How 6 hospital CEOs got into healthcare

The Becker's Hospital Review Corner Office series asks hospital and health system CEOs to share one thing that piqued their interest in healthcare.

Here are answers collected since November, in alphabetical order.

John Couris. President and CEO of Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital: I was attracted to healthcare as an industry and career because I enjoy its operational complexities and the strategies involved in the delivery of world-class care.

Conor Delaney, MD, PhD. President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida (Weston): I come from a medical family and was drawn to medicine from an early age. The opportunity to provide help to patients and the technical complexity involved drew me to surgery. However, I only decided to do colorectal surgery toward the end of my training, because of the variety of the specialty and the potential to help patients with conditions from complex cancers to inflammatory bowel disease. 

David Dill. Chair and CEO of LifePoint Health (Brentwood, Tenn.): At its core, healthcare is focused on helping people, and having the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others has always been very inspiring to me. I am deeply appreciative of our providers, nurses and other clinical team members who care for patients at the bedside, as they are truly at the heart of advancing LifePoint Health's mission of making communities healthier.

Patrick Frias, MD. President and CEO of Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center (San Diego): You can trace my interest in healthcare back to childhood. I was born with a condition called ptosis, which causes one of my eyelids to sag. It wasn't a big deal, but I was teased about it as a kid because I looked different. I remember thinking to myself, "If I get teased about such a small thing, I can't imagine what it feels like for a person with significant disabilities." This taught me a lot about empathy and was the spark that drove my desire to help others. Healthcare ended up being a natural fit.

Lisa Shannon. CEO of Allina Health (Minneapolis): I'm a dietitian by training, and I went into dietetics with a personal interest in health and well-being. I started out being interested in preventive medicine yet found my way into a burn and trauma unit, where what really drew me to critical care was the multidisciplinary nature of it and truly equal people with different roles. My early mentors gave me that language — we are truly equal people with different roles, and all voices matter for the care of our patients. And what I found and discovered in my early leadership journey is that by serving those who serve, we can actually have a greater impact on those we serve. 

Kate Walsh. President and CEO of Boston Medical Center: I had an internship in college at a community health center in Boston and was able to witness the critical role CHCs play in the lives of the people and communities they serve. It was a safe and welcoming place for people to receive medical care and support services and also a place where people could build relationships with their neighbors. Healthcare is so personal — people experience some of the greatest and most challenging moments in their lives in a healthcare setting, and I was drawn to being part of that. I also loved the variety of work that healthcare leaders address in the course of their workdays.  


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