Martin Memorial Health Systems in Stuart, Fla., takes a long-term view on leadership development.
The two-hospital system prefers to cull leaders from within the system, bringing them up through the ranks. Because the system has been growing along with the rapidly growing area of South Florida in which it operates, opportunities seem to abound for talented managers.
Martin Memorial, owns two hospitals -- Martin Memorial Medical Center and Martin Memorial Hospital South -- and is embroiled in a certificate-of-need process to build a third hospital in nearby Port St. Lucie. The system also owns numerous outpatient facilities and plans to launch an open-heart surgery program in 2006.
"The commitment in our organization is to grow (leadership ranks) from within," says Richmond Harman, who has been president and chief executive officer since 1989. "You sit down and talk with (potential leaders) about how they and the hospital can work to map their career so that they have an opportunity to be in a position to succeed to a higher-level position."
Amy Barry, vice president and chief human resources officer, is a prime example of the system's leadership development program.
A former boss recruited Barry, who relocated from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1995. As a consulting manager for compensation at Martin Memorial, she redesigned the job and compensation structure, moving from a single system to one customized for individual departments and service lines.
A year later, she was promoted to director of human resources -- a position she held until 2001 when she took over the top HR spot after the former vice president left to take a position at another company. Under Barry's leadership, her division has grown to include not only the human resources department but other services, such as clinical and corporate learning, occupational health, employee safety, employee disease management services, volunteer services, and health and healing programs. Barry oversees 56 people, including 22 in human resources.
On her way up the ladder, Barry took advantage of the system's tuition reimbursement program, earning her master's in business administration in 1999.
"I would say my role is ever-evolving," Barry says.
She's not alone. The system's management hierarchy includes 15 assistant directors and administrative directors who report to the vice presidents. Says Harman, "Many are members we have brought along over the years. We have moved them into positions so they can grow and learn, and now they are in a position where they can step up and be an executive at some point."