Jeff Pat­ter­son, 35

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Desert Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Palm Springs, Calif.

Modern Healthcare - - UP & COMERS - —Melanie Evans

Jeff Pat­ter­son re­calls the fear he felt as a child un­der­go­ing treat­ment of a hered­i­tary pan­cre­atic disorder, and the com­fort of his mother’s support through blood draws, di­ag­nos­tic tests and pro­ce­dures.

The ex­pe­ri­ence was for­ma­tive for Pat­ter­son, who has had a rapid ca­reer as­cent at one of the largest U.S. health sys­tems. “It’s th­ese mem­o­ries that em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of per­son­ally un­der­stand­ing each pa­tient’s spe­cific needs, and as or­ga­ni­za­tions, work­ing to ex­ceed their ex­pec­ta­tions,” he said.

Pat­ter­son ar­rived at Desert Re­gional, one of the 10 largest hos­pi­tals op­er­ated by Tenet Health­care Corp., in Oc­to­ber 2013 after about two years as Tenet’s se­nior di­rec­tor of business de­vel­op­ment for 14 of the sys­tem’s hos­pi­tals across five states. His ca­reer with the company be­gan after he earned a master’s in health­care ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2004.

His work at Desert Re­gional has been to over­see op­er­a­tions of the 387-bed hos­pi­tal and its half-dozen out­pa­tient cen­ters and to help trans­form ser­vices to meet the chal­lenges of re­form. To do so, the hos­pi­tal will be­gin a fam­ily prac­tice res­i­dency with doc­tors from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at River­side, which Pat­ter­son said will help in­crease pri­mary-care ac­cess. Care-co­or­di­na­tion ef­forts have helped to re­duce read­mis­sions for con­ges­tive heart fail­ure by help­ing pa­tients con­nect with physi­cians and phar­ma­cies after they leave the hos­pi­tal.

His work has also been per­sonal. Pat­ter­son led the ren­o­va­tion of Desert Re­gional’s pe­di­atric unit after his ar­rival. His 4-year-old daugh­ter, Avery, in­her­ited his fam­ily’s pan­cre­atic disorder. This year, Avery has been ad­mit­ted to chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals three times.

“It looks like a to­tally new unit,” said Carolyn Cald­well, CEO of Desert Re­gional. Pat­ter­son worked to ren­o­vate the unit as he over­saw the hos­pi­tal’s seven-year plan to ex­pand and up­grade to meet Cal­i­for­nia’s seis­mic stan­dards.

Cald­well said Pat­ter­son’s ex­pe­ri­ence grap­pling with an in­her­ited disorder as a pa­tient and par­ent is clear in the com­pas­sion he shows to em­ploy­ees and pa­tients. “The thing we do that they re­mem­ber is how we treat them and how we make them feel. Be­cause Jeff has the qual­ity of com­pas­sion, that has gone a long way to aug­ment­ing the en­tire team,” she said.

COM­MU­NITY CON­NEC­TION: Named to the board of Han­son House, which of­fers sub­si­dized hous­ing for fam­i­lies of Palm Springs pa­tients.

FIRST NONHEALTHCARE JOB: Check­out and bag­ging at a Tom Thumb gro­cery store, where Pat­ter­son’s mother man­aged the pharmacy.

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