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Q&A:  Award-winning CEO on Running a Small Hospital

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 5, 2012

HLM: Why did you win this award?

JB: "It was a team effort. We started off as a whole hospital concept and it became our culture. It was involving everybody including the community, all the staff, all the physicians. It really made a difference for this hospital and community, which is the one of the most important things, especially for a smaller community.

Hospitals have to understand that symbiotic relationship; us being the largest employer in town and being in an Arizona retirement community. People will move to a retirement community if they have great healthcare and we put that together for everyone and delivered some results that really made a difference."

HLM: What did you change that allowed VVMC to flourish?

JB:
"It was the measure of focus. It wasn't about me or them. It was about all of us. It was about the community. It was about the patient. A lot of places talk about putting the patient at the top of the pyramid and doing everything for them but we really live that.

Every decision we make was based on something for the patient; quality, service, safety, and that is how we based our decisions. That permeated throughout the hospital. Every worker understood that.

When we had forums with the staff, I'd say 'look there is a reason why I'm not talking about finances first because that is not the most important thing.' Every hospital talks about 'no margin no mission' but we really put quality and safety and service above finances appropriately to make the changes. It is easy to get healthcare workers to rally around that because it means something to them."

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