Written by The Business Journal Staff
Name: Shawn Bolouki
Organization: Tulare Regional Medical Center
What we do: Our continuum of care provides primary care services, diagnostic services, impatient services and also home health care services. Our
integrated health system provides all the elements required to deliver quality patient care.
Education: Architectural engineering at Miami Dade Community College, Miami; A master’s degree in Technical Public Health with a concentration in Hospital Engineering from the University of Giessen in Germany, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Redlands.
Family: Wife and two daughters in college.
Can you tell us a little about your professional background, Shawn?
I most recently served as CEO at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, a 450-bed facility. I have worked in faith-based, not-for-profit, for-profit and academic medical centers, and served as CEO and chief operations officer for Los Angeles County+USC Healthcare Network, which operates the largest trauma center in Los Angeles County.
How did you end up a Tulare Regional Medical Center, Shawn?
I left my position with Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in 2007. I started looking around, and there were other opportunities in Los Angeles as well as another medical center in Washington State. I was a finalist for a position in Los Angeles, but after working in the area for 26 years, with the traffic and everything, I wanted a better quality of life. I didn’t want to stay there.
I heard about the opportunity in Tulare, but I didn’t know where Tulare was. The head honcho there sent me a description of the facility, and it was intriguing because it was a turnaround situation. I also had the opportunity to build a new hospital there. I knew if I came here, I could accomplish my personal goal of making a difference in people’s lives.
What’s in store for this newest expansion, Shawn?
Basically, what we are doing with this new facility is transforming it into something completely different. The biggest change is going to be our increase in capacity. Our ER capacity alone will jump by 400%. There will be new surgical and imaging departments, and we will be the only facility in the county to have a helipad on the roof. By building a brand-new, state-of-the-art medical center, it allows you to attract a new generation of physicians who are tech-savvy and want to practice in an institution that has the latest technology. Not only can we recruit new physicians, the expansion will generate economic activity for the community.
What are the pros/cons of the recent health care reform law, Shawn?
The health care reform bill, I believe, is 1,800-2,000 pages long. Everyone in the health care industry is still in the process of digesting it. Some calculations show, once it’s all implemented, that hospitals are going to receive less money. Some say it will not be a huge impact. This is truly unchartered territory. If you concentrate on the positive, it basically provides coverage for an additional 32 million individuals, providing better access to primary care and promoting preventative care. But by all of sudden bringing 32 million new people into the system, there are concerns about infrastructure. You’ll have a shortage of primary care physicians and a projected shortage of general surgeons. It’s great that everyone will have health care coverage, but the infrastructure issue needs to be addressed.
What is the best advice you have ever received, Shawn?
That it is OK to say “I don’t know.”
What is your essential business philosophy, Shawn?
My philosophy is to form business partnerships with other individuals based on mutual trust and respect. And there is never any compromise when it comes to the quality of patient care. Compliance and business ethics are also paramount.
Where do you see the hospital in 10 years, Shawn?
I see the hospital in 10 years as an institution highly respected by the community that delivers quality patient care in a technologically advanced, financially viable manner that provides access to every member of the community.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Shawn?
My first job was at a retirement complex and skilled nursing facility called St. Paul Manor in San Diego. I came into contact with a lot of elderly people, and it reminded me that we are all going to get old one day, with different needs and a different perspective on the meaning of life. To be in health care, you have to be committed to providing service and having compassion. It’s not just about high tech, it’s also about high touch.