The following interview comes courtesy of CEP Network.
How has the CEP helped your business grow?
The CEP pro- vides critical information about our comprehensive primary care services through the relocation guide and helps us recruit and hire executives and healthcare providers through innovative program- ming. The relocation guide has enabled us to share and offer knowledge of our vast amount of healthcare services to adults and children throughout Marion County and surrounding areas to new residents. The CEP also offers first-class service to our visiting executives during the hiring process— every executive we’ve brought in through this program has accepted a position with us. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the great relationship we have with the CEO and the staff of the CEP. We’ve been able to develop lasting partnerships through the regular networking opportunities with community members across all business sectors.
What do you like most about Marion County?
I am especially fond of Marion County being a very charitable community. Through all of my travels, I have not experienced a community that prides itself in addressing the needs of all. No matter how many ups and downs you may have experienced in life, Marion County is a community where you can achieve anything.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Besides growing up on a large farm and that I don’t do any forms of social media, I would say that it would be that I was a certified nursing assistant in high school. Needless to say, I was the only male student in the class and was always volunteered by my classmates to be the mannequin for bed bath training!
Is there one business lesson you wished you’d learned earlier?
I wish that I had learned negotiation skills earlier in my career. Being an Army officer, I didn’t have to negotiate very often. It was either “Yes, Sir” or “No, Sir.” I learned how to negotiate while working as a pharmaceutical sales representative, and through the years I sharpened those skills. Now I would say that one of my strengths is my ability to negotiate contracts for the benefit of our organization and patients.
How do you retain your company’s top talent?
I believe that our employees at Heart of Florida Health Center are our most prized possession. We focus on employee benefits that include a retirement program, one month a year in holidays and PTO, competitive salaries with annual cost of living adjustments, student loan repayment programs, and funding towards licenses and certifications. We also foster a family environment with many employee-led events.
How do you manage unexpected expenses in your company?
Heart of Florida Health Center is a federally qualified health center that receives federal funding for under- and uninsured county residents. With this designation, we are required to have a board of directors that meets monthly to discuss our financial status. We develop strategies to ensure we maintain multiple levels of emergency funds, including a line of credit in the event of a catastrophic event, which allows us to continue full operations until funding returns to normal.
Heart of Florida Health Center provides over 67,000 patient visits per year at significant cost savings that are 66 percent less than the national clinic average. Contact Heart of Florida Health Center at (352) 732-6599 or visit on the web at myhfhc.org