Broward Health poised for significant growth in 2022, CEO says

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Shane Strum became president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Broward Health in March, and he brought with him a state-level perspective.

Before joining Broward Health, Mr. Strum was chief of staff to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He also served as senior vice president at Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Fla., and on the South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners, the governing board for Memorial Healthcare System. Additionally, he was vice chancellor of Fort Lauderdale-based Keiser University and director of corporate and government relations at Fort Lauderdale-based Nova Southeastern University. 

Mr. Strum told Becker's he has had to table many strategic plans amid COVID-19 surges. However, he said he believes Broward Health, as well as healthcare, will see significant growth next year amid greater ability to tackle growth plans. He discussed the most pressing issue facing hospital CEOs, shared Broward Health's top priorities for 2022 and passed along advice to peers.

Question: What is the most pressing issue facing hospital CEOs? 

Shane Strum: While Broward Health is no longer facing a COVID-19 surge, we continue to manage issues related to labor shortages and inflated labor expenses. We are actively exploring ways to onboard experienced nurses and therapists while implementing best practices in mentorship so new graduates can more quickly become skilled in their areas of practice.

Q: What are Broward Health's top priorities for 2022? 

SS: Health systems across the nation have had to learn how to transition from the business of COVID to traditional healthcare services to ensure that continuity of care is consistently executed at the highest level. We've had to run two parallel business tracks: managing the care of COVID-19 patients while simultaneously caring for all other conditions. In the past 12 months, during multiple COVID-19 surges, Broward Health has opened two new cardiac catheterization labs, completed the refurbishment of its Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, invested more than $10 million in capital improvement for cardiac care and much more, but despite those impressive feats, we've frequently been forced to maintain the status quo due to depleted manpower and expenses attributable to the pandemic. I believe that 2022 will be a year of significant growth for Broward Health and the healthcare industry. For almost two years we've had to table many strategic plans, but as this current surge passes, we must seize the opportunity to implement growth plans, creating greater access to high-quality care for patients.

Q: How is Broward Health working with state and federal stakeholders to further pro-hospital, pro-healthcare initiatives, resources, funding and legislation?

SS: Broward Health has a long history of working through its government relations team, as well as through associations, such as America's Essential Hospitals, to help ensure that our patients are afforded every opportunity to have access to high-quality care close to home. Through our network, we are able to secure resources, have a voice in considered legislation and promote hospital-based initiatives for the betterment of our system and, more importantly, our patients and community stakeholders.

Q: What skills are essential for health system CEOs to thrive in today's healthcare landscape?

SS: Today's healthcare CEO must be strategic, adaptive and a strong financial leader. The pandemic has spotlighted weaknesses within the industry, as well as significant opportunities to excel healthcare into a new era of growth and innovation. But to harness those opportunities, a leader must be agile with solutions for the most complicated scenarios.

Q: What advice would you offer to another health system CEO and why? 

SS: Be in a constant state of learning, and never underestimate the value of relationships. Both will afford you advantages commonly overlooked that can lead to exceptional returns.

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