October 1, 2011

Cover Story

Healthcare Heroes

With unwavering courage and compassion, the 2011 Healthcare Heroes are imp...Read More

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Stroke of Genius

Industry Outlook
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Sean Whalen

Do Payday Lenders Offer a Way Out or Just Enough Rope to Hang Yourself?

Kris Rudarmel


Healthcare Heroes


Dianne Lewis, Heather Stewart

October 1, 2011


David A. Bland

  • President and CEO, South Davis Community Hospital

“It’s important to love what you do and leave it better than you found it,” says David Bland, president and CEO of South Davis Community Hospital. “Surround yourself with great people, then empower, trust and invest in them… provide clear direction and believe in people’s natural abilities, drive and desire to achieve success.”

Bland took the helm of the hospital in 2009 at a time when the organization was struggling; with an ever-decreasing number of patients, the hospital had gone through painful staff reductions and faced declining revenues.

Bland helped the hospital craft a vision and a fast-paced strategic rescue plan with a focus on building strong teams. As a result, employee turnover reach an all-time low, the patient census increased by 25 percent and the workforce grew by 15 percent. Additionally, the strategy reversed the negative cash flow, placing the hospital firmly in the black and enabling it to build cash reserves for internal investments.

Michael E. Jensen

  • CEO, Davis Hospital and Medical Center

Mike Jensen is celebrating his 10-year anniversary at Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where as CEO he has focused on excellence and increasing employee morale. For example, he instituted “Davis University,” a monthly training seminar for directors and managers.

He is devoted to hospital staff and looks for new ways to show appreciation. At least once a year, he drags other administrators to the parking lot to remove the snow from every employee windshield. Other efforts include summer and fall family events, annual pie day and the annual Hospital Week with bowling, bingo, swimming night and other daily activities for employees.

Under Jensen’s direction, the hospital has invested more than $100 million in new construction, renovation and services. The hospital has expanded from 136 to 225 beds, added innovative cancer treatment capabilities and built a four-story medical office building.

Jensen is deeply involved with the wider community and serves as chair of the Davis Applied Technology College and was formerly chair of the Utah Hospital Association, among many other leadership roles.

Nancy A. Nowak

  • Vice President of Clinical Operations & Chief Nursing Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

Since 2003, Nancy Nowak has been responsible for nursing and clinical quality across Intermountain Healthcare’s 23 hospitals and 185 clinics. “The ‘business’ of healthcare is about caring for people at their most vulnerable time. My philosophy is about staying focused on the patients and always remembering our responsibilities to support them in their healing journey,” she says.

With a strong focus on patient care, Nowak has raised clinical standards and performance in every area she’s led, which includes all clinical operations and eight clinical programs. She works closely with chief nursing officers across the system, physician partners and SelectHealth to implement the organization’s vision of best practices and collaborative care.

Nowak plans to retire in 2012, but her impact on Intermountain Healthcare will be felt for many years to come. “Focus on the patient—always—by staying true to the mission of health care,” she advises other administrators. “No matter the challenge, you will make the right decision.”

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