Coordinated values, vision, skills and experience were personal traits Alex Greenwood was looking for as he put together his leadership team for Lee Health Coconut Point. Estero’s soon-to-open health and wellness village will be no ordinary medical facility, so those who run it also need to be extraordinary.
The team did not come together by accident. Consultants used sophisticated assessment tools to help in the search.
“The goal was to find people who were energetic, forward thinking, experienced and current,” explains Greenwood, Lee Health’s vice president over Coconut Point operations. Since community engagement is a leading force at Lee Health Coconut Point, he sought humble, collaborative adult learners with a history of connection to their community.
Every planned aspect of the new facility centers on exceptional patient service and reflects the shared vision Greenwood promised the community. He attended meetings and made presentations to the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) and other civic organizations throughout the area. And he listened. Collaboration is at the core of his experience.
Greenwood’s previous position as Orthopedics Service Line Director demonstrated his innate organizational acumen and charisma — the ability to work with many diverse parts and unite them into a smooth system (Lee Health Orthopedics is nationally recognized for evidence-based protocols).
In planning for Lee Health Coconut Point, Greenwood traveled nationally to hunt out the best models and ambulatory facility strategies. His vision includes a “boutique feel” where staff members know patient names, and outpatient services flow smoothly. “Excellent service starts at the front door,” he says.
While serving on the steering committee for Lee Health Coconut Point, Greenwood noted exceptional community support, including Estero residents’ input into desired services and architectural design, as well as an eagerness to volunteer.
“Not just the facility will be innovative, but the entire patient experience is also being raised to the next level,” he says.
Greenwood’s excellent leadership team exudes enthusiasm for ensuring this vision is actualized.
Director of Nursing Amanda Garcia was born at Lee Memorial Hospital. As soon as she was old enough, she was a volunteer candy striper. Her nursing career grew at Lee Health, and she recently managed the Transfer Center, the central nucleus for communications and patient transfers.
“I was in an ambulance a month ago transferring a patient,” says Garcia, whose hands-on experience with nursing uniquely qualifies her for new responsibilities. She is a strong advocate for “raising the bar” and providing a patient-centric focus so every experience is exceptional.
Garcia currently is examining a stack of resumes for the 60 to 90 nursing positions to be filled. “To be part of the ground up — what an opportunity,” she marvels. Her vision is “one team, one staff, one mindfulness.”
Her community engagement includes preparing for the Edison Festival of Light 5K Run in February and speaking at several upcoming events.
“The community is so ready and is committing to volunteering and support,” adds Garcia. “They ask, ‘How do I become involved?’”
Exceptional patient experience begins at the door. And this is where Kirk Stone, Director of Professional and Guest Services, steps in. He returns to Lee Health after 13 years building his repertoire of experiences elsewhere. Stone began his career with Lee Health in the Cape Coral Hospital emergency room.
“Returning after 13 years is like coming home,” he says. “I have had the chance to work with amazing leaders over my career. Lee Health takes it to the next level.”
It is Stone’s job to provide for a positive patient experience. Professional and Guest Services include registration, environmental (housekeeping), security, materials management, guest services and food services. A bistro open to the public will feature healthy meals.
Stone says the advanced nature of medical care today has created a need for people who provide clarity, direction, guidance and support. From the first step into the facility, patients and guests will have a better experience thanks to Stone’s high expectations.
“We welcome feedback,” he adds.
LEE PHYSICIAN GROUP
“I did not choose health care; health care chose me,” says Angela Snyder, director of the Lee Physician Group Clinic at Coconut Point. She says her passion and personal experience have driven a career focused on providing excellent primary care for both adults and children.
“When I come to work, I am going to make a difference in a patient or community member’s day — maybe my own staff member’s,” vows Snyder.
Historical data and community surveys, town hall meetings and letters from the public have helped identify previously unmet needs and have shaped the specialties to be offered at Coconut Point: pediatrics, primary care, orthopedics, pulmonary care, gastroenterology, endocrinology, rheumatology, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and general and vascular surgery.
“As a registered nurse, I understand the patient who took three busses to get to an appointment, the patient who is struggling to get a prescription filled but whose real frustration results from needing more home assistance,” sympathizes Snyder.
Her open door policy includes business cards with her mobile number. Snyder lives within four miles of Lee Health Coconut Point and eagerly participates in community engagement events, considering them a wonderful opportunity to promote preventive care, health and wellness.
