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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Aug 10, 2017
Innovating in a time of change was the theme of the 25th Annual American Hospital Association’s (AHA) recent Leadership Summit where experts from around our nation gathered to share best practices, celebrate successes, and most importantly, learn from each other. As a Board member of AHA, I was privileged to participate.

Futurist Ian Morrison tied themes together from keynote speakers including retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Peter Pace who shared leadership experiences and a day-in-the-life of the CJCS; public health innovator Dr. Rishi Manchanda, author of The Upstream Doctors, who focused on the socio-economic issues that cause about 80% of all illnesses; global columnist Rana Foroohar who highlighted the growing, uncomfortable trust bifurcation between the “haves” and “have nots” in our country; innovator of wearable devices Nickolas Webb, author of What Customers Crave, who stimulated us with the message to disrupt, rethink, reinvent, and reposition in order advance; and finally Stanford University Professor Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone, who comforted us by describing humanistic care in an era of lean and increasingly limited resources.

Many of the themes presented have already been embraced by NCH including:

Strategic growth—Years ago NCH focused on heart disease, measurably lowering the mortality rate of heart attacks and congestive heart failure.  For the past three years our rapid treatment of acute strokes has mirrored the success of the Code Save-a-Heart program.  Learning from the Mayo Clinic Care Network affiliation as well as starting the Medical Residency training program are just a few more recent examples of smart growth.

Consumer engagement—Adding resources to meet or exceed growing demand is ongoing as we are fortunate to live in a region which is thriving.  Two examples come to mind.  First, pediatric surgeon Dr. Carmen Ramos is now successfully operating on newborns to teenagers.  Second, the NCH Northeast Emergency Room provides easier access to folks living along the Immokalee Road corridor.  Both enhancements keep patients close to home.   

Physician well-being—NCH Medical Staff President Dr. Paul Jones and Chief Experience Officer Gary Tomcik are leading us with Mayo Clinic’s program to help physicians remain healthy and engaged, while enjoying their noble careers.  Nationally, over 50% of physicians report symptoms of “burn out.”  We want to be preemptive in helping our colleagues.

Quality and safety—Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have a valid star rating system.  NCH has the only four-star rating (out of a possible five) in Southwest Florida, placing us in the top 12% of the nation.  We have also been rated best in U.S. News and World Report in Southwest Florida for five years. 

Community health—The Blue Zones Project continues to demonstrate objectively that our area is the healthiest and happiest in America and improving.  Collier County’s has the longest life expectancy, and is remarkably getting longer, in contra-distinction to America’s, which is sadly shortening.

Financial stability—Fitch rates NCH A+ and Moody’s A2 Stable, both confirming our stability in a time of uncertainty.

We have been innovating in a time of change as we continue an upward trajectory.  However, we will be challenged by a stressful and shifting environment; therefore, we must keep our focus on helping everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.