For Gary Newsome, a decade at Community Health Systems was something like a finishing school for his new job as president and chief executive officer of Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla.
Newsome was a divisional vice president of group operations when he left HMA in 1998 to join Community, Franklin, Tenn. Newsome, 50, was a vice president of group operations and later a division president for Community. In the latter role, he reported directly to Wayne Smith, the companys chairman, president and CEO.
In an exclusive interview with Modern Healthcare last week, Newsome said that he saw how effective it was for the CEO to get direct reports from the divisional leaders.
One of the things that I did first was have all the division CEOs report to me, said Newsome, who began as HMAs CEO on Sept. 17 (Sept. 22, p. 15). And the purpose of that is so I can get close to the operationsone, to understand the markets better, and two, to communicate our mission and vision.
Newsome wants to instill more discipline in all aspects of hospital operations, he said, another lesson that he learned at Community.
Communitys handling of its Triad Hospitals acquisition in 2007 showed the importance of communicating the companys mission and vision, Newsome said. There wasnt any question about where Community stood on these issues, he said. We also looked at Triad and saw what they did do well. Community incorporated a lot of Triads approach to physician relations, Newsome added.
By the same token, Newsome isnt looking to ditch everything done by his predecessor, Burke Whitman, even though HMA struggled financially during his tenure. HMA earned $146.3 million on revenue of $2.26 billion in the six months ended June 30, but only thanks to the sale of a 27% interest in its North and South Carolina hospitals to Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C., for $300 million.