South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday February 25, 2020

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November 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 5




Baptist Health South Florida Names Matthew Arsenault as Executive VP and CFO

In September, Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in South Florida, named Matthew Arsenault as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer. He succeeds Ralph Lawson, who recently announced his retirement after 30 years with Baptist Health.

“This was an additional opportunity for me to contribute to Baptist Health,” says Arsenault, who has been with Baptist Health since 2006 and has held various roles during his 12 years with the organization. “The vision and mission of the organization is something that I believe in. I’ve had some great mentors in the organization who have helped me continue to grow.”
Most recently, Arsenault served as corporate vice president of Finance where he oversaw numerous functions, including all accounting and financial reporting for Baptist Health, affiliate finance operations, budgeting, accounts payable, payroll, and the Baptist Health privacy office. He has also been responsible for managing the organization’s treasury team, which includes all Baptist Health banking relationships and its investment portfolio.
Reporting to Chief Executive Officer, Brian E. Keeley, Arsenault will be responsible for managing the organization’s finance, supply chain, risk management and mergers and acquisitions activities. He is also the executive responsible for the relationship with Health Systems Solutions, the new revenue cycle joint venture between Baptist Health and Navigant Consulting, Inc.
One of his short term goals is to continue to successfully execute the organization’s significant growth and change initiatives.
“The last two years has seen a transformative amount of change in the organization,” Arsenault mentions, pointing to last fall’s merger between Baptist Health and Bethesda Health as well last year’s acquisition of Fishermen’s Community Hospital in the Middle Keys.
“Our goal is to execute on our plans for these big initiatives and changes in the organization so we can ensure they are successful,” he says. “In addition to that, we opened the Miami Cancer institute. We have a bold vision that this will be one of the great cancer institutes in the country. We believe our team can get us there. We have the best physicians along with the best technology in the world. We want to continue to grow that to be a great asset to South Florida and beyond.”
Arsenault was a key leader when the organization refinanced all of its debt last year. With the looming Republican tax bill, he rallied the entire team to get things done by the end of the calendar year and saved the organization about $85 million in that refinancing.
“Everyone pulled together to get it done,” he says. “It was a big complex project. Other systems attempted to hit the deadline and couldn’t get it done. But we did and I was proud of that.”
Prior to joining Baptist Health, Arsenault earned two masters degrees, in accounting and teaching, and worked in public accounting for Deloitte & Touche and Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Co. He holds various designations, including Certified Public Accountant and HFMA Certified Healthcare Financial Professional.
His first job out of college was to teach high school for four years. There, he learned how to be a great teacher and communicator—two critical skills that helped prepare him for a career in healthcare.
“Healthcare is such a complex business and it can be difficult,” Arsenault says. “We want our clinicians and providers to focus on providing care and treating the patient. But there is so much complexity in the business of healthcare. What I try to do—and what I feel is important—is to distill the most important things that we want our healthcare professionals to focus on. This ensures that we can be financially sustainable and achieve our financial objectives with minimal distraction from caring for the patient.”
Caring for the patient and treating people are the most important lessons Arsenault has learned in his career to date, he notes.
“I believe that Baptist Health does it right and whether it’s your coworkers, patients or physicians, we treat people with respect like they are members of your family,” he says. “That culture runs throughout the entire organization and is what I believe has led to our success. How we treat each other not only makes it a great place to work, but that attitude carries on throughout the community and helps us be known as a great place to be treated as a patient.”

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