For the people.

Author:Dyton, Joe
Position:HEALTH FEATURE
 
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Jose Sanchez and Regina Montoya discuss how their respective hospitals are serving their communities and finding solutions to place more Latinos in hospital leadership positions.

When the Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago reached out to CEO Jose Sanchez to help turn the place around in 2010, he gladly accepted the challenge.

The hospital was facing bankruptcy and was under surveillance due to safety issues for seven years. Sanchez was in the middle of a successful run in leadership positions at a number of New York-based hospitals, but when Norwegian American Hospital asked for his help, he answered the call. After several interviews, the hospital's board of directors told him that he'd been selected as their next CEO.

After Sanchez accepted the position, he came in with a vision of how to reverse the hospital's fortunes. That vision began with ensuring the hospital could support itself with the income it was bringing in. It also put a greater focus on improving the hospital's quality, as well as its recruiting and retention efforts of the medical staff.

He also wanted the hospital to participate in the community and act as a true community organization, using technology not only to manage the organization, but as a tool to increase and improve the hospital's overall quality.

Seven years later, it appears Sanchez's vision was just what the doctor ordered. The organization has escaped the clutches of bankruptcy; it offers dental screenings for children in the community; and has its own recommended training program to teach the next generation of physicians who want to serve communities like the one Norwegian American does.

The hospital also improved its quality indicators so much that the Chicago Tribune featured the Norwegian American Hospital as having the lowest infection rate in Illinois.

"That brings us a lot of pride because we are competing with institutions that are powerful, influential and have a lot of financial resources that we do not," Sanchez said.

Norwegian American puts a big focus on the community through education, invention and an overall expansion of health services. It also has a care plan focused on immunizations for children. The hospital's immunization efforts received an award from the American Hospital Association.

"In terms of financial stability, quality, our prices and our presence in the community, this hospital is among the best," Sanchez said. "That distinguishes us from the other organizations or the...

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