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How AtlantiCare's CEO Is Preparing for the Future of Healthcare

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   April 22, 2024

Michael Charlton tells HealthLeaders why hospitals leaders need to take the long view for a shifting industry.

After six months at the helm of AtlantiCare, CEO Michael Charlton is already looking six years forward.

Charlton unveiled his plan to usher the health system into the future with Vision 2030 in Atlantic City earlier this month, relaying the importance of getting ahead of the trending challenges that are shaping healthcare.

At the heart of the plan are four pillars that he believes will define the health system for years to come: serving community, workforce excellence, accelerating transformation, and growing market share.

During a time when many hospitals are focusing their efforts on the present or near future just to remain viable, Charlton advocates for looking further out when possible. While operators across the country have been forced into survival mode due to the unforgiving circumstances brought on by the pandemic, long-term sustainability remains the ultimate goal.

“Planning for the future isn’t a choice, it’s a moral obligation to the people we serve,” Charlton told HealthLeaders. “My advice is to stay deeply connected to the core mission of your organization. The rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, marked by technological advances, consumerism, and industry consolidation, calls for leaders who are not only adaptable but also bold in their vision and execution.”

Two of the areas AtlantiCare will strategize around are pain points that are at or near the top of every CEO’s list right now: workforce and technology.

Within workforce, the health system wants to develop the next generation of workers by investing in education. That includes building a medical school in Atlantic City and creating AtlantiCare YOUniversity to offer a clinical career program.

On the technology side, the operator is aiming to increase efficiency and improve care delivery through initiatives like its partnership with Oracle Health to provide new generative AI-based Oracle Clinical Digital Assistant. It will allow clinicians to use voice commands to afford them more time to interact with patients.

Related: Tech Is a Worthy Investment for CEOs, Even if ROI Is Not There Yet

Vision 2030 is also emphasizing social determinants of health by setting goals to reduce food insecurity for patients by 6%, reduce unsheltered homelessness by 20%, expand life expectancy by five years, and increase annual fundraising for the AtlantiCare Foundation by 20% year over year.

“While there are challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector, we can’t shy away from addressing problems like health equity and the social determinants that impact it,” Charlton said. “Through Vision 2030 we are taking on these big issues by harnessing cutting-edge technology to transform patient care, and expanding strategically to provide comprehensive services that are accessible to all. We are also cultivating a workforce that is not only skilled but empowered, with initiatives like AtlantiCare YOUniversity that prepare our team for the healthcare jobs of the future.”

AtlantiCare also wants to significantly expand over the next six years by becoming a $2 billion organization and growing its market share by 5%. To achieve that, the health system is working to increase access to service lines like behavioral health and cardiology to reach as many patients as possible.

The ambitious plan will require a considerable investment from the health system into both the community and its own resources, made possible by a healthy bottom line and strategic partnerships. In addition to the agreement with Oracle Health, AtlantiCare is also partnering with Global Neurosciences Institute and affiliating with Drexel University College of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Cancer Institute.

“AtlantiCare has maintained its financial health through careful stewardship and thoughtful planning, ensuring we have a robust balance sheet to support our ambitions,” Charlton said. “Each initiative under Vision 2030 is backed by a sustainable funding strategy, designed to maintain financial integrity while advancing our goals. Partnerships and affiliations also play a critical role in our strategic approach.”

Whether or not AtlantiCare hits on every goal it has set, the intention to strive for transformation is critical in an industry reckoning with change and disruption.

Related: AtlantiCare Health System CEO: Disruption Gives Providers Guidance

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 


AtlantiCare CEO Michael Charlton showcased his plan for the coming years with Vision 2030, which aims to set the health system up for the next generation of healthcare.

Charlton believes that the changes affecting the industry necessitate hospital leaders creating a roadmap for sustainability.

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