Forty years ago, Alan B. Miller founded Universal Health Services with six employees, one telephone and one hospital contract. Today, under Miller’s leadership, UHS operates through its subsidiaries a broad portfolio offering hospital-based and ambulatory care, behavioral health, insurance, a physician network and various related services. UHS employs 87,000 people across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.K., serving over 2.6 million patients annually. How the system grew was the result of Miller’s boldest move.
WHAT WAS YOUR RISKIEST DECISION? Buying land and building a hospital in the undeveloped desert of the Las Vegas Valley in the late 1990s. The developer of Summerlin and I shared a vision, and he sold me land right in the center of the future city. While access was available initially only via a dirt road, Summerlin quickly became a thriving master-planned community, consistently ranked No. 1 of its kind in the nation.
WHY WAS THAT MOVE RISKY? Standing in the undeveloped desert near Las Vegas, I saw great possibilities—but as an entrepreneur seeking to build a state-of-the-art hospital and be fiscally responsible, I knew my bet had to pay off. Following the purchase of Valley Hospital in 1979, we identified Las Vegas as a key growth market—and as a company, we have continued to grow our assets there since, most recently with the additions of Henderson Hospital in Henderson, Nev., and the ER at Green Valley Ranch, a free-standing emergency department affiliated with Henderson Hospital delivering superior quality, immediate and convenient emergency care close to where people live and work.