One of the most unique and challenging facets of healthcare is that it is every-changing, which means that healthcare administrators need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and news affecting the industry. One of the ways in which to do this is through the South Florida Healthcare Executives Forum (SFHEF), which provides a wide range of educational opportunities to its members.
“While there are many benefits of membership, the one that is most important to me is the education that it provides because the presentations are extremely relevant to today’s healthcare industry,” explained Jenna Merlucci, director of clinical business operations for the Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Memorial Healthcare System (MHS). “I’ve attended presentations focused on finance, diversity, quality metrics and patient care, and it really helps to get different executives’ perspectives. I’ve found it very helpful in my day-to-day work, as well as in looking at ways to improve services to Florida’s very diverse patient community.”
Merlucci plays many roles in her position, which includes taking care of financials and budgeting for the Cardiac and Vascular Institute, as well as leading marketing and business development. She also has oversight of the Echo, Cardiac Rehab and Data Registry departments, and is responsible for inventory management.
Merlucci joined MHS in 2013 after earning her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at the University of Central Florida. She previously served as an administrative intern and then administrative fellow before beginning her career as the business manager of the Cardiac and Vascular Institute. She was promoted to her present position in 2016.
“When I was an intern, I asked my CEO what types of organizations he thought I should join, and his first recommendation was the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), of which SFHEF is a part,” she said. “I joined the South Florida chapter even though I was finishing school in Orlando, because at the time I was working in the area. It not only gave me a good overview of the types of healthcare opportunities offered in South Florida, but also the chance to network.”
Even though she is extremely busy in her job, Merlucci has made it a point to become very active in the organization and was selected as treasurer-elect in her first year as a board member.
“I think it’s important to be involved because a lot goes into running an organization for healthcare executives and it functions more smoothly when everyone plays a part,” she said. “The forum is highly respected by the Memorial Healthcare System, which is a huge supporter, and I’ve made it my goal to become a fellow of the college.
“As individuals try to grow in their careers, they soon learn how very beneficial it is to have these networking and educational opportunities,” she adds, “and this is a very prestigious organization to join.”