Category Archive: See it. Hear it. Be it.

Jeshahnton (Shaun) V. Essex – How I Got Here

Jeshahnton-Essex
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  • 02
    Mar
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Jeshahnton (Shaun) V. Essex, FACHE

Vice President-Administration
Riddle Hospital, Main Line Health System
Philadelphia, PA

How I Got Here

My journey started nearly 25 years ago with experiences I encountered with family and friends in the healthcare environment. At an early age, I recall visiting the hospital with my parents and having several challenging experiences to say the least: on one occasion, there was no one available to provide services at the information desk; on another occasion, there was trash in the elevator; on yet another occasion, we sat waiting for services so long in the ED we nearly left; and then on another instance, the nurse and the doctor spoke to my parents as though they did not matter and were not an important part of the process. I vividly recall asking my parents and also my uncle, who was a physician, “Who is ultimately responsible for all of these processes and people?” My uncle responded, “Oh it’s the Administrator!” That was the beginning…

After years of education, my uncle (the physician, age 38) and one of my grandfathers both passing during my senior year in undergrad. Numerous, extremely valuable experiences—such as internships in my then-Governor’s Office and the health division of the national office of the NAACP—brought me to today, where I am honored to serve as a Vice President of Administration at Riddle Hospital – Main Line Health. If you ask me what were/are some of the most important keys, I would say they MUST include “Passion, Persistence, and Poise.” Know who you are, develop focus and drive, and be willing to seek help and guidance through mentors early in your career. Know WHEN to ask the questions, but NEVER be afraid to ask.

One of my greatest sayings is “It’s not how you got in the door, but it is more so what you did once you were on the inside!’ Make the most of EVERY opportunity; volunteer work, internships, and most definitely mentors of which you can never have too many.

Nicholas Tejeda – Taking Action via Strategic Risk-Taking

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  • 28
    Feb
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Nicholas Tejeda, FACHE

Market Chief Executive Officer
The Hospitals of Providence
El Paso, TX

Taking Action via Strategic Risk-Taking

I don’t believe there are many career decisions that can truly be considered major risks, particularly for early careerists. Regardless of how much a job makes sense (or doesn’t make sense); you just never know how it is going to end up. That happens to everyone.

The true risk in my opinion is avoiding risk and deciding to accept status quo. How many times have we observed individuals receive wonderful guidance from a senior healthcare leader and never act on it? It could be advice to apply for a specific job, relocate to a new city, raise a hand for a new project, or meet with another potential mentor/champion. Somehow, for some reason, the person doesn’t quite follow through on this advice. This has to be avoided, if at all possible. Individuals must have a bias towards action—yes, you might fail but you might also succeed. The worst thing is to stay in place. One of my favorite books is the Dr. Seuss classic Oh, the Places You’ll Go.  I read it to my kids all the time.  I think the most important section of that book describes “the waiting place.” A place with people waiting for a bus to come, or the phone to ring, for fish to bite, or for a better break. Just waiting. I think that is so true. If people have a bias for action, they will make things happen, and thus avoid the biggest risk of all: doing nothing.

All of this is particularly true for a diverse individual who may need to be more assertive in seeking career opportunities outside of his or her comfort zone.

Lily Henson – Transitioning from Clinician to Executive

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  • 28
    Feb
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Lily Henson, MD, MMM, FAAN

Chief Medical Officer, Piedmont Henry Hospital
Stockbridge, GA

Transitioning from Clinician to Executive

A big challenge for me transitioning from being a physician to a health care leader is to stop trying to fix things myself. Physicians are trained to be autonomous and to make quick decisions in order to save lives. As a healthcare administrator, I work in a team. I do not always have the right answers, nor am I expected to. I have learned to collaborate with others so that we can come up with a plan that is sound and sustainable. I have also learned that what appears to be a simple problem frequently is just the tip of the iceberg, and as I try to make changes, there are impacts elsewhere that may or may not be intended or predicted. I actually have enjoyed making this change, as I feel supported and comfortable that a solution may be better thought out with the help of others.

Etheline Desir – Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition

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  • 28
    Feb
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Etheline Desir

Owner, Principal & Chair
Desir Group Executive Search
Atlanta, GA

Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition

Recently, I came across the concept of “passionate curiosity,” an indispensable trait, no matter the position or level in an organization. We are told that leading CEOs possess it. Essentially, it is about being awake and engaged with the world and always wanting to know more, wanting to understand better. It is a relentless quest for learning, questioning, and listening to get to know people’s stories regardless of their position — who they are, what they do; why do they do the things they do, and how did they get there.

In following these simple principles, one can set herself apart from the competitors because, before placing a call, she would have already done research on the search firms and the recruiters/consultants with whom she wants to network. When building and establishing networking relationships, curiosity will propel her to keep in touch regularly, always completing the loop on conversations—keeping people informed of her progress and exhibiting a natural curiosity about market intelligence. She would read the stories of her most admired CEOs to understand the role perseverance and adversity played in their success stories. With such a start, upkeep and outreach, it is not surprising that she is now that much ahead of the pack.

Elliott C. Roberts, Sr – In First Person: An Oral History

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  • 10
    Feb
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Elliott C. Roberts, Sr.

In First Person: An Oral History

American Hospital Association, Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History and Health Research & Educational Trust (2012). Mr. Roberts was one of the nation’s leading public hospital administrators. He was born in 1927 in Baltimore, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and his Master’s from George Washington University. By the age of 26, he was a Business Manager at Provident Hospital in Baltimore. He served as a healthcare executive with a number of hospitals for over 30 years. As a diverse pioneer in healthcare management, Mr. Roberts and his professional story will inspire you on your career journey.

Elliot C. Roberts, Sr., oral history video  and transcript of video

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