What 6 CEOs told Becker's this year

In 2022, hospital and health system CEOs have shared insights on everything from competing with retailers to recruiting employees.

Here are six insights shared with Becker's in the last four months. 

Troy Bruntz, CEO of Community Hospital (McCook, Neb.), on monitoring wages at nonindustry competitors: We've been looking, and we ask around in the community and we can ask who's paying what. So, we know where Walmart is on different things, and we're OK. But if Walmart tried to match what Target's doing [with pay increases], that would not be good.

John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital, on how he revitalizes himself: My favorite way to reset is to spend the day boating with family and friends. Not only do I get to spend time with them in nature, but it also forces me to be present as I have to give my full attention to what is happening on the boat — from navigation to safety. On a professional level, nothing has given me new life like completing my doctorate in business administration focused on management science. Diving into a topic that was applicable to my career and interests, developing and exploring my research question from every angle and learning and reading all I could recharged me in a way I could not have imagined.

Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth (Springfield, Mo.), on communicating with the public via Twitter: During the pandemic, I continued to share facts thinking information can save lives. I feel very fortunate. This is the town I grew up in. When we are treating patients, it is not market share. [These are] my friend's parents and grandparents and cousins and people I know — so we've been very dedicated in telling the flat-footed truth. 

James Hereford, president and CEO of Fairview Health Services (Minneapolis), on the issue keeping him up at night: I worry the most about culture. How do we continue to build and strengthen the organizational culture? Of course, there's economics with the workforce. You need to pay them a fair wage. You need to attract and retain good people. I think the thing that does that is your culture. Do people feel like they're part of an organization that's doing the right things, taking on health inequity and racism, taking on delivering the highest levels of quality and great patient experience?  

Matthew Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children's Health System (Miami), on his strategy for recruiting employees and managers: Leadership in organizations, specifically pediatric organizations, is key. We're fortunate, honored to be able to lead great people in this organization. So being able to do that at the executive level, the management level, the midmanagement level is important. This is about hiring the right people, with the right attitude, with the right energy as well as a skill set and talent. More importantly for us, it's around, "How do I find folks who love what we do, who love our mission?" That's hard to teach. I can teach a lot of things on the skill set and the knowledge and the experience side, but being able to say how do we take care of kids, how do we take care of children and families — that is the most important thing I look at when I look at leaders in the organization from the top to the bottom. You have to be able to live and breathe our mission, which is taking care of kids.    

Mark Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children's Hospital (Houston) on how he approaches his legacy: I'm incredibly grateful to have been president and CEO of Texas Children's Hospital for 33 years and still counting. I truly believe that the most important thing a leader can do is focus on the organization's legacy over their own. I consider it an honor to lead an organization that has not only built a remarkable legacy but has also helped create and strengthen legacies for every patient and family who walks through our doors. In the more than three decades I've been here, we've seen incredible success and growth in terms of people, programs and buildings, but a legacy is much more than numbers. Legacy is about what you've done for those you serve, those who need your help, and that's what Texas Children's legacy will always be about, even after my time has come and gone.

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