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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.