Top health system priorities for 2022: 3 CEOs weigh in

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Three health system CEOs shared with Becker's what their No. 1 priorities are for next year.

Joanne Conroy, MD. President and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (Lebanon, N.H.): Even as we continue to navigate the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, we have to continue to move forward and plan for the future. Recruitment and retention of staff in a range of roles across our system will continue to be a top priority. We are also focused on the availability of affordable housing for our employees and our community; it will be very difficult to convince talented people to relocate and come work for us if affordable housing remains scarce.

As the most rural academic medical center in the country, expanding access to care in the communities we serve — and with an emphasis on addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance in those communities right now — will always be at the top of the priority list. We are making major capital investments in this area because we are committed to providing the best care available, as close to home as possible. Earlier this year, we opened a new ambulatory surgery center at our community group practice in New Hampshire's largest city, and construction is progressing on a new 212,000 square-foot patient pavilion that will provide much-needed new inpatient beds at our flagship hospital.

We will also continue to expand telehealth services. Our important work on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is progressing. The more diverse we are, the stronger, happier and healthier we will be as colleagues, caregivers, and as a community.

Terry Shaw. President and CEO of AdventHealth (Altamonte Springs, Fla.): AdventHealth strives to deliver on our brand promise of providing whole person care, so our priorities for 2022 revolve around strategic aspirations for achieving this goal, which is part of our multiyear plan, called Vision 2030.

Some of our key priorities include building on what we are known for, like being a faith-based clinical company, but also working to significantly improve our focus on consumers and their experience. This means we are investing in our technology infrastructure to build a stronger, more connected network, as well as the consumer experience and interface. 

We are also introducing a series of team member promises to change and improve things that are important to them, including their benefits. We have expanded and promoted access to mental healthcare services. Also, we have created a more organized approach to address the issue of health equity in the communities we serve. Additionally, we are continuing efforts in how we improve clinical excellence and expanding services both geographically and in specialty areas like senior care.

Shane Strum. President and CEO of Broward Health (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Health systems across the nation have had to learn how to transition from the business of COVID to traditional healthcare services to ensure that continuity of care is consistently executed at the highest level. We've had to run two parallel business tracks: managing the care of COVID-19 patients while simultaneously caring for all other conditions. In the past 12 months, during multiple COVID-19 surges, Broward Health has opened two new cardiac catheterization labs, completed the refurbishment of its Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, invested more than $10 million in capital improvement for cardiac care and much more, but despite those impressive feats, we've frequently been forced to maintain the status quo due to depleted manpower and expenses attributable to the pandemic. I believe that 2022 will be a year of significant growth for Broward Health and the healthcare industry. For almost two years we've had to table many strategic plans, but as this current surge passes, we must seize the opportunity to implement growth plans, creating greater access to high-quality care for patients.

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