With healthcare always evolving, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. And one of the best ways to do this is to have a network of colleagues in different areas of the industry that can offer information and advice. According to Scott Singer, associate administrator for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, part of the Memorial Healthcare System, this is one of the best reasons to join an organization such as the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and its local chapter, the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum (SFHEF).
“The networking aspect is extremely important because it provides a way to interface with other organizations outside of your own; it’s easy to get home-blind within your own organization,” he explained.
“For example, if you’re looking at registration and patient flow within your hospital, it makes sense to find out what other hospitals are doing. What ideas are out there? With the contacts you make in SFHEF, you can reach out to hospital leaders and ask if your staff can take a tour of their facilities. It’s not a cold call; you already have a relationship.”
At the 226-bed, full-service children’s hospital, Singer oversees the non-nursing functions of the facility, including construction, therapy services, food and nutrition, housekeeping and facilities management. He has held this position for the past six years, and been employed with Memorial Healthcare System for the past 15 years.
“While earning my master’s degree, I worked as a graduate assistant of strategic planning at Ohio State University (OSU) Medical Center, and knew that this was the career I wanted to pursue,” explained Singer, who earned a bachelor of business administration with a healthcare concentration from Marshall University, and a master’s of health administration from OSU.
After graduation, Singer joined Memorial Healthcare System as an administrative fellow.
“There are a lot of challenges in health care, including the fact that the rapid rate of change means that you have to deal with a lot of competing priorities,” he said of his career path. “But far and away, the best part of my job is getting to see the difference that my team makes in the lives of patients and their families every day.
“While a lot of the departments that I oversee are not in direct patient care, they do an amazing job of supporting the whole process,” he added. “They leave a lasting impression on our families. It’s an honor to be a part of the team taking care of children in this community.”
Singer first became active in ACHE’s student chapter as an undergraduate. After moving to South Florida, he began attending networking and educational events before joining the board, where he served in a number of capacities between 2009-14. Now a fellow in the college, he encourages others to take advantage of all a membership offers.
“The educational offerings provide a great opportunity for members to get face-to-face education credits for a cost-effective price at the local level—they don’t have to travel out of the area,” he explained. “There are also a number of good development opportunities. Local chapters provide a lot of value; there is an event almost every month, and these rotate around different geographies so that members can meet new people.
“By far, ACHE is the most widely recognized professional organizations for healthcare leaders—not just within hospitals, but throughout the healthcare continuum,” he added. “And the organization is there for its members. Whatever you need—references to advance to fellow, mentoring relationships, or just a place to bounce ideas off of each other, the organization is there to provide it.”