Martin Bonicks first day as chief executive officer of Tulsa (Okla.) Regional Medical Center on June 21, 2005, was not only the longest day of the year, but probably the longest of his professional life.
The hospitals chief medical officer had resigned the day before, so instead of simply being promoted from COO to CEO, Bonick recalls, I became the OEOthe Only Executive Officer. I started with nothing and had to build a team from scratch. But that bumpy start launched a successful 3½-year run highlighted by a name change, to Oklahoma State University Medical Center, co-branding the 304-bed facility with its teaching partner.
That move, formalized legislatively, brought state funding that breathed new life into a struggling inner-city hospital-of-last-resort with a population thats half uninsured or underinsured. The healthy image we helped to create propelled us to accomplish a lot of great things, from a quality perspective, from a growth perspective, from a financial perspective, says Bonick, 34. The thing Im most proud of is the culture I was able to create, the accomplishments we were able to do, in spite of the odds.
Under Bonicks leadership, OSUMC saw a 3.5% increase in same-store admissions; earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization improvement of 19.5% in his first year as CEO; and a $2 million intensive-care unit expansion that boosted capacity by 45%. He cites improvements in retention, mortality rates and patient satisfaction as other points of pride.
Since he took the helm as president and CEO of Jewish Hospital Medical Campus and became vice president of parent organization Jewish Hospital & St. Marys HealthCare, Louisville, Ky., in February of this year, Bonick has brought the five Pillars of Excellence he adopted at OSUMCpeople, service, quality, finance and growthand added a sixth, innovation. Theres a lot of continuation. This has been a great transition for me, he says. The organizations values and mine line up.
Lynn Simon, chief medical officer at St. Marys who describes herself tongue-in-cheek as a recovering neurologist, says that Bonick has brought experience, a mind for details, a direct yet polite manner, and a clear focus on whats best for the organization as a whole. He has a nice way of saying, here are my top five issues, and yours is No. 28, Simon says. Its not disrespectful. Its, I understand, and I hear you, but I only have so many resources and so much bandwidth.
A former emergency medical technician who thought he would one day become a doctor, Bonick says he understands the medical staff point of view. Ive walked in those shoes, he says. Its given me balance. And Ive had good mentoring and training, which have taught me to be a good listener.