South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday July 15, 2020
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July 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 1
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Peter Powers – New CEO of Memorial Regional Hospital

Last month, Memorial Regional Hospital welcomed Peter Powers, FACHE, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Regional Hospital, the flagship hospital of Memorial Healthcare System. Powers succeeds Zeff Ross, FACHE, Executive Vice President of Memorial Healthcare System and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Regional Hospital, who retired in December 2019, after serving in numerous leadership roles within Memorial Healthcare System since 1991.

Powers will oversee the 797-bed hospital, which is home to Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute, Memorial Transplant Institute, Memorial Cancer Institute, Memorial Neuroscience Institute and Comprehensive Stroke Center, The Family Birthplace and Level I Trauma Center.
 
He joins Memorial after serving as Chief Executive Officer for St. Anthony Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center in Colorado, overseeing the development of service line strategies and operating plans to enhance patient care. He is credited for growing market share within St. Anthony Hospital’s tertiary and regional markets and significantly increasing physician and employee engagement.
 
Powers holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs with a minor in Business and Sociology from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration with Distinction from the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and recently served on the Red Rocks Community College Advisory Board, Jefferson County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors and the American Heart Ball Executive Committee. Powers recently moved to Davie with his wife and two children.
 
Despite his busy schedule, Powers recently took some time to address some of our questions.
 
What attracted you to the position of CEO?
I come from a healthcare family with my father and brother both being doctors, mom and one sister are nurses and another sister who is a speech pathologist. I was the youngest of four and growing up I was often given the choice of getting dragged to my brother and sisters sports practices or going and making rounds with my dad. My dad was the type who rounded seven days a week his entire career and I often accompanied him. I was lucky enough to land a couple of internships with the local hospital CEO during my undergraduate years and fell in love with the business and leadership side of healthcare. I think the perspective of the rest of my family being on the clinical side has made a big impact on my overall leadership and approach with physicians and caregivers.
 
Can you tell us about some of your goals for Memorial Regional Hospital in the short and long term?
Short term is to continue to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. We are cautiously resuming elective surgeries and ramping up our business. The challenging part is that we do not fully understand yet what the “new normal” will look like. One positive outcome of COVID-19 has been the growth of telehealth. Memorial Healthcare System has made, and continues to make, significant investments in our telemedicine platforms – which is part of both short and long term plans. Long term for Memorial Regional Hospital, we will continue to grow our key programs such as the Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute where we are the only 3-star STS program in South Florida. Other key programs poised for growth are the Memorial Cancer Institute, Memorial Transplant Institute, Memorial Neuroscience Institute, the Family Birthplace and our Level 1 Trauma Center. We have everything you need here in the Memorial system, and we have destination quality programs to attract patients from afar.
 
Tell our readers what distinguishes Memorial Regional Hospital from other healthcare systems?
Our culture sets us apart. This was quickly apparent to me as I came into the job in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The way we take care of our employees, the community and physicians, while taking necessary steps to minimize the financial impacts of COVID-19 is seriously impressive. The quality of our leaders – both management and clinical is unique. The way we have addressed the needs of our community is a huge credit to the very talented and tenured leadership team we have.
 
What are the most important lessons you have learned in your career to date?
A few things come to mind – the first is nothing beats hard work. If you work hard you make your own luck and good things will happen. Second, relationships are everything. It is critical to have strong relationships at all levels of the organization and in the community. Third, always do the right thing no matter what. Integrity is everything.
 
What skills are essential for a health system CEO in today's healthcare climate, beyond traditional financial and business acumen?
The ability to lead through change is essential in today’s healthcare climate. We must position our organizations to be on the front end of this while making sure our employees and physicians feel included in the process and understand the why behind the change. The keys to this are communication, transparency, trust and inclusion. Also, the ability to partner with and work collaboratively with physicians is absolutely critical.
 
What is the greatest challenge facing Memorial Regional Hospital today?
Memorial Regional Hospital is an older building, so we need to continually update our infrastructure. We are in the process of developing our Strategic Master Plan to meet the needs of our patients and physicians. This engagement was put on hold by COVID-19 and will be resumed soon.
 
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career?
My greatest accomplishment would be the relationships created. I am proud to have developed relationships at all levels of the organizations where I have worked. I have been a part of building great programs and impactful projects, but at the end of the day I am most proud of the relationships above all else.
 
Anything else you'd like the readers to know about you or Memorial Healthcare System that I did not ask?
I am passionate about the role of exercise, prevention and wellness being the focal point of healthcare reform. I would love to see those be central to the discussion about proactive strategies to make our communities healthier.

To learn more, visit mhs.net.

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