Daniel Evans Jr. isn't a trained hospital administrator. Nor is he a physician. So why did the board of directors of Indiana's largest healthcare system, Indianapolis-based Clarian Health Partners, name the 53-year-old Baker & Daniels lawyer as its new president and CEO?
Well, for one thing, it's an Evans family tradition. He is the fourth generation of his family to serve on the board of one of Clarian's three member hospitals, Methodist Hospital. His great-grandfather began raising the money to erect Methodist Hospital-in 1899. His father, Daniel Evans Sr., served as Methodist president from 1965 to 1968.
"I'm very mindful of that heritage and it's extremely motivating," he says.
Evans has been interim CEO since William Loveday, 58, retired in July. Loveday was the architect of the 1997 deal that merged Methodist, Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University Medical Center to form Clarian.
Evans, who as chancellor is the highest elected leader of Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church, has chaired Clarian's board since 2000.
"This is not a job for me," Evans says. "This is a mission. This is where I live. I was born at Methodist Hospital. My mother and mother-in-law have been hospitalized here in the last year. I can't imagine being more deeply involved in the social, economic and healthcare delivery environment in central Indiana than I am. I require no contracts, no handcuffs and no parachute. I'm here for one reason only: to improve the quality of care to the patients who present themselves at Clarian and empower the physicians and those who support physicians in their work."
Evans says he's aware that Indianapolis' healthcare costs are among the highest in the Midwest.
"I will do everything within my power to run the most efficient healthcare organization in town," he says. "Employers deserve the most efficient healthcare delivery with the highest quality. I will be open with healthcare quality data so they can make wise healthcare purchasing decisions. Big systems beget inefficiency. I think you have to get the inertia out of the system and focus on quality."