The South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (SFHEF) is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. While its members come from many different backgrounds, board member-at-large Simone Fearon, MD, would like to see more participation from physicians, whom she believes could benefit from the support that the group offers.
“I joined the organization after returning to school to work on my MBA,” explained the noninvasive cardiologist, who for the past eight years has served as co-founder, chief operating officer and senior consultant cardiologist for Florida Heart and Vascular Consultants in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. “I was exploring the idea of taking on a more administrative-type role, and was looking for organizations that supported hospital and other healthcare leaders. The South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum dominates in that area.
“Their role is to help promote excellence in healthcare, and they accomplish this by providing educational opportunities for professional development as well as networking events for healthcare executives and potential healthcare leaders,” she added. “For what they do, they’re not just a leader in South Florida, but beyond, and this was really attractive to me.”
Dr. Fearon specializes in general, non-invasive cardiology consultation, cardiac imaging, preventive cardiology and wellness and women’s cardiology. She received her medical degree from the University of the West Indies and completed her post-doctoral training with an internship and residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Lenox-Hill Hospital, New York. In addition to being a member of SFHEF and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), she is a member of the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography.
According to Dr. Fearon, being a member of SFHEF gives her insight into what is required of healthcare executives as she considers transitioning into a new role.
“As I’m nearing the completion of my MBA, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenges of medicine from a different platform,” she explained. “I’m learning more about the opportunities available as I begin to shift my practice style, which was previously 100 percent clinical, to one that is more of a hybrid role that includes hospital administration.”
Dr. Fearon believes that physicians, as well as other healthcare professionals, can benefit from the educational opportunities and networking that SFHEF provides.
“While I didn’t know much about the organization before I began working toward my master’s degree, I’ve since realized the benefits of the organization and joined the board to take on the role of physician champion so that I could educate other physicians about the types of support SFHEF offers,” she said. “Our goal is to increase physician participation on a much larger scale.
“It’s been a challenge, but we’re getting there,” she added. “I think the biggest reason for low physician engagement is really a lack of awareness of the organization and its numerous benefits relevant to the different phases of their careers.”