|Yavapai Regional Medical Center CEO John Amos stands with former CEO Tim Barnett in September, shortly before Barnett’s retirement after heading up the organization for 20 years.|
Photo courtesy Heidi Dahms Foster
Special to the Tribune
The leadership at Yavapai Regional Medical Center changed this fall, but many might not have noticed. That's because the two principal players have worked so closely for so long that the transfer from 20-year CEO and President Tim Barnett to then YRMC East COO John Amos essentially was seamless.
Barnett served as YRMC's president and CEO for 20 years, seeing the hospital through explosive growth in Prescott and surrounding communities, which precipitated the need for another hospital in Prescott Valley. He oversaw the planning, construction and opening of YRMC East, which now provides care for the still growing community of Prescott Valley.
YRMC has about 1,700 employees, with 137 beds in Prescott and 75 beds in Prescott Valley. The two sites treated a combined 11,302 in-patients, and 63,970 emergency room patients in 2012. The birthing center in Prescott Valley delivered 964 babies in 2012.
Barnett also has been on board for the development of "centers of excellence," with YRMC's Birthing and Breast Care Centers in Prescott Valley and the James Family Heart Center in Prescott, along with new state of the art equipment for advanced wound care.
In addition, YRMC received honors from ConsumerReports.org this past year as one of the top 10 in the U.S. for safe surgeries. Consumer Reports took the hospitals nationwide that received its overall highest surgery ratings, narrowed them to those that regularly performed at least 10 kinds of surgeries and earned high ratings in at least 30 percent of those surgeries, without earning a low rating for any surgery.
When Barnett announced his retirement, the YRMC board hired a national consultant to find his successor. The consultant developed a profile after interviewing hospital board members and key leadership, looking at the organization's needs for the next 10 to 20 years. Barnett said all groups highlighted the same set of qualities, which were in line with national skill sets, attributes, and values for the job. When consultants compared the national profile and Amos's profile, they found he exceeded in every category.
Barnett said seeing Amos succeed him is a crowning achievement of his career.
"Not only have I been able to work with incredible physicians, employees and volunteers, but I've had the privilege of taking care of people in our community and their health. Then the crown is being able to see it continued with someone the quality of John Amos. He'll do a great job for our community for years to come, and I feel I can move on to the next phase of my life."
Amos, on the other hand, has great respect for Barnett's mentorship.
"Tim's a great leader," Amos said. "He has a heartfelt interest in what is best for our patients and our staff, and he has developed an organization that has become one of the best health care systems in the nation."
Despite the challenges of today's health care system, Amos said, "It's a truly exciting time. We have the opportunity to shape health care for our region. I really feel the challenges are forcing the industry to look at health management as opposed to disease management."
A tough economy, particularly in the past several years, also has stretched YRMC's management strategies.
"It has forced us to be more efficient," Barnett said.
Those efficiencies include refinancing bonds that will save the hospital $6 million, and scrutinizing service agreements for quality and efficiency. Automating lights saved thousands of dollars, he said, and an employee program to eliminate waste garnered many ideas for cost savings.
"The employees know where the waste is, and their creativity and ideas are incredible," Amos added.
In fact, as he takes the reins, he knows he'll depend on the quality of the hospital's staff.
"I feel very fortunate to work with the caliber of staff, volunteers and board members here. I have said in meetings that we have a team that could run any hospital in the country better than it's being run now," he said.
Meanwhile, Barnett is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Bonnie.
"She has been a great support and compass for me over the years. There's no way I could have met the demands this job without a strong, solid support at home," he said.