Q & A session with TMH’s interim CEO Joyce Hein
Joyce Hein can acclimate quickly to working in a new environment. The new interim CEO at The Memorial Hospital in Craig, who retired in 2007 after 20 years of working full time in the health care administration field, now spends her time working as an interim CEO where needed for Quorum Health Resources, TMH’s management company. The job keeps Hein busy traveling around the country overseeing the transition between hospital CEOs. It also has given her an abundance of experience at handling hospitals and how they relate to the communities they serve to make sure nothing gets lost during the leadership change. The Craig Daily Press sat down with Hein and TMH Chief of Organizational Excellence Jennifer Riley on Hein’s second day on the job to learn a little more about TMH’s new interim CEO.
Craig Daily Press: Where are you from?
Joyce Hein: Duluth, Minnesota is where I currently live.
CDP: Have you ever been to Craig before?
JH: No, not to this part of Colorado. I’ve been to Leadville and the Denver area, but not this part. It’s beautiful out here. It was just gorgeous with the sun and the snow while I was driving in this morning.
CDP: What do you think of TMH so far?
JH: I’m really impressed. This brand new physical plant, what a joy, even going to the clinic at lunch today, its been renovated so nicely and the space is used so well. We’re very fortunate to have the resources here in town. So far I’ve mainly been focused on meeting the staff and physicians. I met some of the board members already. Everybody’s committed to one thing. That’s patient care and that’s what it’s all about.
CDP: Any specific goals you’d like to accomplish while you’re here?
JH: Not yet, what I like to do for the first two to three weeks onsite in an interim assignment is to get the priorities straightened out, get my direction and priorities from the board, medical staff and different department leaders to find out what I can do during the time I’m on site to be useful. So much of the focus of course is going to be on the process and recruiting of the permanent CEO.
CDP: What did you do before coming to TMH?
JH: Last year I was in Bay St. Louis Mississippi. That was my retirement strategy. I worked full time for 20 plus years and when I decided to retire I said I would work a little bit. QHR’s been great and I’ve had the opportunity to get into a lot of diversity regarding hospitals geographically and in size and mission. I’m sure I’m going to learn lots here too. Every community has so much to teach me.
CDP: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
JH: Well I do like the outdoors, hiking, that’s always kind of been one of my passions. I like to get out and hike, I’ve been very blessed with some opportunities to do big mountain hiking such as Kilimanjaro and lower levels of Mt. Everest. I do that and I’m trying to be focused and train for a half marathon this summer. So I’m going to need a lot of encouragement from everybody in town to get out there and get my feet on the pavement
CDP: Do you ski or do anything similar?
JH: No I don’t ski, I snowshoe but I do not ski. But I did bring my hiking boots along. I’d really like to get out and see these big elk herds and the wild mustangs. I guess that’s kind of beautiful to see.
CDP: Do you get to go home at all?
JH: Yeah, I usually go home about once a month or so. I check in with my husband, see what’s going on with him, occasionally I might get him to come visit, we’ll have to see.
CDP: What do you think of the staff and physicians you’ve met so far?
JH: They’re very helpful, everybody’s been very kind and interested and I like the fact they’re very focused on why we’re here at work and what the mission of the hospital is. It’s very easy to get engaged with them because they’re very engaged in our patient care goals.
CDP: Anything else you’d like to add?
Jennifer Riley: So far the transition’s going well. Joyce has been here not even 48 hours and she’s jumped into some open things we’ve had on our plate. She’ll continue to work on physician recruitment; we still have our general surgeon that we’re working to recruit here. The good thing is it’s not going to be a five-month pause for us. We’re going to continue to operate and move forward. And the staff needs that, we need that and certainly the community needs that.
JH: We don’t want to fall behind, health care moves too fast, and we can do a lot to keep things moving forward and also get a good solid foundation so when our permanent CEO is selected and arrives on site, there’s a good road map for him, or her, and they can just jump in and keep going, and we don’t have to stop, and back up and start over again. That’s something we really want to work on together, to lay a foundation for our new CEO.
We want to reassure people that the quality of care they expect, the access to healthcare, that’s not going to change because we’re changing CEOs. We’re here to make sure they get everything they need.
Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org