Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 3 Questions with Chuck Stokes, Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Hermann Health System

Chuck Stokes serves as Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Hermann Health System.

On November 12th, Chuck will give a keynote presentation on "Establishing a Culture of High Reliability - Memorial Hermann’s 11-Year Journey" at Becker's 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place November 11-13, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Chuck's session, click here.

Question: What is the single most important thing you need to do in your role? (Ie: What do you have to be great at?)

Chuck Stokes: The single most important thing for leaders today is to be honest and transparent about the challenges facing the industry and communicate your personal commitment to make responsible decisions in the best interest of the organization to continue serving its mission.

Q: If you acquired $10 million dollars with no strings attached today, how would you invest or spend it?

CS: I would invest in researching and developing a new model of care to deal with the “end of life care” in our country. We do a poor job of managing this part of the care continuum. People need more education on alternatives and should be allowed to transition with dignity and respect.

Q: There is a lot to improve upon in healthcare. Of the many issues that hold your attention, what is the one you consider exceptionally imperative and urgent?

CS: One of the most urgent imperatives we must teach our citizens to learn to accept personal accountability for their own healthcare status. Most of our illness model of care is due to lifestyle choices. As a country, we are getting to a point where the government and employers cannot afford to pay for illnesses related to poor lifestyle choices. The consumer will assume more of the financial burden

Hospital leaders face increasing demands on their time and must continually prioritize where to
focus their efforts and energy. As I partner with hospital leaders, it’s important to assess the impact
and benefits of projects to help prioritize initiatives.
For example, everyone is paying attention to the rise in specialty drug costs. Yet often there is little a
hospital can do to lower their specialty drug spend. However, there are substantial cost savings
possible through an improved reimbursement strategy and medication utilization-based projects.
Not only would prioritizing these initiatives drive meaningful results, they also are within the
hospital’s span of control.
In addition, I find that hospital leaders can overlook the pharmacy in performance improvement
initiatives, so it is an ongoing education and advocacy about the pharmacy’s potential impact. The
pharmacy should be a center of innovation for a hospital – and innovation is key to expanding
services and improving care.

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months