Top 25 Emerging Leaders
Christopher Hummer, 37
President, Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville
Christopher Hummer not only has the same shining pate as Dr. Evil of the “Austin Powers” movies. He plays him on TV.
Hummer’s Dr. Evil impersonation, part of a video presentation for an employee forum, is just one of the ways Hummer uses technology and pop culture to build a positive environment at Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville, the Charlotte, N.C., hospital where Hummer, 37, is president.
“He’s a phenomenal communicator, period, whether it’s rank-and-file employees or other administrators,” says Dennis Phillips, an executive vice president at the 109-bed hospital’s parent system, Carolinas HealthCare System.
“Chris has a way of using every tool you could think about to rally the support of the Pineville team to the goals of the organization and the goals of the hospital,” Phillips says. “I really do have a tremendous amount of admiration for how he operates. Not everyone could do this, but he pulls it off and does it extremely well.”
Hummer is the youngest of seven siblings, all of whom entered healthcare professions after watching their father put in long but rewarding hours practicing medicine and then working in healthcare administration.
“What I saw was really a lifestyle—to really be dedicated,” Hummer says of his father. “Even somebody who is floor nursing or someone in the lab—it’s not easy to separate from it when they go home. We didn’t look at it as anything negative. It’s a positive industry to be around.”
Hummer studied journalism and mass communications in his undergraduate studies, and went on to earn his master’s in healthcare administration. Hummer held several chief operating officer positions at Tenet Healthcare Corp. hospitals in North Carolina and Missouri. He spent 2½ years as chief executive officer at Tenet’s 232-bed South Fulton Medical Center, Atlanta, before Phillips recruited him.
At Pineville since January 2006, Hummer is presiding over a series of strategic capital projects, including a $300 million, 88-bed open-heart-surgery expansion, among other advancements. The hospital received a J.D. Power and Associates award for clinical excellence in maternity and emergency services in 2007 and 2008 under Hummer’s leadership.
“I’m more excited than ever because we have a chance to transform the way healthcare is delivered in South Charlotte,” Hummer says.
Hummer says the video spoofs are simply a disarming way to communicate the important messages all hospital administrators need to convey. “It’s an entertainment generation,” Hummer says. “You have to figure out different ways to deliver the same message.”