Maggie Gill new CEO at Delray Medical Center profiled in Palm Beach PostJan 7, 2019
DELRAY BEACH – After stints in Virginia and Georgia, Maggie Gill called it a “homecoming” to become chief executive officer of Delray Medical Center in September.
The Florida State University graduate and Tallahassee native also become Palm Beach Group CEO for Tenet Healthcare, overseeing a network of five hospitals.
It has been a long journey since her first job as an assistant at a law firm in Monticello, Florida, where a portion of her pay at age 16 went to personal pan pizzas with friends, she recalled.
Today, hospitals face not only complex medical, legal and financial challenges but also some of the same marketplace forces as pizza restaurants do. In an online age, they cannot exempt themselves from the tastes and reviews of customers.
“The advent of consumerism is changing health care,” Gill said. “There’s more information available to understand your health. Patients research providers and facilities. Quality data is widely available. Insurance plans are designed with more upfront costs which engages patients about pricing and access.”
Prior to her current role, Gill served as CEO at Novant Health UVA Health System in Virginia. Before that, she rose to a CEO position at Memorial Health in Savannah. An executive’s tasks in such jobs can encompasses everything from improving the quality of care by expanding partnerships in medical education to “branding” and fundraising for new facilities.
In 2016, Becker’s Hospital Review named her one of its “135 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know” and one of “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.”
Customers are often paying a higher share of their medical costs than ever before, so they can’t afford to be complacent -- and neither can hospitals, she said.
“Consumers are shopping for their health care more than ever, and seeking the right level of care that fits them,” she said.
Current residence: Delray Beach
About your company: For more than 30 years, Delray Medical Center, a 535-bed acute care hospital, has served the communities of South Palm Beach County. As both a community hospital and state-designated Level I Trauma Center located on a 42-acre medical plaza, Delray Medical Center has the ability to offer several specialized services including cardiac care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurosciences, emergency care and more.
How your business has changed: The advent of consumerism is changing health care. There’s more information available to understand your health. Patients research providers and facilities. Quality data is widely available. Insurance plans are designed with more upfront costs, which engages patients about pricing and access. Consumers are shopping for their health care more than ever, and seeking the right level of care that fits them.
First paying job and what you learned from it: At 16 years old I was an office assistant for a law firm in Monticello, Florida. This was my first real lesson in time management -- trying to balance school, my job and my social life. What was my social life? It was probably going to a football game and going to Pizza Hut.
First break in the business: I was a temporary staff accountant in New Port Richey, Florida. I did anything they asked; I worked in payroll, accounts payable, and the business office. I soon realized how interesting health care was and how every day was a learning experience. At that point I decided to get my master’s degree in business and work my way up the ladder. The rest as they say is history.
Best business book you ever read: As a rule, I don’t read business books, but there were two books that made a lasting impression on me: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. The first book taught the value of building relationships and how to be an effective listener. The second book taught me the lesson of deliberately allocating a portion of your time to proactive thinking.
Best piece of business advice you ever received: Putting an idea into motion has more value than perfecting an idea and letting it sit on the sidelines.
What you tell young people about your business: Working in health care is meaningful work. No matter what your position in health care is, you are always giving back and taking care of others. Everyone, at some point in their life, will need your services -- whether you’re sick, having a baby or someone you love is dealing with a life-threatening injury. Health care touches everyone. Not many businesses can say that.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? To focus on better coordination of care where there is a more seamless flow of information from provider to provider. Also to see more efforts made to manage chronic illnesses and focus on wellness.
Where we can find you when you are not at the office? With my family. I love to read and be on our boat. I also enjoy traveling.
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring someone? Having a positive attitude. Many skills can be taught; enthusiasm is one attribute that you can’t teach. Also humility, because a key driver of success is the ability to be honest and self-reflective.