Leading into the New Year

By December 22, 2016Articles

Mel at strategic planning mtgMelvin F. Hall, PhD
December 22, 2016

As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded of the importance of leadership in organizations. While there is no one right way to lead, all effective leaders operate with clear values, authenticity, and integrity. In 2016, we launched a new reward and recognition program—SpecialtyCare Heroes. The program enables our staff members to nominate colleagues who have gone above and beyond in serving our patients, our customers, and our teammates. As I read through the nominations, I’m struck by the enormous dedication of our people, and I am truly inspired. The stories demonstrate a commitment to high performance, an attitude of caring, and a foundation of strong personal values. They reinforce one of the most enduring lessons I’ve learned about leadership over the years:  Leaders can be found in all positions and at all levels of an organization.

We have an obligation not only to nurture our leaders, but also to get out of their way and let them lead. This year, we promoted nearly 100 team members and we hired hundreds more who share our commitment to making a difference in healthcare. It’s part of our strategy to ensure we have the right people in the right positions. We also added and promoted key talent at the upper levels of our organization to ensure that everyone receives the guidance and support they need to create satisfied customers and surgeons and to deliver high-quality patient care from the stability of an efficient operational structure.

Dan Farrell joins SpecialtyCare as Group Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. He has deep experience developing and executing strategic roadmaps and financial models. Dan will drive availability of our services in a way that optimizes efficiencies and contains costs for our customers. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer at technology startup, Vennli, and previously, spent nine years as vice president of marketing at Press Ganey Associates. During that time, he helped grow the company into the clear leader in patient experience improvement. Dan earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and received his BA in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of the U.S. Army ROTC and the varsity football team.

In a newly created role, Chris Hickey, Vice President of Customer Experience, is responsible for our Clinical Partners for Life program, which is designed to enhance our customers’ success through sustained, long-term partnerships. Before joining SpecialtyCare, Chris spent 23 years as an integral member of Press Ganey Associates, where he was instrumental in defining and executing the company’s product offerings and its approach to quality, innovation, efficiency, and service.  He is an active member of the Beacon Health Foundation, focused on raising capital to build and sustain Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Health Administration and Certificate in Business Foundations from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Larry Graubner, Vice President of Information Services, is responsible for the strategic design and implementation of our enterprise-level systems, including our clinical information technology network and comparative databases. He comes to us after 12 years at Change Healthcare (formerly Emdeon), where he managed a sophisticated infrastructure with sustained uptime and reliability. Larry is an innovative and financially disciplined leader skilled at change management and talent development. At Change Healthcare, he successfully integrated competing silos of IT expertise and systems while developing strong performers by recognizing their efforts and talents and then empowering them to succeed. Larry has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and holds a variety of technical certifications.

Christy Kisner has been promoted to Region President, Intraoperative Neuromonitoring. She oversees IONM activity in the southeastern United States, bringing an experienced clinician’s perspective to her role as a key strategist for the division. Previously, as vice president of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) operations, Christy demonstrated the ability to successfully transition and integrate acquired staff and services while also driving organic growth across the service line. As a surgical neurophysiologist and throughout her career in management, Christy has focused on clinical education, accreditation, credentialing, and efficiency to advance patient safety and quality care.  She is deeply committed to both clinician and customer satisfaction and retention, and is skilled at unifying efforts around our mission of improving healthcare delivery. Christy earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and an MBA from Kennesaw State University. She holds Certification for Neurophysiological Intraoperative Monitoring (CNIM).

These leaders and others all across our organization make me proud to be part of this talented team. We are deeply grateful for the trusted partnerships we have with each other and with our customers. There is no doubt that 2017 will present new and ongoing challenges for America’s healthcare providers, but our team is stronger than ever and increasingly well positioned to help our customers provide high-quality patient care while effectively managing costs. We look forward to working together to address these challenges leading into the new year.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2017.

Melvin F. Hall, PhD

About Melvin F. Hall, PhD

Melvin F. Hall, PhD, is known for building a business culture that is empowering, engaging, and delivers results. He joined SpecialtyCare as CEO in 2014 and assumed the role of Executive Chairman in September 2017. With a focus on superior patient outcomes and value-based healthcare, SpecialtyCare differentiated itself through clinical expertise, operational efficiencies, and data-driven research during Mel’s tenure as CEO. The company also expanded its market leadership and realized double-digit growth each year. Mel began his career in 1993, heading R&D for Press Ganey Associates, and soon progressed to president, CEO, and chairman of the board. While leading Press Ganey, the organization became the industry’s premier performance improvement consulting firm, garnering successful relationships with 50% of hospitals nationwide. Mel has served on the SpecialtyCare Board of Directors since 2011. He has a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University, a certificate in executive management from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in sociology, research methods, and organizational development, also from Notre Dame.