If there is a single dominant impression from an introductory conversation with St. Vincent’s Blount’s new administrator Greg Brown, it’s this: he’s going to take a good hospital and make it even better. Since that’s right in line with the unofficial motto for Blount County promoters for years, it fits right in. Background
Brown, 61, is originally from Baltimore, Md. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md., and his master’s in exercise science from West Virginia University.
Before coming to St. Vincent’s Blount, he served as administrator at Clinch Memorial Hospital in Homerville, Ga. Before that, he served 25 years as director of multiple services – including physical medicine, cardiac testing, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and neurosciences – at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga.Brown has been married to wife Susie for 35 years. They have six grown children – four sons and two daughters – all on their own, successful, and by now, native Southerners. (Being from Maryland, Brown points out that it is, after all, a Southern state, too.)
Brown’s official first day on the job at St. Vincent’s Blount was March 6, and in response to a question about how long he expects this assignment to last, answers: “I’m hoping to retire here,” later adding, “I’ve been in town six weeks, I love the hospital, I love the town, and I love the people. The staff here has been wonderful and embracing, and these people are good – as good as anybody anywhere. They could work in any hospital anywhere in the region.”
Asked to confirm if he plans to move to Oneonta, he says quickly, “I already have. “By way of explanation, he adds, “If I’m going to be given the keys to the hospital, I need to be a part of the community and live here.” Interests
Personal interests include woodworking, and he’s got the proof to show in the form of outdoor furniture, coffee tables, bars, and nightstands – not to mention having remodeled three houses and a condominium.
Civic interests include, among others, the Knights of Columbus, the chamber of commerce, and economic development, generally. Hospital Q and A
What are the major indicators of hospital effectiveness that Brown focuses on?
He identified three: the daily census, a report showing the extent to which hospital occupancy and facilities use remain at a high level; hospital efficiency, as measured by low cost and expenses; and service excellence, as reflected in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) report.
“Our costs are low now, but they’ll be still lower. I guarantee it.”
Asked what aspect of hospital operations he is especially attuned to, Brown answers without hesitation. “Service excellence. Anyone who walks in here, I want them to be greeted and treated with the best of everything. We already have that in our employees’ attitudes and efforts, but we can improve. Thinking about it like a baseball team, I don’t want a team of journeymen – just good, solid players. I want a team of all stars. I want people flying in here from all over the state and country to see how we do things to get results we get. I’m real competitive about service excellence.”
Brown’s closing statement: “I want to hear from people about how we can improve. I mean, we’ll take care of the technical end of it, but I want to hear from the people themselves about things we can do to improve their experience while they’re here. My door is always open to ways we can improve.”