Corner Office: Daryl Tol, CEO of AdventHealth's Central Florida Division, on why healthcare must fix fragmented systems

Daryl Tol, who has held numerous leadership positions at AdventHealth for nearly two decades, takes the greatest pride in seeing employees he's worked with over the years thriving and growing in new positions.

Mr. Tol is currently president and CEO of Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based Advent Health's Central Florida Division.

Beginning in 2000, Mr. Tol served in leadership positions at several of the system's hospitals, including Florida Hospital Flagler and Florida Hospital DeLand. He became president of the Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler Market in 2010 and added the role of President/CEO at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in early 2012.

Mr. Tol holds a master's in health administration from Loma Linda (Calif.) University and a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Walla Walla University in College Place, Wash.

Mr. Tol recently spoke with Becker's and answered our seven "Corner Office" questions.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited lightly for length and style.

Question: What piqued your interest in healthcare?

DT: My mom is a nurse, and I knew I wasn't as interested in the clinical side of healthcare from all my mom's dinnertime stories, but I started dating a girl in high school whose dad was a hospital administrator. I got to follow him around and have him in my ear about all the amazing things that came along with the meaning and purpose of being part of hospitals and a community. I actually married that girl, so he's my father-in-law now. That's really where my interest came from.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in Orlando/Central Florida?

DT: One of the things I enjoy most about Orlando is that it's a vibrant, growing community. Lots of great leaders come here from all over the country. It's a very accepting community, and I find it to have open arms and listening ears. Orlando is also a popular travel destination, which makes it a lot of fun from a healthcare perspective because destination medicine programs here tend to be strong.

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

DT: Fragmentation. Healthcare is a very complicated, disconnected system that can be difficult to navigate, and if we could make it simple to use and well connected, I think it would be transformative for patients. In many communities, healthcare is like a thousand small businesses. Consumers must move from one provider to the next with no connectivity since hospitals, laboratories and doctors often don't talk to each other. That leaves the consumer on their own trying to figure out how much their care is going to cost and how to get clinical information shared among all kinds of various providers. Navigating this system is one of the most complicated things they'll ever do, and it's often at a time when they're struggling physically and emotionally. If we can make our health systems more connected, we can make a difference in patients' lives.

Q: What is your greatest talent or skill outside of the C-suite?

DT: I really enjoy my faith community as well as speaking and teaching. I lead a Bible study at home and I'm involved in one with my church, which involves small group discussions on concepts of faith and purpose in life. Since AdventHealth is a faith-based organization and one of the roles as CEO in our company is a spiritual leader, I find that the discussion, exploration and deeper understanding that comes from the group interactions provides support that can be applied in the workplace too. We focus on providing whole person care — mind, body and spirit. It all connects and becomes part of one meaningful life.

Q: How do you revitalize yourself?

DT: Outside of work, I like to travel, run and do other forms of exercise. I also enjoy reading. I read a broad spectrum of genres and find that very relaxing.

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

DT: When I was working with AdventHealth in our Volusia County market, my first real boss told me, 'I don't pay you to be quiet, and I don't pay you to be afraid.' And that's really stuck with me. The idea that even if it's disruptive, being open and speaking honestly is a key part of leadership. Fear has no place in that.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement at AdventHealth so far?

DT: There are tangible things that are easiest to point to, including significant facilities and new hospitals that I've helped get built in our communities. But to be honest, the thing I take the greatest pride in is looking around the company and seeing people that have worked for me over the years thriving and growing in new positions. I find that immensely rewarding.

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