"The CEO role is no longer one of command and control. Rather, it is about dealing with the generational gap and how to communicate and engage everyone. Building relationships needs to happen, and healthcare leaders need to be able to deal with the unexpected." Deborah Zastocki, DNP, RN, FACHE, the President and CEO of Chilton Hospital in Pequannock, NJ, spoke these candid words during a special event that the School of Health and Medical Sciences'Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences (GPHS) hosted on campus November 7 in partnership with the American College of Healthcare Executives-New Jersey.
The program, titled "Advancing Healthcare Leadership—Many Roads to Success: A Dialogue with Hospital CEOs," was the ninth event in a CEO lecture series that has spanned the last five years. More than 100 members of the healthcare community, including doctoral students in the GPHS program, came to Seton Hall for the recent panel discussion that was moderated by GPHS Program Chair Terrence Cahill, EdD, FACHE. Zastocki along with Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President and CEO of Trinitas Health, and Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, President and CEO of Newton Medical Center and Vice President of Atlantic Health, were this session's featured hospital leaders.
According to Dr. Cahill, "These sessions provide our students with the opportunity to talk with our most experienced hospital leaders about what it takes to be successful in today's turbulent times. The CEOs also really enjoy sharing their 'lessons learned' with our students."
For example, Horan noted, "The skill set needed as a CEO is to be able to adapt to change, have a thick skin and follow your gut." He later talked about the importance of celebrating successes and overcoming the "costs" of progress. Senker expanded: "Perhaps, the biggest challenges present the biggest opportunities." Senker went on to accent the importance of building strong relationships with all your constituents and surrounding yourself with the right people. He noted, however, that the key to success is to follow your passion. "If you don't love what you do, you will not do it well," he said.
Zastocki added that, in these changing times, it is important to "seek first to understand, then to be understood."
GPHS students and others in attendance appreciated the opportunity to converse with these CEOs. "The presenters offered invaluable insight that provides the 'real world' application of what we have been studying," said doctoral candidate Michele Inglese. Commenting on Zastocki's discussion points, she continues: "It brought so many of the courses together, and she incorporated the content of those courses into real situations." Students also said that the program helped them understand the dramatic changes that are happening in the healthcare industry.
Cahill noted that a 10th CEO event is planned for the spring 2014 term.
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For more information please contact: Terrence Cahill (973) 275-2449 firstname.lastname@example.org