Highly successful CEO-CFO duos for 8 health systems

The relationship between health system CEOs and CFOs can make or break an organization's success.

Visionary CEOs and pragmatic CFOs work together to make the health system's strategy a reality. The last two years have presented unique challenges to top C-suite executives to lead through the pandemic, and now they're focused on building a solid foundation for future growth.

Here are eight highly successful health system CEO-CFO duos. Contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com to recommend CEO-CFO teams for the next showcase feature.

Rod Hochman, MD, President and CEO, and Greg Hoffman, Executive Vice President and CFO of Providence (Renton, Wash.). Dr. Hochman and Mr. Hoffman, alongside the broader leadership team, led the 52-hospital health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and charted a course for recovery and renewal. Over the last two years, while working to keep Providence's 120,000 caregivers safe, the health system also accelerated research to treat patients for the immediate and long-term impact of the virus.

The health system is now focused on core values and unveiled a new operating model with a leaner executive team and nimbler administrative structure. Dr. Hochman and Mr. Hoffman also collaborated on expanding outpatient care, modernization processes and adding programs outside traditional hospital services. They also work together to ink unconventional partnerships.

Under Dr. Hochman's leadership, Providence Research Network grew to manage more than 2,500 open patient trials, and the system became a founding member of Truveta, a collaborative focused on generating medical insights based on de-identified data.

The duo also made a workforce investment of more than $220 million to reward, retain and recruit caregivers in 2021. Since then, the health system has implemented Predictive Hiring to fill 1,600 positions.

Dr. Hochman and Mr. Hoffman are also committed to the community. The health system provided $1.9 billion in uncompensated care and other community benefits last year, and launched a five-year, $50 million commitment to reduce gaps in access to healthcare and address disparities and racial injustice.

Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, and Robert Glenning, CFO and President Financial and Digital Technology Service Division, Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.). Mr. Garrett and Mr. Glenning have spent almost 17 years working together to transform an academic medical center into what is now Hackensack Meridian Health. The 18-hospital health system includes more than 500 locations and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, a private medical school. The health system has the second highest ranked hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report.

Under their leadership, the health system has grown into an $8 billion enterprise including a center for discovery and innovation, which launched major breakthroughs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The center also secured a record $108 National Institutes of Health grant.

During the pandemic, Mr. Garrett and Mr. Glenning unveiled a new smart surgical tower, ambulatory care center and hospital-at-home program. The health system also launched a digital strategy last year to address social determinants of health, which has screened 500,000 patients and made 1.4 million referrals to social service agencies.

David Dill, Chair and CEO, and Mike Coggin, Executive Vice President and CFO of Lifepoint Health (Brentwood, Tenn.). Mr. Dill and Mr. Coggin have worked together for around 14 years, leading Lifepoint through big changes. The health system's mission is to make communities healthier, and the two executives collaborate daily on ensuring the financial health and strategic direction of the business in addition to overseeing high quality care.

Mr. Dill and Mr. Coggin together oversee 62 community hospital campuses and more than 30 rehabilitation and behavioral health hospitals in addition to more than 170 other sites of care. In 2021, Lifepoint acquired Kindred Healthcare to grow and diversify the system's healthcare delivery network. The two also established ScionHealth, a new health system.

In addition to growing Lifepoint's geographic footprint, the duo launched innovation as a strategic priority to grow from a digital laggard into a digital leader. Mr. Dill and Mr. Coggin made key hires and partnerships in the innovation space in the last few years and formally launched Lifepoint Forward in 2021, outlining the system's strategy to build companies and solutions addressing new opportunities and unmet market needs. Lifepoint Forward has created meaningful partnerships in patient care with partners like Google Cloud, Health Catalyst, Eon and more.

Last year, Lifepoint earned the William "Bill" E. Hoffman Jr. Grassroots Champion Award given by the Federation of American Hospitals for the system's focus on policy efforts and advocacy leadership.

John Couris, President and CEO, and Mark Runyon, Executive Vice President and CFO, Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. Mr. Couris and Mr. Runyon work together to drive Tampa General's fundamental mission of providing excellent, comprehensive and innovative care to patients. Mr. Couris focuses on big and bold ideas to shake things up, while Mr. Runyon's grounded thinking and rationale make those ideas a reality. They push boundaries together and are always challenging each other and holding each other accountable.

Mr. Couris focuses on his team's well-being to drive a positive experience for healthcare consumers, and his leadership catapulted Tampa General on a national stage as an innovative academic medical center. Mr. Runyon makes sure Tampa General grows in a financially sustainable way to ensure the appropriate resources, strategy and talent to problem-solve. He encourages his team to think strategically, identify areas for performance improvement and innovate in ways that boost quality and lower the cost of care.

