Change and Uncertainty
By Damian Martin, Co-founder
Ping pong was the first thing that popped into my head when I was trying to think of a metaphor to describe what the results of the election will mean to health care. We all know that change is coming, but we do not know exactly what that change will look like in our world of health care. The election results just gave us more uncertainty to that change.
I recently attended a presentation titled “Minnesota and the New Normal” by Tom Stinson, Minnesota State Economist, and a conference titled “Celebrating the Age Wave” sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Board on Aging. Below are synopses of both events:
“Minnesota and the New Normal”
- The Old Normal + The Great Recession + Long Run Demographic Changes = The New Normal
- The “New Normal” probably means
- Higher interest rates
- Slower economic growth
- Increasing numbers of retirees
- Less consumption; more saving
- A more diverse population
- More uncertainty in our personal & national futures
- A shift in the balance between private and public sectors
- More uncertainty about the future
- Future economic growth will depend increasingly on increasing productivity and less on labor force size
- Future productivity increases will depend on decisions and the investments we make now
- Productivity is not just producing at a lower cost
- Increasing productivity also means
- Making things better (improved quality)
- Making better things (innovation, new products)
- The new 3 R’s for economic success
“Celebrating the Age Wave”
- The number of workers in Minnesota over 55 will nearly double by 2018
- In 2011, the leading edge of the baby boom generation (i.e. persons born between 1946 and 1964) turns 65; and by 2019, the entire baby boom generation will be 55 or older and represent over 25% of the state’s population
- Aging workers represent a tremendous “human capital” resource to Minnesota; these individuals want to stay engaged, in either paid or unpaid work roles
- Aging workers want to continue working and stay engaged, but often encounter barriers when trying to work
- Current retirement and employment policies often do not provide strong incentives for continued work by older workers (i.e. lack of coordination between working and pensions, lack of robust retraining programs and myths about aging workers)
- Due to a variety of factors, most employers do not have specific strategies or policies that support, encourage and retain workers 45 and older; however, the policies they do have often discriminate or fail to include older workers
- Aging workers are not just those over a certain age but rather all of us; we are all aging
Reflecting on the election results and the two events I attended reminded me of two quotes about “change” and “uncertainty”.
“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.” Philip Crosby
“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.” John F. Kennedy
In the News
Local Executive Earns Healthcare Management Credential
Bloomington, MN – Mary Ellen Wells, FACHE, Vice President Client Development, Experienced Resources, recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders.
“Because healthcare management ultimately affects the people in our communities, it is critically important to have a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization,” said Thomas C. Dolan, Ph.D., FACHE, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACHE. “By becoming an ACHE Fellow and simultaneously earning board certification from ACHE, healthcare leaders can show that they are committed to providing high-quality service to their patients and community.”
Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. In fact, only 7,500 healthcare executives hold this distinction. To obtain Fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional/community involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.
Wells, of Experienced Resources, Bloomington, MN, http://www.FlexGeneration.com/, is privileged to use the FACHE credential, which signifies board certification in healthcare management and ACHE Fellow status.
“I realize that if I truly wanted to continue in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of health care leadership, I needed to make sure I was current in my knowledge and willing to continue to make the commitment to constant learning,” Wells said.
For more information regarding the FACHE credential, please contact the ACHE Division of Membership at (312) 424-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ache.org/FACHE.
GF Hospital and Manor welcomes interim administrator
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
by Scott Tedrick, Editor
Granite Falls, Minn. —
It should be a little easier for Granite Falls Hospital and Manor CEO and Administrator George Gerlach to concentrate on his health knowing that capable hands are filling in in his stead.
The hospital recently appointed Ronald Ommen to serve as the facility’s interim administrator while Gerlach undergoes medical treatment for a group of cancers of the blood and marrow called myelodysplastic syndromes.
Ommen, who has 32 years of experience in health care management, is expected to serve as interim administrator for at least three months. During that time he will be charged with a number of responsibilities, chief among them physician recruitment and the development of a hospital and manor master plan.
The master plan will identify facility improvement priorities that will position the hospital and manor to remain viable in the future. Ommen has had experience in such matters, overseeing a 32,000 foot expansion during a 2001-2007 tenure as CEO/administrator of St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. Expectations are that the master plan will be completed by the end of the year.
Ommen commutes to Granite Falls from his home in Pequot Lakes where he resides with his wife, Leanne. One week into his tenancy, he says that he has been impressed with the quality of the hospital staff along with the overall hospitality of the town.
“It’s a tribute to George,” he said of the level of staff. “He’s put together a pretty strong management group and an employee group that is pretty much smiling all the time.”
The interim administrator says he plans to work on site at the hospital three to five days s week depending on need. He commented that he’ll always be available by phone, but said that if he can complete his tasks without clocking a full week his intent will be to keep expenses down.
“I want to be sensitive to the fact that I cost the hospital money when I’m here,” he said.
Ommen’s time at the Granite Falls Hospital and Manor will be his first experience serving in the interim capacity. He has been retired since leaving his managerial role at St. John’s Medical Center in 2007 and says he is enjoying once again being active in an administrative role.The hospital connected with the former CEO/administrator by utilizing the services of the Bloomington located executive talent management firm, Experienced Resources.
In addition to his time at St. John’s, Ommen has also performed leadership roles with Health Midwest in Kansas City, Missouri, the Hospital Corporation of American in Minneapolis and HealthOne – Golden Valley Health Center in Golden Valley.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota in business and in hospital and health care administration.
The following interim assignments and projects were initiated in the last three months:
Compensation & Benefits Strategy Project
Chief Marketing Officer, Interim
Finance and Accounting Project
Hospital & Clinic Integration Project
Nursing Accreditation Application Project
Quality Director, Interim
In the Community
Adjunct Faculty Opportunity
Jerry Spicer, Experienced Resources’ Health Care Executive, is the chair for two masters degree programs at Argosy University. One program is in health services management and has been in place for a few years. The other is a new program in public health which will soon be implemented. Jerry would like to hear from experienced health care professionals with at least a masters degree who might be interested in teaching as adjunct faculty. All courses are offered at the Eagan Argosy campus. If you have an interest, please contact Jerry at email@example.com or 952 943-9607.
Mary Ellen Wells and Experienced Resources attended and contributed to the Minnesota Hospital Political Action Committee (PAC) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) PAC golf event in August.
Experienced Resources was a Silver sponsor for the Minnesota Hospital Association 2010 Annual Meeting “Creating Our Future” in September.
Mary Ellen Wells attended the Healthcare Human Resources Association of Minnesota fall conference in September.
Damian Martin and Mary Ellen Wells attended the conference “Celebrating the Age Wave” sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Board on Aging on November 5.