Corner Office: NCH Healthcare System CEO Paul Hiltz on why community collaboration will be his biggest legacy

Paul Hiltz joined Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare System on Sept. 3. Although he has only been on the job for six months, he said he's already spent a lot of time listening to NCH employees, community leaders and others to respond to their insights.

Mr. Hiltz joined NCH from Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio, where he served as president and CEO. He also held the top post at Springfield, Ohio-based Community Mercy Health Partners and served as president and CEO of Mercy Mt. Airy Hospital in Cincinnati. He has a master's degree in healthcare administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Here, Mr. Hiltz answers Becker's Corner Office questions.

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

Question: What piqued your interest in healthcare?

Paul Hiltz: My relative, Sister Grace Marie Hiltz, when I was a kid was CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. In those days, we'd go visit her, we would walk through the hospital, and I thought it was a fascinating place to work with all the different kinds of people. It made me want to work in a hospital.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about Naples?

PH: I love the teamwork in this community. This community really wants this health system to be successful. There's a community collaboration. There's a strong doctor collaboration. There are a lot of generous donors here also. That teamwork between the doctors and the donors makes it a great place to work.

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

PH: The access problem and getting people better access. I think part of the access problem is around confusion among the consumers, not knowing how to get access to [healthcare] services they need. And the confusion around who pays for it and how that works. I would like to make it easy for people to get the care they need. That's the biggest thing I'd love to solve.

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

PH: I try to be a problem-solver in all areas of my life and help solve whatever problems I can.

Q: How do you revitalize yourself?

PH: I take walks on the beach. I play tennis or read or spend time with friends and my wife.

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

PH: My mother always had a simple piece of advice: "Be kind."

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement at NCH Healthcare System?

PH: The biggest thing I've done in my first six months is I've spent a lot of time listening at all levels — from employees, community leaders, doctors, elected officials. I think that may end up being my biggest legacy, is that I'm going to listen and be very responsive to this community.


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