It’s been a busy time for Amanda Maggard, since being appointed Florida Hospital Zephyrhills CEO more than a month ago.
Her first week on the job presented a unique and challenging experience, navigating the 149-bed regional medical center in the wake of Hurricane Irma, to ensure patients could be cared for at any time.
But Maggard came prepared, considering she’s dealt with four other hurricanes throughout her career in hospital administration.
“Our team here did a great job. Overall it went very, very well,” said Maggard, when she sat down for an interview with The Laker/Lutz News. “The main thing is we were ready to care for all the patients and we got the team members here to do it.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s my fifth hurricane that I’ve been through,” she said.
Since that whirlwind of a week, Maggard has turned her attention to hospital operations.
She’s focused on “listening and learning,” building relationships with hospital staff, patients and members of the east Pasco community.
“I’m kind of in that road show of just meeting a lot of people, both inside and outside the hospital,” Maggard said.
Aside from attending various events and functions citywide, Maggard has been shadowing key departments within the hospital, working shifts in the operating and emergency rooms, and observing surgeries and other medical procedures.
“I just enjoy being on the frontline and learning as much as I can,” the new hospital CEO said. “If you don’t have that connection point, you’re not always able to see and hear what our patients are experiencing or what our team is working through.”
Maggard was appointed Florida Hospital Zephyrhills’ new CEO on Sept. 4, replacing Randy Surber, who, after nearly four years, was promoted to CEO for Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center in Sebring.
An award-winning hospital, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills offers the only comprehensive cardiovascular program in east and central Pasco County, including open-heart surgery and valve repair. Equipped with eight technologically advanced surgical suites, the hospital provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient surgical services, including, orthopedic, endoscopic, gynecology, urology, cardiovascular and robotic procedures. Also, the hospital’s newly-renovated emergency room that delivers emergency medical care 24/7 with a fast track suite for minor emergencies.
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills presently offers services for the following: breast health, cardiovascular, diagnostic imaging, gastroenterology, general surgery, obstectrics, orthopedics, outpatient rehabilitation, urology, wellness center and spa, and wound care
During her first three months on the job, Maggard said one of her goals is to take a deep look at the hospital’s key service lines and facilities to determine possible improvements, based on the needs of the Zephyrhills community.
“What are the service lines that the community needs? What are those services that we could provide here that there’s enough of a need and a demand and that we can perform with great clinical quality?”
Finding ways to enhance the patient experience is another objective of Maggard’s, whether it’s through more personalized care or finding ways to reduce medical costs.
Said Maggard, “I feel very strongly that we’re here to serve the community and serve the patients. Our (Adventist Health System) mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ, and I think if we’re not creating a great experience for our patients, we’re really not holding true to that mission. And if we’re not constantly looking for how we can do that better, we’re not living out our mission.”
Maggard, who comes from a family of nurses and healthcare professionals, also hopes to develop a culture at the hospital centering on responsibility, accountability and positive relationships, among others.
“I think some of the important elements of creating that ‘right’ culture are ownership,” Maggard said. “You’ve got to have a team that understands that they own their results, and they own their experience. It’s not someone else’s responsibility; it’s all of our responsibility. Part of that’s accountability, too. And it’s got to be accountability, from the bottom up and the top down.”
She continued: “I’m also a firm believer in, ‘life’s too short not to love your job’, so you’ve got to have a little fun in there, too. Patients feel that. I’m a big fan of Southwest Airlines and the culture they’ve built over the years, and they have a way to inject just a little bit of fun and personality into what they do.”
Steady community involvement also will be critical for Maggard, as the hospital is the city’s largest employer with more than 900 employees and 360 active physicians.
“I think its really important to be connected with the community because the community has a sense for what the needs. Typically, the hospital is one of the largest employers in the community, so it’s important that we’re looking for ways to give back and that we’re aware of the issues and how we can be involved with the community to improve it,” Maggard said.
Though just 34 years old, Maggard’s experience in healthcare administration is vast.
She’s worked for Adventist Health System—which operates Florida Hospital Zephyrhills and 44 other medical facilities — since 2004.
Prior to being named CEO of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Maggard oversaw the strategic development and operations for Florida Hospital Winter Garden, an outpatient facility. In advance of its opening in 2016, she led the facility’s design and construction, operational planning, community and physician engagement and team onboarding. Maggard’s responsibilities later expanded to include senior leadership for Florida Hospital Apopka’s ancillary and support services.
Her other stops include Winter Park Memorial Hospital, as assistant administrator and chief operating officer, and Florida Hospital Altamonte, as director or operations.
She also served as manager for training and consulting for the health system, as well as a marketing and foundation coordinator Florida Hospital Apopka.
In a release, Adventist Health System president/CEO Terry Shaw called Maggard “an effective and mission-focused leader who has excelled in engaging physicians, team members and the community in providing exceptional, whole-person care.”
Amanda Maggard, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills CEO
- Master’s degree in business administration from Webster University
- Bachelor’s degrees in business administration and communication from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska
- 2015 graduate of the Florida Hospital Physician Leadership Development Program
- American Society of Training and Development certifications in training, instructional design and organizational change
- American College of Healthcare executives member
- In 2015, was named Orlando Business Journal’s “40 under 40”
Some additional thoughts from Amanda Maggard, new CEO for Florida Hospital Zephyrhills
Q: Long-term, for you, what are some of some of the most important aspects of the hospital CEO position?
A: “I think, for me, it’s a few things. Absolutely you’ve got to have great relationships with your physicians, because they’re also closest to the patient and they understand what the patients’ needs are for care and experience. You’ve got to create the right culture for your team. I am a firm believer in life is too short not to love your job and if you’re team doesn’t enjoy what you’re doing then the patients aren’t going to feel that and have a great experience, so we’ve got to set the right culture here for the team, and that has a trickle-down impact for everyone.
… I think getting out there rounding with the team, spending time with them, and really, we are a faith-based organization, and one piece of advice that I received before is to look at the role, not just as a CEO, but you’re really the Chief Spiritual Officer for your hospital, so I think that’s another aspect as well, looking at the spiritual health of the team.”
Q: Which aspects healthcare administration/operations do you most enjoy?
A: “I do really enjoy building that culture with the team. It’s very rewarding to me when we have a culture where employees enjoy what they do, including our physicians and where patients feel that difference when we’re involved with the community. We have a great reputation in the community and I enjoy improving results, so I do really love that you that you get to create that right culture, that culture has to then translate into better outcomes for our patients and a better experience. I really love being able to see that — what are the metrics that we’re using to monitor that performance and then how are we improving them.”
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of healthcare administration?
A: “I do think one thing that is challenging for us is how do we reduce costs. The healthcare environment’s payment models don’t fully reflect that you always get rewarded for that, but we still have to do the right thing for the patient, no matter what. But, figuring out how to reduce costs is a challenge.”
Q: Have you been monitoring potential healthcare legislation and how it might affect the hospital?
A: “The bottom-line is what happens in Washington D.C. is very important and will have a significant impact on us as much as what happens in Tallahassee. We have to figure out how to create great clinical quality for our patients, a great experience at a reduced cost to them, and I think those elements aren’t going to change, no matter what happens with some of the legislation. It’s kind of that triple gain that you hear about: better quality, better experience and lower costs; so I try to stay connected with that and try to learn, but I also try to buffer my team a little bit, because it can be easy to be distracted. I think those three things have to be our key focus, no matter what happens with the healthcare bill.”