How 12 CEOs revitalize themselves

The Becker's Hospital Review Corner Office series asks hospital and health system CEOs to share how they revitalize themselves.

Here are answers collected this year, in alphabetical order.

Justin Birmele, CEO, AdventHealth Winter Park (Fla.)

Morning devotion and prayer before the sun comes up. I find that time with God really jump-starts my day in a positive direction. Taking time to visit patients comes in a close second and comes as a good personal reminder of my "why."  

Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN, president and CEO of WellSpan Health (York, Pa.)

When I was in my doctorate program, my adviser shared her research on mindfulness with patients experiencing pancreas transplants. It's a very practical way to center yourself, no matter your surroundings. I try to practice every day, even if it's just 10 minutes over lunch. In addition to mindfulness, I start and end my day playing with our miniature pinscher, Jack. He looks like a tough guy, but all 8 pounds of him love to snuggle. I am sure it lowers my blood pressure and definitely improves my mood. 

Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.)

One thing that keeps me energized and focused is working out. … Additionally, once in a while I dabble into cooking. My family sometimes makes fun of me and calls me a one-hit wonder because I make a mean bolognese sauce. Cooking relaxes me; it clears my mind and allows me to be creative. I should probably learn to perfect a few more dishes, though.

Saju George, regional CEO, overseeing Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare's Michigan hospitals and medical groups

My faith and my family revitalize me. I invest as much time as possible toward it. Likewise, I enjoy doing things like gardening and exercising. It's something I like doing, and it's truly therapeutic for me to clear my mind.

Rod Hanners, interim CEO of Keck Medicine of USC (Los Angeles)

I start off every day with exercise. It clears my head and gets me set for the day. I set a goal for myself to cut off any work at 8 p.m. so I can rest for the next day. I get adrenaline from being busy and effective, but I need down time to regenerate. There are always exceptions, but I have a good ability to shut things off when I need to rest up.

Paul Hiltz, president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System (Naples, Fla.)

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

Guy Hudson, MD, CEO of Swedish Health Services (Seattle)

As an ex-collegiate athlete, staying physically active has been a mainstay of my routine for decades. Nowadays you have to keep it simple, so my activity mainly resides around the Peloton and setting goals for myself around that because it's something I can do at home, as well as spending time with family. I've been able to reconnect with my kids in so many ways, given the fact they're both doing home-schooling right now. One's a sophomore in college, and the other's a senior in high school. And on days when I work from home and they are engaged in their online courses, it makes for an interesting household. But it also allows us to reengage and stay connected in so many more ways. 

Philip Ozuah, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine (New York City)

Family time is sacred and very important. I'm fairly regimented about exercise also. I work out six days a week — and on the seventh day, I try to play golf.

Cliff Robertson, MD, CEO of CHI Health and senior vice president of operations for Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health's Midwest division (Omaha, Neb.)

I spend a lot of time around people, so I recharge my batteries with quiet time and time spent with family. 

Paul Rothman, MD, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the medical faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore)

Leading Johns Hopkins Medicine consumes a lot of my time, especially during the current pandemic, and I truly enjoy the challenge that this entails. Spending time with my wife and children is one of my most treasured activities. … I also enjoy hiking, skiing and golfing. 

Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth (Altamonte Springs, Fla.)

My faith is the foundation of my life, so prayer really helps me revitalize. Just taking time each day to feed my spirit is so important for me. I have been active in my local church for many years, which includes teaching Sabbath school to help people grow in their faith. Also, spending time with my family is something that I am intentional about. Those are the things that keep me going — faith and family.

Daryl Tol, president and CEO of Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth's Central Florida division

Exercise, reading and traveling. I'm an over-the-top reader and think it's important to read a wide range of books and periodicals to stay informed. Books and articles that I don't personally agree with are some of my favorites, as they stretch the brain and force some empathy practice. I'll usually have four or five books going at a time. Favorite topics are spiritual, science, history or current events, and business or leadership.


More articles on leadership and management:
What to do when a hospital leader resigns: A checklist
How 12 CEOs got into healthcare
ACA heads to Supreme Court Nov. 10: 5 things to know  

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