By Vanessa Orr, South Florida Hospital News, for ACHE of South Florida
As a pharmaceutical sales representative, Stephen C. Quintyne, FACHE, saw firsthand the difference that behavioral health professionals could make in the lives of patients. And while he worked in other areas of healthcare, including at a med-surg hospital, he felt drawn to try to help this underserved market.
“Though I originally stumbled into the behavioral health field when I was working in pharmaceutical sales visiting psychiatric facilities, prisons and long-term state hospitals, as I learned more about this niche I was attracted to what I saw as an area that had been lacking in resources for a long time,” he explained. “I wanted to advocate for patients to get them the help that they needed.
“There is kind of an underdog feel to working in the behavioral health field because it has been so underserved, but now that more people are talking about the importance of behavioral health and it is getting more news coverage, I hope to see more funding and resources put toward these patients,” he added.
After earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and his MBA at the University of Miami, Quintyne worked in a variety of positions for Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS), including serving as the director of business development, COO and CEO at a number of their facilities, including The Vines Hospital in Ocala. It wasn’t until he left UHS to take a job outside of behavioral health that he realized how much he missed it.
“When the opportunity came up to rejoin UHS as the CEO of Coral Shores Behavioral Health in December of last year, I couldn’t pass it up,” he explained, adding that while there are many challenges in behavioral health, there are opportunities as well.
“One of the biggest challenges is finding people who are passionate about our patient population; this field isn’t for everyone,” he explained. “It’s gratifying when you can find people who love this job and can give them a good place to work where they have the resources they need.”
He added that there’s a huge opportunity for specialty programing in the behavioral health field, such as the children’s intensive outpatient programs that will soon be offered at Coral Shores. He also hopes to see an increase in outpatient programming, which would benefit patients by providing opportunities for them to follow up with providers after they leave the hospital.
As a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Quintyne said that he is constantly looking at the ‘big picture’ in healthcare to assist him meeting the needs of this underserved population.
“I really enjoy the opportunities that ACHE provides in education, career development and networking, whether I’m meeting other behavioral health professionals or those in different areas of healthcare,” he explained. “Managing a specialty hospital, it pulls me out of my zone to see what’s going on in healthcare in general, and gives me a better grasp of the overall industry.”
While the fellowship path was demanding, Quintyne said that it was important to his mission of making a difference in behavioral health.
“It shows my commitment to my profession, my career, to ACHE and to continuing education moving forward,” he said.