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Up & Comers - 2003

2003 Up & Comers: Introduction

September 15, 2003

We all know about the leadership gap in healthcare-a generation of retiring chief executives along with a dearth of young executives trained to fill their shoes. We also know the reasons behind the shrinking talent pool. The demands of leading healthcare organizations are great and interfere with the time and effort needed to cultivate and mentor the next generation. The bottom line is that healthcare is driving away gifted young executives.But this year we know of at least 150 healthcare leaders who took some time to cultivate a young executive-by nominating someone for the 2003 Up &...

2003 Up & Comers: How they were chosen

By David Burda  |  September 15, 2003

This year marks Modern Healthcare's 17th annual Up & Comers award program, which recognizes rising management stars in the healthcare industry. We issued a call for nominations from the field in our May 5 issue and ran a series of advertisements soliciting nominations through July 7. We received 150 nominations, a record for the program. Modern Healthcare's editorial staff selected the 12 recipients who are profiled on the following pages. Three writers profiled the recipients: Ed Finkel of Evanston, Ill.,; Elizabeth Gardner of Riverside, Ill.,...

2003 Up & Comers: Jon Joffe

By Glenn Richards  |  September 15, 2003

In a tight market, Jon Joffe still recruits record numbers of nurses for OhioHealth. Yet even with his recruiting successes, he's excited about a new approach for meeting the talent demand. Two years up and running, it is about to yield first fruit.This year OhioHealth's Grant, Riverside and Doctors Program will produce its first nurse graduates. The GRAD program lets the central Ohio healthcare system's employees work part time, receive full-time benefits and enter an accelerated learning program at Columbus State Community College. OhioHealth pays full tuition and related expenses,...

2003 Up & Comers: Rhonda Scott

By Glenn Richards  |  September 15, 2003

When Rhonda Scott joined South Fulton Medical Center as chief nursing officer in December 2001, she found morale in the nursing department low, dependence on agency help high and some staff nurses ready to leave.Patient-satisfaction scores left the 392-bed East Point, Ga., hospital in 105th place out of the 109 facilities then owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp. Located just south of Atlanta's city limits, the hospital was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when it had been purchased by Tenet eight months earlier. Despite the problems, "I knew we could turn the place around," says Scott, who...

2003 Up & Comers: Chris Lane

By Elizabeth Gardner  |  September 15, 2003

Chris Lane is late for an interview. He's been hand-delivering lunch to his laboratory staff, as a morale booster to help them through a tedious and annoying computer system conversion. "It's amazing the work these people do, and they need a pat on the back," he says.His enthusiasm for his job and his affection for his employees are as noticeable as his thick Boston accent. "He is such a breath of fresh air, I can't tell you," says Kathy Galvin, executive vice president of Kaleida Health and one of Lane's mentors. "He doesn't have the years of experience in dealing with people that an...

2003 Up & Comers: Tabitha Rice

By Elizabeth Gardner  |  September 15, 2003

When Tabitha Rice was deciding where to apply to college, she looked first for an Ivy League school-and then for one that had a children's hospital on site."That narrowed things down pretty quick," she laughs. She was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, whose campus housed the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Within two weeks of starting school, she had landed a work-study job in Children's Hospital's oncology division, a research associate's position she held for the next four years. Each passing year strengthened her resolve to make her career in children's hospitals.These...

2003 Up & Comers: David Strong

By Ed Finkel  |  September 15, 2003

David Strong began his career in healthcare by cleaning operating room floors as a high school and college student, and those around him at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City say he's retained the humility inherent in such a role.As chief operating officer of the 400-bed facility, where he has worked since January 2000, Strong continues to focus on details and is willing to perform any task necessary, says Chief Executive Officer Mike Packnett. "I try to be a servant-leader," says Strong, 38, who has a master's degree in hospital and healthcare administration from Xavier University. "All...

