South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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September 2005 - Volume 2 - Issue 3

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Edward Banos Brings a Unique Perspective to North Shore Medical Center

When Edward Banos, CHE, became chief executive officer of North Shore Medical Center in Miami in 2004, he didnít just bring management skills and a commitment to health care. He also brought a unique perspective to the position, a perspective formed during the circuitous route he took through Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas.

A native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, Banos earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Health Records Administration from the University of Pittsburgh School of Related Health Professions, then accepted a position as a cancer data administrator in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centerís Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

"While at Pitt, I always thought that my main goal was to get a degree that would get me a job," Banos said. "A lot of students were getting degrees but no jobs. A counselor told me that health care was going to be big in Pittsburgh, that once you got out of school there would be a job waiting.

"Fortunately, something in me always wanted to be in health care, to enable me to do good for others while pursuing a career. So I got into healthcare management, and I love it. Iím truly happy in what Iím doing. Every day, I have the opportunity to make things better and to improve peopleís lives."

Ironically, Banosí stay in his hometown was short-lived. Within a year of accepting his first position, an opportunity opened at Miners Hospital of Northern Cambria in Spangler, Pennsylvania, a rural community about 75 miles east of Pittsburgh. Banos was named director of quality assurance, utilization review, medical records, social service and information systems for the 40-bed unionized hospital, a position he held for nearly three years.

"Iím proud of what I was able to accomplish there," he said. "When I arrived, they hardly had any computers. We implemented a complete computer system, and were able to take that facility to a level of computerization they hadnít dreamed of."

Banos was also in Cambria County long enough to meet his future wife, Brenda, a native of nearby St. Maryís, Pennsylvania, who worked as an auditor for Coopers and Lybrand when they were auditing the hospital.

The Banosí next move would retrace his earlier trek, when they returned to the Pittsburgh area so he could accept a position as assistant administrator and program director of outpatient services for the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Greater Pittsburgh, an 89-bed free standing rehab hospital in the east Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville. Five years later, the Banoses moved just a little east, to Indiana, Pennsylvania, when he was named president of Northstar Medical Care, a medical services subsidiary of Northstar Health Services, a provider of physical therapy, mobile diagnostics and physician management in Pennsylvania.

"The hardest move we ever made was the next one, when I accepted a position at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia," said Banos. "We left our families and moved to the south. After that, moving became second nature for us, no big thing. We donít have any children to uproot, just three dogsóa Border Collie, Keeshond and a Black Lab."

Banos accomplished much during his time as vice president of operations for the medical center. He helped grow a number of new product lines and build a free standing rehab hospital on campus. While in Savannah, he earned his masterís degree in Health Services Administration from Armstrong Atlantic State University.

And he also began to appreciate the influence of culture on a community and its healthcare system.

"There wasnít much difference between Pittsburgh and Savannah when it came to pride in their hometowns," Banos said. "The physicians in Savannah were very proper, all born and raised in the south, usually from good families, and proud of their southern heritage. They were proud to come back home and serve as physicians, as if it was part of a family legacy."

Banos moved in 2002 to Houston, Texas to join Tenet Health Corporation as chief operating officer for Park Plaza Hospital, where he helped earn the Tenet Circle of Excellence award n 2003 and the Solucient Most Improved award in 2004.

"In Houston, a lot of the physicians also are proud to serve their community, but it is more ethnic-based," he said. "Hispanic doctors want to serve the Hispanic community; Vietnamese doctors, the Vietnamese community. They are very proud people, and they will tell you they are here to serve their communities."

Tenet promoted Banos in 2004 to the position of chief executive officer for North Shore Medical Center, a 357-bed, $113 million, disproportionate share hospital, with a 40-bed psychiatric unit and Level 3 neonatal unit. Under his leadership, North Shore already has earned the Tenet Circle of Excellence award in 2004.

"Florida is similar to Texas in that, while weíre here to provide for everybody, our physicians and staff are proud to treat their own communities," Banos said.

Banos also noticed a difference among the three regions when it comes to managed care. "Houston and South Florida are not very well reimbursed," he said. "Because of managed care and capitation, you have to work much harder. Savannah is such a close knit community that they dictate to the insurance companies."

Despite experiencing differences in each locale, Banos said he enjoyed each.

"Each city has different health care delivery systems and requirements, and I like to experience those differences," he said. "Itís an added value I can bring to a hospital."

Asked to name the biggest challenges to health care in South Florida, Banos mentioned the high costs associated with malpractice claims.

"We have a disproportionate share here, and we are in an underserved area," he said. "We donít have enough specialized doctors, not enough general surgeons. In our state, malpractice costs are high, reimbursement is low, and the cost of living for doctors is also high.

"Because our patient population is largely uninsured or on Medicaid, it is hard to get physicians who want to start a practice who arenít committed to health care. They canít generate enough business to stay alive. There is a real crisis in South Floridaóa lack of specialists. Hospitals are believed to have deep pockets, and also seen as a safety net for everyone."

Banos said he believes that the healthcare system needs to work hard to change its culture. Years ago, he observed, individuals entered the field with an interest in serving others. Today, many are in it just for the financial rewards.

"Because of shortages, schools are advertising health care as something that pays well, rather than an opportunity to take care of patients and help the community," he said. "Itís seen as a job rather than a commitment."

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