Luis Chanaga EDCN Interview
Kettering Health is a nine hospital health system in southwest Ohio. I am responsible as president for the service, care and growth for a 132-bed acute care hospital and a 60-bed behavioral facility.
Once I felt that the right fit for me was in the service arena, I took time early on in my career to talk to others who had established themselves as leaders in healthcare to hear their stories and learn key elements of how to become a meaningful leader. They advised me to study finance and accounting to help launch my career. After several years of this, I realized that I wanted to have more direct patient care responsibility and was able to work in Surgery and then Oncology for a good part of my career. This allowed me to develop further in process excellence, team culture and patient experience. Since that time, I have been able to serve as a CFO, COO and now CEO in several different areas of healthcare. My goal has always been to leave areas better than when I was made responsible for them and I always look to challenge my experience by broadening that scope.
Education was important to launch my career. Experience helped me develop credibility and knowledge. Mentorships helped me see those things that I had no experience for. Relationships taught me how to be a positive team player. ACHE has provided me the opportunity to obtain all of the above and accelerate some of those fundamentals.
My advice would be to settle into your authenticity as soon as possible. It will speak up with your presence as well as affect relationships and credibility.
The best mentorships I have enjoyed have been when it has been clear in expectations and goals. Those over time develop into friendships and then take on a stronger meaning to my career. Sponsors have helped me by challenging me and daring me to make leaps. You can’t “ask” for someone to be your sponsor yet the work you do, your presence and timing can have an accelerating effect to a career.
I would defer this back to my advice on authenticity. Too often, I felt earlier on that I needed to fit or be liked. Once I overcame this deficit, I realized that your teams want to know they can trust you and they would rather have the truth. This is especially important in physician relationships.
Parting words to the Diverse Healthcare leaders reading this interview
Healthcare is at a critical junction. We need to think how we can grow, develop and prepare for our changing present and our future. Dive into self-development, authenticity and nurturing relationships. Learning is a life long journey and change happens through education and results.