Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 3 Questions with Shelly Schorer, Chief Financial Officer of Bay Area for Dignity Health

Shelly Schorer, MBA, serves as Chief Financial Officer of the Bay Area Service Area for Dignity Health.

On November 11th, Shelly will serve on the panel "CFO Leadership: Strategies for a Successful Hospital / System" 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 Shelly's session, click here.

Question: What is going on right now?

Shelly Schorer: Healthcare is going through a rapid transformation. As Amazon, CVS, and other avenues give consumers choice for healthcare access at affordable prices, the healthcare industry must adapt to change at a faster pace than before. It is time to determine what we need in an inpatient setting and determine how to bring healthcare to the patient in a different and more efficient, integrated delivery model. It is an exciting time to be a part of the change and set a vision for the future. It is also exciting to be a part of CommonSpirit Health and the opportunity to impact the nation through such an expansive organization.

What is the single most important thing you need to do in your role? (Ie: What do you have to be great at?)
I think the single most important thing in my role is to be flexible and strategic. As we look for new, efficient ways to treat patients, through video, walk-in venues, outpatient settings and hospitals, we need to be able to partner with other providers for the best delivery method.

If you acquired $10 million dollars with no strings attached today, how would you invest or spend it?
I would definitely invest in technology-direct to consumer healthcare will continue to evolve. This will be in telemed, biometric bracelets, connecting from home to providers.

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?

SS: There are still too many acute care hospitals. While inpatient care is most definitely needed, it should not continue to be the center of the delivery model. I think, as an industry, we need to be more specialized. I don’t think every hospital should offer all service lines of care, as has been the historical model. Not every location needs to provide neuro-surgery for example. There should also be more emphasis on preventive care and patient compliance-preventing comorbidities will create a healthier population.

Q: Healthcare leaders today need skills and talents that span beyond those emphasized during formal training and higher education. What is one specific competency that you learned or sharpened in real life?

SS: The competency that has best served me, not taught in a classroom, is the ability to be collaborative through carefully developed relationships. I learned early on that the most effective path to success is through relationships and collaboration. Healthcare is a close community and multi-disciplinary - having those connections is invaluable. I know that emotional intelligence is a bit of a buzzword, but it really is so important to personal and professional success.

Q: What is one convention, tradition or habit that healthcare has adopted and left unquestioned that you feel either needs to stop or undergo thoughtful scrutiny? Why?

SS: Medical error prevention. I do believe there is much progress being made, but it is still too prevalent in the industry. The power distance needs to be closed and each person needs to be able to stop a procedure or treatment if they feel something is not right.

Q: We are all pressed for time and attention. Help us sift through the meaningless and the meaningful by sharing the last thing you read, heard or did that shifted your mindset and really made a difference in your personal or professional life.

SS: My colleague and friend, Shay Eskew, wrote a book entitled “What the Fire Ignited”. Shay is a childhood burn survivor and an Ironman competitor. The determination to achieve his goals is inspiring. I bought the book for my entire team.

The other book would be “Bad Blood” about the Theranos company. I think it should be a cautionary tale that innovation and technology is wonderful, but be very careful about jumping on board without due diligence.

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