a few were already here.

Knowing that you — particularly on the financial front, but also on the patient experience and equality front — have taken a critical, vital organization to a community and turned it around so it can sustain it's mission…that's very gratifying." - Mr. Haupert

"I think I've been successful in my short time here getting the organization to buy into what I've told them is my singular goal, and that is to reduce the gap between today and what's possible. As a leader that's my ultimate responsibility: If on a day-to-day basis you can reduce the gap between what is possible today and what is possible for the organization, you're fulfilling your role as a leader. While you may not get to perfection, if you're moving constantly toward that optimal area then you're fulfilling your purpose.

I wanted people to know as a newcomer at Henry Ford that I had great respect for everything we've accomplished in our 102-year history, but also understand that past success is not a guarantee for future success. The worst thing we could do is have hubris and rest on our laurels. That [attitude] affects every department, irrespective of where they are in terms of performance. It gives them something to focus on, and it's been embraced by the organization pretty broadly.

At the beginning of this year, we rolled out our new true north for Henry Ford. It requires a fair amount of influence, dialogue and discussion to get the organization to come to consensus on our new idea of true north, embraced by our organization, board and staff. Our true north statement says Henry Ford will be the trusted partner in health, leading the nation in superior outcome and value. It's a simple statement with the notion that the consumer is at the center of everything we do." - Mr. Lassiter

"This has been a very fascinating journey, but what we're really trying to do is create an integrated system of care. We recently purchased the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, with whom we coexisted and were partners for decades. Now we own and operate that hospital, we're building a new cancer center and hospital in Eau Claire, we're in the process of acquiring another hospital in northern Wisconsin. For a long time our physicians worked in hospitals and provided care within those entities, but we as a system did not have hospitals. We realized that if we were going to meet some of our objectives, not only high-quality care but safe care, we truly had to be an integrated care delivery system. That allows for greater efficiency, coordination and affordability.

Between our clinics, hospitals and health plan, our organization is a three-legged stool. However, I'm also proud of the fact that we not only provide acute and chronic care, but that we're a major research institution and a renowned health plan under one umbrella. I'm proud of helping to bring that together — it makes our future that much more exciting for our staff, patients and communities." - Dr. Turney

"My greatest achievement is nurturing a culture of high-quality, compassionate care that embraces innovation. One of the greatest compliments people can give me is when people come through Holy Name and engage with our staff and say, 'Wow, this place is different.'

Part of that is creating an environment that is not top-down. It's a very flat organization that respects people and their opinions and gives them the freedom to innovate and try new things. There have been a whole host of innovations that have come up here, both from an operational standpoint and from a clinical standpoint." - Mr. Maron

More articles on leadership and management:

The impact of hurricanes, the resilience to build back: 5 questions with Schneider Regional Medical Center CEO Dr. Bernard Wheatley
Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership 2018 Speaker Series: 3 questions with Chief Quality Officer of Mission Health, Chris DeRienzo, MD
2017, the year that was: 10 things for healthcare executives to note as they head into 2018

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2018. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months