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.”
chief financial officer, North Shore Medical Center, Miami