37 Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Alameda (Calif.) Hos­pi­tal

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

WHEN BON­NIE PAN­LASIGUI AR­RIVED at Alameda (Calif.) Hos­pi­tal as chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer in Oc­to­ber 2014, the fa­cil­ity was op­er­at­ing in the red with more than $10 mil­lion in debt.

To im­prove fi­nances, she set out to change the en­tire cul­ture of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Lead­ers through­out the hos­pi­tal be­gan work­ing to­gether to spot in­ef­fi­cien­cies in their de­part­ments and to im­ple­ment new pro­cesses. A daily hud­dle with all of man­age­ment was im­ple­mented to dis­cuss any po­ten­tial is­sues for that day.

Within a year, Alameda paid off the debt and now boasts a 5% op­er­at­ing mar­gin, Pan­lasigui said. “The real trans­for­ma­tion wasn’t only the fi­nan­cial turn­around, it was build­ing a cul­ture of trans­parency and trust, arm­ing our lead­ers with as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble to do their jobs,” she said.

Pan­lasigui said her lead­er­ship phi­los­o­phy is to lis­ten closely to those on the front­lines who in­ter­act with pa­tients ev­ery day, which helps her learn more about the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s strengths and short­com­ings.

Many on staff at Alameda are Asian-Amer­i­can, and be­cause Pan­lasigui is Korean-Amer­i­can, she says they can eas­ily re­late to her. She also works to con­nect with pa­tients on a per­sonal level. Pan­lasigui once bought a Korean pa­tient a Korean gin­seng chicken soup, af­ter staff told her she wasn’t eat­ing.

Ad­vo­cacy for more di­ver­sity at all lev­els in health­care, es­pe­cially lead­er­ship, is also a pas­sion for Pan­lasigui. In 2005, she founded the Asian Health­care Lead­ers Fo­rum, a sub­sidiary of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Health­care Ex­ec­u­tives. The or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vides re­sources and tools for other up and com­ing lead­ers in health­care. “We need more di­ver­sity in ex­ec­u­tive-level health­care po­si­tions that truly re­flect the work­force and com­mu­nity served,” she said.

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