Written by The Business Journal Staff
Senior Vice President/Area Manager
Kaiser Permanente Fresno
Education: B.S. in health policy & administration from Penn State University, master’s in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Family: Married to wife Carolyn
WHAT WE DO: Kaiser Permanente has been a pioneer in health care delivery since the 1940s and is the nation’s largest non-profit health system. Through our integrated model of care, and in partnership with our Permanente Medical Group physicians, we are focused on quality and prevention to improve the total health — mind, body and spirit — of our members and patients. In California alone, Kaiser Permanente serves almost 9 million members. In the Fresno Service Area, we have a 169-bed medical center and four clinics providing more than 145,000 Valley residents with access to high-quality affordable health care services.
What are some of the areas of care at Kaiser that you hope to expand upon?
Our patients and members have the support of an entire team of care providers who work together. Technology has made it possible for us to deliver care with a focus on ease and convenience, whether it be through a phone or video appointment with a doctor or ordering prescriptions and viewing lab results online. Kaiser Permanente is committed to saving lives by providing innovative ways to treat illness, prevent disease and keep people healthy.
How has Kaiser’s philanthropy impacted the Central Valley?
Kaiser Permanente’s mission and non-profit status allows us to address the health, social and economic needs of non-members in the community. In 2018, we invested $3.6 million in the Fresno area. Like all hospitals, we conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to provide a robust community benefit program that addresses access to care, healthy eating and active living, mental health, hunger and homelessness and chronic disease prevention. As one of the leading health care organizations in the Valley, we recognize care delivery must go beyond our hospital doors and touch the underserved in our community. We are committed to giving our time, expertise and resources to support programs that create healthy communities.
Who are some of the people in the community that you hope to increase outreach to? Is there anyone that you feel is currently underserved?
To us, total health means affordable, equitable access to health care. That extends to our schools, work sites, parks, farms, small towns and larger cities in our community. We invest in a broad range of strategies to improve the health and well-being of our diverse communities in the Valley. We pair our community investments with our medical expertise to increase access to high-quality care and provide safe, healthy communities. We work in partnership with several Federally Qualified Health Clinics to ensure access to care is available to the underserved.
What have you learned from working at Kaiser for 25 years?
I am proud that our organization is focused on providing high-quality affordable health care to our members and the communities we serve. Our mission drives our actions and we are focused on helping our members and patients lead healthy and productive lives. As a health care leader, I’ve learned that an organization that truly strives to achieve its mission inspires everyone to give their best each day they come to work.
How has your experience in the US Navy prepared you for your current job?
Serving in the Navy taught me how to be an effective manager by respecting the chain of command. I learned the best leaders are those who listen to everyone regardless of their position or rank. I’ve tried to follow that philosophy throughout my career.
What are your roots in the Central Valley?
I consider the Valley my California “home.” I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but it was my tour of duty at the Lemoore Naval Air Station Hospital that brought me to California. After completing my service, I started my Kaiser Permanente career as a financial analyst in Fresno in 1994, a few months before the hospital portion of the campus opened. The Valley holds deep meaning for me because it is the first place I lived in California and where I began my health care career. I am thrilled to return to where it all started and to see the health care landscape grow to meet the needs of Valley residents.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love traveling, outdoor activities, wine collecting and playing with our new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Okoye.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Good news is no news; bad news is good news; no news is bad news. It’s a tongue-twister for sure, but it really means to create a culture in which you expect (and acknowledge) success, and in which people feel comfortable speaking up and asking for help. If you can build that culture, you will have a successful business.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?
I was a flagman on a road repair crew. I learned the importance of workplace safety. My job was about making sure I kept the rest of the team safe, so they could focus on their work. This translates into my job now as I strive to maintain a culture of safety in the workplace.On a more practical note, I learned that it is not a good idea to honk at a flag person because he or she will probably hold you longer rather than move you sooner!