Under their leadership, Tampa General has risen to become the highest ranked hospital in its market by U.S. News & World Report, and earned designation as a model of excellence by Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list.

Greg Feirn, CEO, and JoAnn Kunkel, CFO of LCMC Health (New Orleans). Mr. Feirn and Ms. Kunkel developed a partnership agreement between LCMC Health and Tulane University, in which LCMC will acquire Tulane Medical Center and two other hospitals from HCA Healthcare. The partnership will advance academic medicine in the region and shift services from Tulane Medical Center to two other nearby hospitals for more comprehensive and integrated care.

Mr. Feirn provides the strategic leadership to advance the health system's mission of providing beyond extraordinary healthcare and education. He aims to serve the diverse needs of the New Orleans community. In recent years, the health system has grown to include a 15,000-employee workforce and includes 2,800 physicians serving patients at six hospitals and more than 100 clinical and urgent care centers.

Ms. Kunkel is Mr. Feirn's strategic and business adviser. She has previous experience at Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health, where she served as corporate CFO and led a business transformation. She also oversaw an integration of the system's hospitals and clinics into the broader operating company as well as financial aspects of the $1 billion Sanford Health Plan.

Cliff Megerian, MD, CEO and Jane and Henry Meyer CEO Distinguished Chair, and Michael Szubski, CFO, University Hospitals (Cleveland). Dr. Megerian and Mr. Szubski oversee University Hospitals, a $5.3 billion health system with more than 30,000 employees and 20 hospitals. Last year, the duo championed a new strategic plan focusing on UH's "systemness" that realigned the organizational structure from an individual-hospital-centric model to a model focused on the patient's journey across the system.

In the last two years, Dr. Megerian and Mr. Szubski have grown UH's revenues 18 percent and completed the acquisition of Lake Health, a prominent northern Ohio health system. The two also created a focused effort around social justice and equity and introduced a hospital-at-home program for the community. The health system also kicked off a fully integrated Epic EHR system and has begun work on a bi-directional, data-driven community investment strategy to allocate resources that address the root causes of inequities.

Under their leadership, UH earned the American Hospital Association's Quest for Quality prize in 2022, and Newsweek recognized Cleveland Medical Center as one of the World's Best Hospitals this year.

Michael Young, President and CEO, and Nicholas Barcellona, Executive Vice President and CFO of Temple University Health System (Philadelphia). Mr. Young and Mr. Barcellona transitioned Temple University Health System from a financially struggling academic medical center with a challenging patient population, unfavorable payer mix and ultra-competitive market into a high quality organization with stronger financial performance.

Temple earned incrementally positive margins through the COVID-19 pandemic without enacting layoffs, and now Mr. Young and Mr. Barcellona are able to use the capital budget to improve facilities, invest in technology and recruit a high-performing workforce. The duo, alongside Temple's leadership team, achieved a record operating margin in 2020, which it surpassed in 2021 and 2022. The health system also began producing historic margins and saved $41 million by refinancing bonds.

Mr. Barcellona has been working with his team over the last several months to de-risk projects and merge six plans into one plan for streamlined administration. They also developed a new executive payer contracting committee to develop, evaluate and refine the system's contracting strategy.

Temple Health is now able to make major investments in facility and equipment upgrades and strategic growth investments. The system acquired Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Philadelphia campus, in addition to other growth projects.

Warren Geller, President and CEO, and Anthony Orlando, Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO of Englewood (N.J.) Health. Mr. Geller and Mr. Orlando have led Englewood Health — which includes a hospital, foundation and physician network — together since 2009. Under their leadership, the health system's value has grown from $250 million to a projected $1 billion next year. Patient volume and acuity, financial performance, quality and patient safety outcomes have all improved markedly over the last 13 years, and the health system has expanded services.

Mr. Geller has modernized the hospital's campus, facilities and technology infrastructure, strengthened clinical programs and expanded outpatient services. He also developed an integrated physician network that comprises more than 600 providers in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Orlando's strategic financial oversight enabled this growth. The duo have also been dynamic fundraisers: Englewood Health Foundation has raised more than $150 million in recent years.

Mr. Orlando also oversaw Englewood's systemwide Epic utilization to streamline the revenue cycle and led the procurement team for PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future is bright for Englewood Health as well. Mr. Geller and Mr. Orlando are planning additional medical hubs and wellness centers, including the Shirvan Family Live Well Center to tackle social determinants of health issues.

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