Alexan­der Fer­nan­dez

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE - —Patrick Smith

D“He ex­pects you to be the best at your po­si­tion and he helps you along get­ting there.”

ur­ing his first three years study­ing fi­nance at Florida State Univer­sity, Alexan­der Fer­nan­dez says he never con­sid­ered a ca­reer in health­care. It wasn’t un­til a col­lege trip to Tenet Health­care Corp.’s Hialeah (Fla.) Hospi­tal that Fer­nan­dez re­al­ized health­care of­fered ev­ery­thing he was look­ing for. “In col­lege you never thought of a hospi­tal as big busi­ness, or at least I didn’t,” Fer­nan­dez says.

Af­ter the group’s tour, Fer­nan­dez went back and wrote a re­port on Tenet for one of his busi­ness classes and sent a copy of it to David Roth, then vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance for Tenet’s Florida division.

The re­port, and a sub­se­quent in­ter­view with Roth, earned Fer­nan­dez a spot as a staff ac­coun­tant at Tenet’s St. Mary’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter in West Palm Beach, Fla., in Septem­ber 2002, a few months af­ter Fer­nan­dez grad­u­ated.

To­day, Fer­nan­dez is the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Tenet’s North Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Miami. At 32, he is the youngest CFO in Florida for Tenet.

In his three years as CFO, Fer­nan­dez has se­cured funds for ma­jor ex­pan­sion projects within the 357-bed hospi­tal, and ac­quired three new imag­ing cen­ters around Miami. In ad­di­tion to his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as CFO, Fer­nan­dez over­sees the day-to-day op­er­a­tions of the imag­ing cen­ters.

“I’ve got a great team here. The com­pany has been very good to me and I come in ev­ery day to work, and I try to re­pay what they’ve done for me by work­ing hard and learn­ing as much as I can,” Fer­nan­dez says. Fer­nan­dez’s road from staff ac­coun­tant to CFO in­volved stops as as­sis­tant con­troller at Good Sa­mar­i­tan Hospi­tal, West Palm Beach, and then as con­troller at North Shore.

“I’ve never asked for a pro­mo­tion with this com­pany,” Fer­nan­dez says. “When a po­si­tion was avail­able and they thought I would be a good fit, I’ve re­ceived a call.”

A lit­tle un­der three years af­ter his ar­rival, Fer­nan­dez re­ceived one of those calls, and at 29 Fer­nan­dez was pro­moted to CFO.

“His de­tailed anal­y­sis is what re­ally strikes me. He is the strong­est (CFO) I have worked with in mak­ing sure all anal­y­sis is ac­cu­rate, is com­plete and is de­tailed,” North Shore CEO Manny Linares says.

As he as moved up the ranks at Tenet, Fer­nan­dez has em­braced his role as a leader and men­tor, de­spite his young age.

North Shore Con­troller Alan Gold­smith started at Good Sa­mar­i­tan seven years ago when Fer­nan­dez was as­sis­tant con­troller and fol­lowed him a few years later to North Shore.

“He has men­tored me throughout my ca­reer,” Gold­smith says. “He ex­pects you to be the best at your po­si­tion, and he helps you along get­ting there.”

32,

chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, North Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Miami

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