Chris Cosby recently took the helm of Poinciana Medical Center, a 76-bed facility serving the communities of Osceola and Polk counties as part of HCA's North Florida Division.
Cosby brings with him more than 14 years of experience in healthcare management, having previously worked for five years as chief operating officer at HCA's Doctor's Hospital in Augusta, Ga. He holds a bachelor's degree in health administration from Auburn University, a master's degree in health administration and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In his off time, he loves challenging himself physically - having competed in countless triathlons and even half Ironman and full Ironman races. He lives in Celebration with his wife and two young children, and since moving here, he's visited Disney World "more times than I ever thought I'd go."
We talked with Cosby about his leadership style, his vision for Poinciana Medical Center and what changes we can expect in the near future:
Q: What drew you into the field of hospital management? My mother was an administrator for a healthcare company, and my father runs his own business. Watching those two got me interested in what they do. I wanted a career where I could influence the health of a community and actually help people.
Q: What makes a good leader? What's your own personal management style? A good leader is a servant leader, not someone caught up in titles or resumes. As far as my style, I want everyone around me to be successful. If they are, then I will be successful.
Part of making that happen includes recognizing that although our team comes from many different backgrounds, we're all here for the same reason: our strong desire to help people. I also do my best to treat my co-workers like part of my family -- because we all want our family to be successful.
I try to be a transparent leader and make sure everyone understands the hospital's vision and the direction we are headed. Some things I've found that work are checking in with employees consistently and treating them the way I want to be treated.
Q: What is your guiding healthcare philosophy? My main philosophy is that patients always come first. "Every Patient, Every Time" is the motto we have instilled at Poinciana Medical Center. We're here to make sure patients feel confident they're going to get great medical care, whether in the emergency room, in surgery or elsewhere.
Q: What makes Poinciana Medical Center unique? Our hospital serves a very diverse population. We have a community of active retirees nearby, a vibrant and growing Puerto Rican population, and residents who have lived in the area for their entire lives.
I personally visit 20 to 30 patients each day, and I've seen this diversity first-hand. What I've learned is that each segment of our community has unique needs, and it's our job as a hospital to offer unparalleled care and compassion to everyone who walks through our doors.
For example, hospitals have a way of sending a patient's anxiety level through the roof, and that's compounded when English isn't your first language. We're doing all we can to train our team to help alleviate that anxiety.
Many of our staff members are bilingual, and we also have a computer that works like FaceTime, providing an on-screen, real-time translator. And our "blue phones" feature two handsets -- one for the patient and one for the medical provider to use while a third party on the other end translates.
We're also exploring "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" classes at Valencia College's Poinciana campus as well as conversational Spanish classes for our hospital's leadership team.
As far as our active senior community, Poinciana Medical Center strives to make sure our entire medical staff is trained to care for patients experiencing dementia, sensory decline and rigorous medication schedules.
We're especially proud of our NICHE designation. NICHE stands for Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders and shows our commitment to providing excellent care to older adults.
Q: What's new on the horizon at Poinciana Medical Center?
This year, we're breaking ground on a $10.1 million expansion of our emergency room, which treats more than 50,000 patients a year. We're adding nine more examination rooms and expanding the waiting room. Overall, the footprint of our emergency facilities will almost double.
Our emergency room already moves people in and out quickly. If you look at our ER metrics, we do it better than anybody in the area. We even beat the national wait-time average. This expansion will help us continue to do so as our community grows.
The hospital lab will also be expanding to catch up with rest of our medical center, which turns 5 years old in July and has grown from 30 beds to 76 during that time.
Since my arrival, we have added several new service lines including orthopedics, thoracic surgery, gastroenterology, and urology, and we're in the process of adding vascular surgery and gynecology to the hospital.