Joe Ryan, director of Ancillary Services, built his resume by adding credentials in rehabilitation and diagnostics to an MBA. A broad perspective is needed to oversee ancillary services, a group of specialties including rehabilitation, clinical diagnostics, imaging and cardiac services, breast health services, lab services and those areas that are generally outpatient.
Starting at Lee Health in 2010, Ryan was manager of Rehabilitation Services and Care Management, where he raised the mark on quality and safety.
“I look at things from a different angle by having both clinical and business sides,” says Ryan.
Qualities he seeks in his future staff reflect the philosophy and values of the Lee Health Coconut Point leadership team. “Success will come from hiring the right type of person,” says Ryan. “Just being a good clinical worker is not sufficient. We are hiring good people with character who listen to patients.”
Ryan grew up in Fort Myers and is a Florida State Seminoles football fan. He is a strong advocate for seeking out and responding to community input.
“I will be visible and accessible for calls and continuous feedback,” he adds. “I will be listening to the community.”
HEALTHY LIFE CENTER
The Healthy Life Center at Coconut Point Mall will easily transition to the Lee Health Coconut Point campus in December under the leadership of its new manager, Carrie Bloemers. She was previously a member of the program team and is driven to provide education and resources for preventive care.
“I am often stopped by guests seeking answers to their individual dietary questions,” adds Bloemers, a well-known monthly speaker on nutrition topics.
The new facility has three rooms for the Healthy Life Center, the largest being a demonstration kitchen and lecture hall. Smaller groups will have their own classroom while a third studio is for mind-body connection classes and leads to a walking path and a small lake outside.
“It’s my goal to be on the latest cusp of health and wellness,” says Bloemers, who has been with the Healthy Life Center since September 2016. “It was always our vision to grow in the direction of a mixed services model.”
A teaching kitchen will offer healthy cooking demonstrations, and a range of exercise options will be available from chair yoga to boot camp. While most educational program are free (or only the cost of materials), fee-based services will include massage, acupuncture and a lifestyle coach. Close alignment with the Rehabilitation department will enhance the patient recovery experience.
“The Healthy Life Center provides more than a health and wellness experience,” says Bloemers. “Navigators also assist guests in finding their way to providers and resources to meet their health and wellness needs.”
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS RELATIONS
With Bloemers taking the helm of Healthy Life Center operations, the center’s outgoing manager, Molly Grubbs, is moving on to a new leadership position with Lee Health Coconut Point as Community and Business Relations Representative. A self-proclaimed poster child for healthy living, Grubbs will become a full-time community resource for health and wellness information and services.
“This has been a fun journey in a community whose loyalty and enthusiasm for health and wellness has brought us to this point,” says Grubbs. She serves on the Health Committee for the ECCL and works with other community organizations, sharing resources and taking Lee Health programs to where residents live. She’s an educator, marketer and advocate for wellness.
“I thrive through building relationships,” says Grubbs. “See me as a connector.”
With Lee Health Coconut Point providing the gamut of medical and wellness services, Grubbs is the “go to” person to find just the right personal or professional healthcare solutions.
She also is chairing the Lee Health Coconut Point Community Open House, set for Nov. 17, which will feature a 5K run followed by a series of celebration happenings.
Ronnie Cecil, director of Plant Operations has been planning for a safe and quality facility since day one of design. He arrived from Kentucky for this specific project three years ago after working on a 375-bed hospital in a similar capacity there.
Plant operations include planning, organizing and supervising maintenance operations: generators, chillers, boilers, maintenance equipment, comfort, landscaping, mechanical and more. He works with the architects and engineers from the ground up to meet codes and federal inspection regulations, including firewalls. He’s been on the construction site daily.
“This is high quality work here,” says Cecil. “It’s one of the best quality buildings I’ve seen.” This is where he will be found during a hurricane: stationed in the central utility area, which is safer than home. “This is a beautiful, well-built, energy efficient building,” he says. “My heart is in it 100 percent.”
If he has a spare moment, he likes land sports and fishing, but his current leisure time is limited.
This brief sketch of the leadership team members demonstrates the intentional care and consideration which has gone into the development of Lee Health Coconut Point —from community vision to a model-worthy health and wellness campus. The leadership team invites community members to continue providing feedback. Their goal is to grow as a model of innovation, creativity and advanced technology wrapped around the most important ingredient: a patient-centered approach.