South Florida Hospital News
Saturday October 31, 2020

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September 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 3


Joe Stuczynski Rejoins Memorial Hospital Pembroke as Chief Executive Officer

For Joe Stuczynski moving into the role of CEO for Memorial Hospital System Pembroke was the next logical step in his career.

“I have always been a motivated person striving for the next level of advancement,” he says. “Throughout my personal and professional life, I continue to seek the next challenge. For nearly two decades I served as CFO of multiple hospitals throughout the Memorial Healthcare System, previously spending 10 years at Pembroke. Needless to say, it is an honor to return to Pembroke to drive its strategic vision and collaborate with a team of skilled health professionals who are leading the way through innovation and high-quality service.”

As he settles into the role of CEO, his number one short term goal is to keep the staff and patients safe, and lead the hospital and community out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As far as quality and safety, I want to maintain the Leapfrog A rating and attain 5 stars in the CMS rating,” Stuczynski says. “Pembroke will also continue to be the transfer receiving facility for the Memorial Healthcare System in order to decompress the other hospitals when needed.”
Longer term plans include growing the Wound Healing Center and Hyperbaric Program and expanding the Bariatric Surgical Program.
“We have hired, and will continue to bring in surgeons and specialists to increase these services,” he explains. “The layout of the Outpatient area makes it convenient for patients to receive their treatment here, because these services are offered on the first floor and not far from the entrance, which is unusual. Finally, our team of administrative leaders will continue to search for new, niche services that uniquely position Pembroke among all South Florida hospitals.”
The culture is what sets Memorial Hospital Pembroke and the entire Memorial Healthcare System apart from other hospital systems, according to Stuczynski.
“We truly put patients first,” he stresses. “Memorial believes in Patient Family Centered Care where the family is part of the care team. We never refer to a patient by their illness and room number. The patient is not the stroke in room 204, it is Mr. Smith, a husband and father of three. We treat the body, mind and spirit of the patient and we value the family’s input as they know more about the patient than we do. This is a practice that has been tested in this time of COVID-19, but we have adapted and continue to speak with families via phone and video calls as often as we can.”
Another distinguishing factor is that they believe the employees are its number one asset.
“All employees, from housekeeping and dietary to our facilities team and nurses on the floor - without them, we cannot deliver the care to our patients,” he notes. “If we take good care of our employees, they will take good care of our patients. We make sure we give them the necessary tools to do their jobs, so we can be the safest healthcare system in the United States.”
One of the most important lessons that Stuczynski has learned in his career to date is to hire the best people, let them do their jobs and make sure they don’t fit your mold.
“I do not want a group of leaders at table with the same ideas I have,” he explains. “I want new and alternative ideas. A good leader should be able to listen and act on ideas that are not their own. One also must be prepared to be told they might not be correct about an idea or plan. Having leaders who have diverse ideas and a voice at the table help formulate the best plans to solve issues, build profitable programs and complete tasks efficiently and effectively. People will not contribute if they are often silenced, shut down or belittled. Hence, you must accept mistakes from yourself and your employees. If there is a mistake, find a collaborative way to fix it. Do not make it my way or the highway. You can only be as successful as the people you work with.”
Having been in the healthcare field for a long time, what Stuczynski enjoys most about working in the field is the people. Healthcare workers have the mentality to put themselves out there to help other people. Every caregiver has a desire to make other people better, and that takes a special person, he notes.
“They have different personalities and come from different backgrounds, yet they share the compassion and strength to help others,” he says. “The teamwork and dedication happening today to get us through this pandemic is nothing short of heroic. Our caregivers have been putting their own health at risk for over five months to help others. They are exhausted, and still somehow put on their scrubs, suit up with PPEs and continue to deliver world-class care every day.”
The greatest challenge facing Memorial Hospital Pembroke today is the changing landscape of healthcare. Profitable outpatient surgeries and other procedures moving out of the hospital puts a stain on the finances. This is a trend that is going to continue, which is why his goal is to grow and diversify the types of surgeries they perform, offering patients high-quality, hospital grade services.
As he reflects on his career to date, becoming a CEO ranks high on Stuczynski’s list of accomplishments, but he would have to say becoming a CFO before the age of 30 was a great accomplishment.
“I have been fortunate to work with great CEOs who are still my mentors today,” he says. “By being part of the administrative team for so long, I’ve been able to see what works and what does not. I’ve worked with many CEOs who all had different approaches and styles of leader-ship, so I’ve adopted a few good techniques along the way. I used my time as CFO as a learning experience prepping me for the CEO position.”
Memorial Hospital Pembroke might be the world’s best kept secret in healthcare, Stuczynski concludes.
"We are that community hospital that delivers world-class care,” he says. “Memorial Hospital Pembroke has been a Leap Frog Straight-A Hospital for the last four years and has a four-star CMS rating. Pembroke is the home to the Memorial Wound Healing Center which has over a 92% heal rate, which is one of the top in the county and is part of the Memorial Bariatric Program, performing more bariatric cases than any other hospital in Broward. Being a smaller hospital, we have a real family atmosphere where everyone knows each other and greets you with a hello and a smile.”

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