South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 10, 2020
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June 2006 - Volume 2 - Issue 12
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Local Focus Makes the Difference

Ralph A. Aleman, a long-time health-care industry leader, has been appointed Market Vice President for Tenetís South Florida Miami-Dade and Broward counties and charged with the mission of enhancing Tenetís local market focus. Reynold J. Jennings, Tenetís chief operating officer, cites Alemanís successful track record as proof of his ability to accomplish that mission in todayís challenging health-care environment.

Indeed, Aleman considers Tenetís new management structure an opportunity to respond to the communityís needs with a hands-on style that facilitates bringing corporate resources to the front lines. Thatís not a new concept to Aleman who, during his five years as CEO of Tenetís Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, oversaw the multi-million dollar expansion and renovation of the hospitalís Emergency Department, Maternity Care Center, Critical Care Unit, Surgery Department. He also helped the hospital win its longtime battle for State approval to establish an open-heart surgery program, which is now slated to launch this summer.

"My experience living and working in this region has helped me develop an in-depth understanding of its needs, and I plan to encourage open communication with staff members of all levels to ensure that we provide all our facilities with the resources and support they need," Aleman said.

Aleman also considers the proliferation of IT in health care as a two-fold opportunity to educate patients about quality and value in health care as well as to help the medical staff enhance its ability to provide the most advanced care through the expansion of electronic records applications. A primary focus, according to Aleman, will be to use "connectivity" to respond to the needs of physicians and patients.

"We need to ensure that physicians can access accurate, up-to-date information about all our patients, including those who have been hospitalized or have been referred to one of the ambulatory services that we provide," Aleman explains. "In rolling out improved information technology applications, we intend to take connectivity to the next level."

Palmetto General Hospital Receives Circle of Excellence Award

Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC) announced Palmetto General Hospital (PGH) in Hialeah has been selected to the companyís 2006 Circle of Excellence for performing at the highest levels of quality, service and operation metrics. Key factors include patient, physician and employee satisfaction scores, clinical quality scores and financial performance.

Reynold Jennings, Tenetís chief operating officer, praised the hospitalís executive team for its leadership during the past year. The team was led by the former chief executive officer, Ralph A. Aleman together with Chief Operating Officer Alex Contreras-Soto, Chief Financial Officer Oscar Vicente and Chief Nursing Officer Ben A. Rodriguez who helped lead the hospital to high scores.

"Health care is a demanding and competitive industry, and it takes quality leadership to achieve results," Jennings said.

He also believes that educated patients are healthier patients, and says that a strategy to further develop capabilities as a health information resource is on his agenda.

"Todayís health-care consumers are becoming a lot more educated because of the widespread availability of resources," Aleman said. "Tenet hospitals are actively engaged in this movement by providing information on our Web sites, e-newsletters, tips on disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, Web links to existing resources such as medical encyclopedias or support groups, and by sponsoring community events that help improve health and well-being. Our goal is to quickly lead individuals to clinical experts with answers regarding health care."

In outlining the spectrum of health care, Aleman acknowledges that it is not simply superior technology that will satisfy patients. He points to customer service as a vital component.

"Throughout Tenetís hospital network, we empower employees at all levels to follow five pillars of performance: quality, service, people, growth and cost," he said.

Aleman himself conducts Ambassador Rounds, in which managers visit with patients and their families to inquire about patient satisfaction. A brief written report Ė noting positive and negative comments Ė helps managers improve performance and keeps all management levels aware of issues to correct or enhance. Such visibility of management is another aspect of the localized focus that he intends to continue.

Responding to community needs also includes recognizing the unique ethnicities in each of the markets served. The hospitals embrace ethnic diversity, and provide events for the community and employees that celebrate various cultural traditions.

In spite of long work days and time-consuming hospital activities, maintaining a balance of career and family is important. Aleman enjoys allocating some quality spare time for family activities with his wife, Dianne, who works as the chief executive officer of Tenetís North Ridge Medical Center. Aleman also works hard to improve his golf swing.

The upcoming activities for the hospital network include participating in the American Heart Association Walk in Coconut Grove in September to raise funds and friends for life-saving cardiac programs. Aleman, a long-time supporter of the Heart Walk, serves as its chairman this year. He also serves on the board of the American Cancer Societyís Relay for Life, an event that Tenet hospitals support.

"Leadership brings with it many responsibilities to the community, and I feel strongly that I owe it to give back to my community in a variety of ways," he said.

Tenet is a significant provider of hospital services in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, with 2,600 inpatient beds in seven general hospitals: Coral Gables Hospital, Florida Medical Center, Hialeah Hospital Hollywood Medical Center, North Shore Medical Center, Palmetto General Hospital and Parkway Regional Medical Center.

Prior to serving as CEO at Palmetto General Hospital for five years, Aleman was COO of the South Florida division of HCA and CEO of several HCA hospitals in Florida. From 1978-1985 he was administrator of Southwest General Hospital of San Antonio, Texas.

Ralph Aleman can be reached at (305) 364-2100 or ralph.aleman@tenethealth.com or visit www.tenethealth.com.
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