Please tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare.
Growing up in Amarillo, TX, I told my parents in third grade that I wanted to be a preacher. I played many team sports growing up and always enjoyed the aspects of being on a team and competing and accomplishing goals together. I was in Boy Scouts, and with the help of my parents and friends achieved the rank of an Eagle Scout. On the journey to Eagle Scout, you not only learn life skills, but you learn how to serve others and the joy that comes from helping people in your community. In college, l became more aware of the field of healthcare administration and began to explore it further. After assessing it fully, I realized it would allow me to be part of team, working to solve problems, serving my community, and playing a role in helping others improve their health status or serving them in life’s difficult moments. In my first job out of graduate school, this decision was validated in many ways, and I continue to find incredible joy in doing the work of a healthcare administrator. I obviously did not become a preacher, but there are some similarities within the roles.
My wife and I have two teenagers and the bulk of our free time over the last few years has been watching them during their activities, whether that would be competing on the football or soccer field or performing in theater arts. I also enjoy spending time in the mountains or being outdoors. Other activities include bird hunting, fishing, playing music with my brother and a few of my more musically gifted friends.
What was the best piece of advice that you received from a mentor throughout your administrative career?
Learn from others, but be yourself. Be comfortable in your own skin and always be sure that you can look yourself in the mirror with the decisions you are making.
What helped you most when preparing for the Board of Governors’ Exam?
I was living in the DFW area at the time and took a practice course there that was hosted by the North Texas Chapter. I found it to be very helpful.
What currently is the biggest challenge that you face as a healthcare leader?
I am no different than most. Universally, I believe the single greatest challenge we face in the acute care setting is the labor shortage on the frontlines. We must come together across the healthcare industry to generate creative ideas and strategies that help us solve for this in the short-term and long-term.
What is your favorite aspect about being a healthcare leader in Houston?
Houston is a dynamic healthcare environment with many outstanding institutions. It is a privilege to work within this competitive landscape as we push each other to be better each day. This type of environment ultimately results in cutting-edge care, state-of-the-art care for our patients.
What additional advice would you give an early careerist who would like to become a healthcare leader, like yourself?
Invest your time in others, particularly those you have been blessed to lead. Be real and genuine in your interactions. Be prepared to work extremely hard and develop the skill to be resilient so that you show up the ‘right way’ each day. In addition, the field is so vast and there are so many opportunities outside of the traditional paths of hospital administration. Explore the best path that is for you and find individuals with whom to network.
-Interview by Simran Khadka