Why Kaweah Health's C-suite never went remote

Many C-suite leaders are now returning to the office after taking operations remote during COVID-19. But some never left their on-site posts — including the team at Visalia, Calif.-based Kaweah Health. 

Marc Mertz, the health system's vice president and chief strategy officer, linked to Becker's May 23 story about CEOs' office comeback in a recent LinkedIn post. He explained why there will be no "comeback" for Kaleah Health's top leaders. 

"I find it amazing that we are talking about CEOs returning to the office 'close to full-time' in 2023," Mr. Mertz wrote. "Our CEO, as well as our entire leadership team, never went remote. If our employees and physicians were coming to work every day to care for our patients, we were coming to work."

Leadership took precautions during the pandemic's peak and spent a lot of time on virtual meetings, but still came into work, according to Mr. Mertz. 

"I appreciate the changes in workforce preferences and the attractiveness of working from home, but it creates significant changes to creating and maintaining culture, and in my opinion sends the wrong message to our teams if senior leaders are working from home while they are in the hospital or workplace," Mr. Mertz wrote. 

Other C-suite leaders applauded Mr. Mertz's perspective, including Kaweah Delta Health Care District's Chief Information Officer Douglas Leeper. 

"I believe it was absolutely the right thing for us to do, and I know we did it gladly," Mr. Leeper commented. 

How does your health system's C-suite approach remote work? Email akayser@beckershealthcare to share your perspective.


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