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President looks to meet demands



Published: Mon, March 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



HMHP sees $30 million spent on charity cases as a success.

By WILLIAM K. ALCORN

VINDICATOR HEALTH WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Continuing Humility of Mary Health Partners' growth by anticipating where and what new demands for services will be is the major goal of Robert W. Shroder, HMHP's new president and chief executive officer.

HMHP's increased market share in Youngstown and Warren enabled HMHP to change a $3 million operating loss into a $16 million operating margin in a three-year period, Shroder said.

The dramatic change in "profitability" for the nonprofit health system occurred between 1999 and 2001, while Shroder was HMHP's executive vice president for operations.

Part of the plan to meet demand is a $20 million expansion at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren. St. Joseph will also be home to a new $1 million spiral CT scan suite. The new, faster CT gives physicians better pictures than the older machines, officials said.

Shroder, 47, was named HMHP's top executive in December 2002. He replaces Michael T. Rowan, who left to become chief operating officer for St. John Health System in Detroit.

Background

Shroder was introduced to the world of health care administration in his senior year at Miami University of Ohio, where he was studying public administration.

While at Miami, he worked in the finance office of a small hospital with some Xavier University graduates who persuaded him to consider a career in hospital administration.

Shroder believes there is a difference in attitude working for a nonprofit, faith-based health care system compared to a for-profit institution.

"A lot of hospitals would see the $30 million HMHP spent in 2002 on charity cases as a problem. We see it as a success as long as we can continue to operate," he said.

However, he added, "You still have to balance the score card between operating margin and community benefiting programs that are not reimbursed."

Sharing

HMHP, which has about 5,000 employees and doctors, has the advantage of "shared learning" by being part of a national system, Catholic Health Care Partners, Shroder said.

CHCP represents about 35,000 employees in six states sharing programs and ideas, he said. "If somebody else in the system develops something that works, we can take advantage of it," he said.

Also, CHCP operates a leadership academy where it teaches administrators to be better managers and better people, Shroder said.

Shroder said organizations either move forward or fall over. There used to be seven hospitals in the area, now there are only four, Shroder noted.

His plan to keep HMHP upright and thriving involves a cocktail of patient satisfaction, patient care and hospital efficiencies, recruitment of physicians and nurses and other health care professionals, and development of new revenues by looking ahead to see where the growth in demand for services will be.

But, Shroder said, one person cannot run a system the size of HMHP.

"You're only as successful as the people that work for you. The CEO sets the vision and then let's them go," he said.

"My goal for HMHP is to be the preferred medical services provider in the community.




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