Corner Office: Lake Health CEO Cynthia Moore-Hardy on collaborating to build equitable, quality care

Cynthia Moore-Hardy has been able to live out her passion for improving community health during her decadeslong career at Lake Health in Concord Township, Ohio.

She joined the three-hospital health system in 1988 and became president and CEO in 1997, after serving as executive vice president and COO. 

Throughout her career, she said Lake Health has grown significantly and stayed true to its mission of providing local access to high-quality care. 

Here, Ms. Moore-Hardy answers six of Becker's Hospital Review's Corner Office questions.

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited.

Question: What piqued your interest in healthcare?

Cynthia Moore-Hardy: Empowering the community toward lifestyle change and a lifetime of health and wellness has been a primary goal and passion of mine throughout my career. It is exciting and gratifying to be living my passion to improve health in my own community and beyond. The needs are so great, but the future — through science, technology, compassion and collaboration — offers such hope. 

Q: What do you enjoy most about Northeast Ohio?

CMH: I am proud to call Northeast Ohio my home. It is here that my parents encouraged and inspired me to be my best and instilled in me the necessity to hold on to solid values and faith. Not only is Cleveland renowned for its healthcare community, but it is also renowned for its cultural institutions, such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square & Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as its diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Cleveland also has some of the best sports fans in the nation in football, basketball, baseball and hockey. I also appreciate Cleveland for its green space, whether it be the beaches along Lake Erie or the region's metro park system, so you can enjoy the outdoors and nature all year-round.

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

CMH: Addressing health equity by providing the highest level of health and wellness to those in our community regardless of their physical, social, economic or educational status. Lake Health is a community hospital system. It has always been important to me to lead Lake Health in the pursuit of improved health and wellness for everyone in our community. That requires collaboration in a wide range of partnerships, programs and services to meet community needs, including hunger relief programs; opioid abuse and recovery; behavioral health services; school-based education and resource centers, services, and clinics; senior services; partnerships with local employers to help control healthcare costs; programs supporting fitness; and more.

Q: How do you revitalize yourself?

CMH: At work, I enjoy leaving the office and rounding on staff and patients. I have been known to carry a basket of healthy treats. People know that when they receive a treat, they have to tell me what's on their mind.

Outside of work, I enjoy bike-riding, as it clears my mind and provides physical exercise. It allows you to be alone and really think — clear those cobwebs from your mind. And when I take those several-day bike trips and ride 50 to 75 miles a day, it allows me to have that one scoop of real ice cream. 

Q; What is the one piece of advice that you remember most clearly?

CMH: While growing up, my father shared with me an analogy for life's hardships. He always told us that to make it through life, we sometimes must be like a willow tree — firmly planted, but when the high winds and obstacles occur, the tree bends but doesn't break. As soon as the storm passes, the tree straightens back up and goes on with life. It was his way of saying, "Do not be afraid of a crisis or challenge, but to weather life's storms by hunkering down, to focus on resolution, be flexible and create new plans, always with an eye on the goal."

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement at Lake Health?

CMH: Staying true to our mission of local access, healing with compassion and superior quality which has allowed the physical footprint of Lake Health to change significantly over the past 30 years and our healthcare services and programs to grow exponentially. This included the opening of TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township, Ohio. TriPoint Medical Center was the first new full-service, acute care hospital to be built in Northeast Ohio in 28 years. It was built on the belief that everything should revolve around patients and their families and was one of the first hospitals to integrate principles of evidence-based design — a concept that links the quality of the hospital environment to patient outcomes.

Staying true to our mission also required forming partnerships in the community to improve access and outcomes. This involved partnerships with our physicians to create our integrated physician hospital enterprise and open Beachwood Medical Center; with University Hospitals for cancer care and open-heart surgery; and with community organizations like our schools and Beacon Health to provide primary care clinics. Collaboration helps move healthcare forward in the community.

 

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