Sunday, January 15, 2017

Gary R. Ulicny, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Shepherd Center

Today’s guest is Dr. Gary Ulicny, the President and CEO of the Shepherd Center. The Shepherd Center is a 152-bed not-for-profit specialty hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The Center serves persons with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries and a variety of neuromuscular diseases. Services include intensive care, acute medical, acute rehabilitation, post acute and outpatient services. The Shepherd Center operates with a budget of over $190 million and over 1,400 employees.  During Gary’s 22-year tenure, the Shepherd Center was ranked one of the best rehabilitation hospitals in the nation for 14 years by US News & World Report, and is the largest hospital of its kind in the country.

In this podcast we talk about Gary’s career, starting with his early interest in special education, his move into psychology, and ultimately into rehabilitation medicine, with a detour early on as a commercial fisherman. 

I really enjoyed my conversation with Gary and I think early careerists can learn a lot from this wide-ranging conversation. I have produced two versions of this podcast - an extended version of the interview that includes our complete conversation and an abridged version. 

Links to the Podcast:
Extended version:
Abridged version:

Interview transcript is available here.

Podcast Outline (this timeline refers to the extended version)

Time       Topic
0:02:12 coming to special education at UNC
0:05:01 working with people with developmental disabilities
0:06:17 a detour into travel and commercial fishing
0:09:16 returning to graduate school courtesy of a water moccasin
0:10:44 Apalachian State and Western Carolina Center
0:12:15 Kansas State, Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior
0:18:22 Working in Supported Employment
0:19:22 Reflecting on early leadership experiences
0:22:06 Learning Services - Beginning in Traumatic Brain Injury
0:24:16 what is "applied behavior analysis"
0:25:01 acquired brain injury vs. congenital intellectual disability
0:27:45 Learning Services - Program director to Executive Director
0:28:59 establishing credibility with clinical coleagues
0:30:12 Wake Hospital System - Director of Rehabilitation Services
0:32:27 how does rehab services fit into the continuum of care?
0:33:19 Responsibilities as the director
0:34:01 Coming to Shepherd Center as President and CEO
0:36:10 why Shepherd? Why was he right for Shepherd?
0:38:32 Desensitization and lessons from being part of the "penis patrol"
0:40:30 changing the culture at Shepherd
0:42:22 Implementing Quint Studer's "Hardwiring Excellence" principles
0:45:39 culture of excellence
0:46:50 about the Shepherd Center
0:49:31 How do patients come to Shepherd?
0:51:25 the Shepherd Medical Staff
0:52:43 Shepherd Center research program
0:53:59 payer mix
0:55:22 average length of stay
0:56:04 Shepherd's service lines
0:57:46 leadership structure
0:59:21 strategy and decisions about growth
1:01:09 making capital expenditure decisions
1:02:20 sustaining culture during growth
1:04:20 how has the strategy process evolved over 22 years?
1:07:43 impact of health reform and the ACA
1:08:26 the role of the Board
1:10:49 quality and process improvement
1:12:15 how do people come to be on the board
1:13:22 leadership development at Shepherd
1:14:35 succession planning
1:17:05 separating work and home - worklife balance
1:19:11 advice to his past self - be a better listener
1:20:13 what was most surprising about role of CEO
1:22:03 leaderhsip philosophy
1:24:00 where did he learn his leadership skills?
1:24:56 leaderhsip lessons the hard way
1:25:56 what does he look for when hiring leaders?
1:26:53 how does he ensure leaders are using data to drive decisions
1:27:51 mentors and mentorship
1:29:54 the importance of giving good feedback
1:33:31 "connect the dots"
1:34:21 formal mentorship program
1:35:01 book recommendations
1:36:53 reflections on a career

Links to Topics Discussed

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dennis Kain, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Tyler & Company

Today’s guest is Dennis Kain, Senior Vice President at Tyler & Company, an executive search firm specializing in the placement of healthcare, academic, and life sciences executives. Dennis has been involved in executive search for twenty years. Prior to working in executive search, Dennis was involved in healthcare delivery, working his way up through various leadership roles in a national hospital management firm, and ultimately serving as CEO of Lower Bucks Hospital, a community hospital in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

In this podcast I talk with Dennis about his career, and how his leadership experiences in healthcare delivery inform his work in executive search today, and how executive search firms work with their clients to find the right executives to fill the right jobs. We conclude with a discussion about leadership and Dennis offers advice for early careerists.

Links to the Podcast:

Interview transcript is pending. Please come back in a few days to access the transcript.

Podcast Outline

Time        Topic
0:01:40 background and education - coming to healthcare
0:03:23 Warminster Hospital - Administrative Resident to COO
0:07:06 MEDIQ
0:12:46 becoming permanent CEO of Lower Bucks
0:13:21 about Lower Bucks
0:15:20 preparation for the CEO role
0:16:19 biggest changes implemented as CEO
0:19:30 strategic issues faced as CEO
0:22:02 transitioning to executive search
0:25:04 retained vs. contingent search
0:29:05 what makes a good executive recruiter
0:31:22 advice on internet presence for professionals
0:32:44 the search process
0:36:04 executive coaches
0:37:10 the importance of fit
0:39:22 working with the search committee to clarify the needs
0:40:50 what commonly goes wrong during  search process
0:42:01 what do executive search consultants have to educate clients on most
0:43:55 what do candidates need to be educated on about the process
0:45:27 about Tyler & Co.
0:47:16 when to contact an executive search company
0:49:16 do candidates reach out to search companies
0:51:24 the impact of LinkedIn and social media on search
0:53:14 the importance of developing networking skills
0:55:32 recommendation for maintaining and growing your network
0:57:40 leadership philosophy
0:59:34 characteristics of a good leader
1:02:03 what is organizational culture?
1:03:09 mentorship
1:04:05 recommendations for early careerists

Links to Topics Discussed:

Tyler & Company

Lower Bucks Hospital


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