2003 Up & Comers: Kevin Rehder

By Ed Finkel  |  September 15, 2003

After nearly 13 years in the pharmacy and 20 years overall at Little Company of Mary Hospital in suburban Chicago, Kevin Rehder still keeps his proverbial ear to the ground-but he's also won crucial respect from the organization's upper reaches.Rehder, 39, began as a pharmacy technician at 19 years old and continued through his education at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, where he received a doctorate in pharmacy in 1989. He rose through the ranks from clinical pharmacist (1990-97) to pharmacy supervisor (1997-98) to pharmacy manager (1998-2001)."That (gradual path...

2003 Up & Comers: Frank Molinaro

By Ed Finkel  |  September 15, 2003

When Frank Molinaro took over as chief executive officer of Putnam General Hospital in May 2002, he knowingly inherited an unhealthy mess. Morale was low and local residents of Hurricane, W.Va., often traveled elsewhere for healthcare needs."The hospital didn't have the greatest reputation for patient satisfaction," he says. "Probably the biggest thing we've done in the past 15 months is to build a positive, cooperative relationship between patients and doctors and staff."FharvardMolinaro, 39, and his top managers focused heavily on patient satisfaction, with the CEO himself delivering...

2003 Up & Comers: Brian Dieter

By Glenn Richards  |  September 15, 2003

Versatility is a hallmark of Brian Dieter. The vice president and chief financial officer of Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, wears enough hats to fill a wide rack. The 220-bed municipal hospital in central Iowa counts on that versatility as well as his commitment. Besides his CFO duties, he also serves as chief information officer and holds line management responsibility for the facilities, construction and housekeeping departments."For someone so young, he has accomplished so much in a variety of different venues in his career. He hasn't done just one thing," notes Kimberly...

2003 Up & Comers: Cynthia Finter

By Elizabeth Gardner  |  September 15, 2003

Cynthia Finter was all set to be a doctor. She'd wanted it since childhood. She'd made the grades and done the groundwork, and was halfway through a six-year bachelor's-medical degree program at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.Then several family losses, including her mother's death, led her to re-examine her goals. She began to be bothered by the healthcare system's all-too-frequent focus on the provider rather than the patient. She realized she had professional interests, such as a knack for finance, that medical school wasn't going to address. So she switched to studying...

2003 Up & Comers: Lou Fierens

By Glenn Richards  |  September 15, 2003

For Trinity Health, the grass really was greener on the other side of the fence. And Trinity's leaders knew it.That's why the nation's eighth-largest healthcare system, based in Novi, Mich., recruited a rising young supply chain executive from General Motors Corp. in February 2001. Trinity executives saw the healthcare industry lagging behind other businesses in purchasing and supply practices. In Lou Fierens, they found the desired skills for leveraging their new purchasing potential, resulting from the 2000 merger of Holy Cross Health System and Mercy Health Services."We went outside...

2003 Up & Comers: Mary 'Mikki' Clancy

By Elizabeth Gardner  |  September 15, 2003

As one of four children, Mikki Clancy knew from an early age that if she wanted to go to college, she would have to find a way to pay for it herself. To that end, she channeled her baton-twirling skills into the creation of Mikki's School of Baton in Madisonville, Ky., which she opened when she was in eighth grade and operated for four years, before her family's relocation forced a shutdown. At its peak, it had 100 students.Not only did the school produce college cash directly, it also impressed those in charge of granting the handful of Marine ROTC scholarships awarded annually. "I'm...

2003 Up & Comers: David Wallace

By Ed Finkel  |  September 15, 2003

Focusing simultaneously on short-term financial goals and long-term strategic goals can stretch any chief executive officer. But David Wallace, president and CEO of Brown County General Hospital in Georgetown, Ohio, has managed to straddle both since being appointed to his position in 1998 at age 33."When your back is against the wall with financial struggles of losing about 2% (annually), you don't typically take on something like patient satisfaction," says Wallace, now 37. "You typically buckle down and say, `We have to work on expenses.' Which we did, but we also realized there was a...


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