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Decades Interview with John Haupert '92

John Haupert 

jhaupert [at] gmh.edu

City and State: Atlanta, Georgia 

Education: Master's of Science in Health Care Administration 1992, BS in Business Administration from Trinity University 1983

Please tell us a bit about your career path. What is your current job title and employer? How long have you held this position and what does it entail? 

I’ve been the President and CEO of Grady Health System in Atlanta for the past three years and am happy to say that patient satisfaction and growth are up and employee turnover is down to 11% from 25%.

After my undergraduate work at Trinity was completed, I went to work for Dillard’s Department Store in their executive development program before going to grad school.

My residency was spent with the Methodist Healthcare System in Dallas before being appointed President of Methodist Charlton and then Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, where I spent five years before coming to Grady.

Why did you select Trinity's HCAD program? 

I greatly admire the rich history of the program having spent my undergraduate years at Trinity and love this institution. I was especially drawn to the program’s strong focus on health care financial management. Most importantly, however, was that Trinity’s program was one of the few programs that required a one-year admin residency and then provided assistance in this residency placement.

Did Health Care Administration end up being what you thought it would be when you were a graduate student? 

Yes, it did. I worked part-time at our local hospital during high school and I come from a medical family. My parents were engaged with the local hospital board, so I had a clear idea of what to expect from the medical industry. By the time I was 30 and in grad school, I had a solid understanding of what I wanted to do.  

What benefits and opportunities have you experienced in your career as a graduate of the HCAD program? 

Trinity has a vast alumni network now in leadership positions, providing that first critical opportunity for Trinity admin students.  

In terms of your career, what are the accomplishments you are most proud of? 

In a broad sense, being able to engage physicians and the health system workforce in the overall vision of the system, providing the platform for meaningful discussions on better patient care and achieving organizational success.   

Good results in patient care and experience, financial performance, workforce engagement and profitable growth for the health system have been critical. 

This is a very demanding profession. How did you stay motivated during the toughest times of your career? 

Well, I love a challenge. There is a lot of heavy lifting in this position and I’m frankly energized by that. I’m focused on providing exceptional patient care.  

How has the industry changed from when you first entered the health care administration field until now? 

Dramatically. When I first got into the field, you were paid for service regardless of the production outcome. Then, the payers, including the government became wiser and wouldn’t pay for quantity, but rather quality of care produced for the patient. I support that movement, although it has been a huge shift in thought for all hospitals.

From your perspective, how different is health care going to look in 15 years? 

The payment mechanism will be radically different. We will continue to see greater expectations placed on health care systems to manage the health of a broad population rather than providing sickness care to a select population. Payment to health systems will be based on improving the health status of the population served.

What advice would you share with individuals considering pursuing a master's in health care administration in Trinity's HCAD program? 

Be very aware of the industry you’re getting into and understand what all is involved.  

What advice would you share with current HCAD students and residents? 

The most important thing will be to choose very wisely where you will do your residency to ensure value and personal fit.

What book(s) or other resources have you found most helpful in the development of your career as a health care administrator? 

I read tons of management, marketing and economic news.

And lastly, tell us briefly about what you enjoy outside of work. 

I love to travel and have a home in Santa Fe, where I relax. I love to spend time with my family, and my husband Bryan and I share a real love for the arts and theatre.

 

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