Tallahassee Memorial Hospital CEO, Mark O’Bryant, spoke to about 100 people at the monthly Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocate (NEBA) luncheon held at the Capital City Country Club on Tuesday, May 23rd.
O’Bryant, who took the reins at TMH in 2003, has had a successful tenure as the CEO. In 2011 he was named an Executive of the Year in the 9th Annual American Business Awards in the category of “Health Products and Services — More than 2,500 Employees.”
And now he embarks on a project, the Mustian Center, that will take the services offered by TMH to a new level.
O’Bryant opened his appearance with a brief presentation that included comments about his choice to come to Tallahassee. He said he took the CEO job because of the potential he saw with TMH and has stayed because of the quality of life in Tallahassee.
He told the crowd that the $260 million Mustian Center will be as “nice as anything in Chicago and New York.” The project will include 32 new operating beds and 72 ICU beds and was described by O’Bryant as an “once in a generation building.”
The expansion will continue to facilitate TMH’s regional appeal to those in need of medical services. Historically, O’Bryant said that the hospital has served patients from 50-60 miles away, but now TMH is a regional player.
The regional appeal is due, in part, to the highly specialized services that TMH now offers. TMH has successfully integrated high technology procedures with services that are focused on cancer treatments, neurosurgery and a heart program.
TMH has the area’s only designated Level II trauma center, neurological intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, newborn intensive care unit and accredited community hospital cancer program.
O’Bryant said the Mustian Center will enhance the use of technology and will also allow TMH to re-purpose existing space to address other needs.
The construction part of the Mustian Center will be completed in the Fall 2018. There will be approximately three months of training and test runs before patients will be admitted in the beginning of 2019.
O’Bryant said that TMH continues to expand medical research activities through partnerships with Florida State University and the University of Florida.
He added that TMH is “recognized as a leader in telemedicine” which has positive implications given the rural nature of the surrounding areas.
O’Bryant also took the time to discuss how TMH has become an “economic generator” for Tallahassee. He showed a chart (see below, click on image to enlarge) that compared job growth from 2003 to 2015 for Tallahassee’s largest employers. TMH led all employers with approximately 61% growth from 2,850 jobs in 2003 to 4,583 jobs in 2015.
During the question and answer session, O’Bryant fielded inquires about the use of local contractors for the construction of the Mustian Center and the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
When asked about the use of local contractors, O”Bryant said approximately $41 million of the $260 million project was going to local businesses.
When asked about some local contractors voicing concerns about not being able to bid on the project, O’Bryant said TMH had required the largest contractors to use local trades when possible.
TR has heard similar concerns about the use of local contractors for the Mustian Center and we will have a follow-up story on this issue.
When asked about the debate over the ACA, O’Bryant said the “best model is what happened in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney.” He said that approach created “very stable insurance rates.”
He views the debate over health care political because of the name “Obamacare” and preferred the ACA be amended to address current problems. Those problems include rising premiums and fewer participating insurance carriers.
He also told the NEBA members that Florida did not receive the full financial benefits of the ACA due to the decision not to expand Medicaid. Reports estimate Florida lost out on $66.1 billion in federal funding over ten years.
When asked about his views after returning from the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce sponsored trip to Nashville, O’Bryant said that “Nashville understands the value of a brand.” Referring to Tallahassee, he said, “we don’t have a brand.”