More Than Forty Years of Caring For The Community
Forty-two years ago I interviewed at Lee Memorial Hospital for what I thought would be a one-year stint as an administrative resident to fulfill the practicum requirement for my master’s degree. But, as fate and luck would have it, that was the start of an opportunity to be a part of an amazing journey in the development of a comprehensive community health organization, which is now the largest public health system in our nation that operates without local tax support.
I am very proud of Lee Health’s growth and evolution. Through the years, we have had to be creative to meet the ever-growing and changing needs of our community. This growth was never motivated by power or to be big just to be big; rather it was our mission of service that led to expansion efforts. Our focus was to assure our economic viability so we could serve others, including uninsured and underinsured.
It has been my true honor to be affiliated for four decades with Lee Memorial Hospital, Lee Memorial Health System and now Lee Health.
— James Nathan, CEO Lee Health
While I am proud of Lee Health’s many accomplishments, I fully recognize that many have helped with these achievements. I have always envisioned my role as an enabler so that brilliant, talented, hardworking, caring people have the financial support, the facilities, the staff, the leadership and, most importantly, the right organizational culture to do great work on behalf of the patients and families we serve. I firmly believe that teamwork and caring for each other goes much further than each individual…no matter how talented…’doing their own thing.’ Amazing things happen when people work together to do the right things for the right reasons. Lee Health is blessed with many caring examples of effective teamwork resulting in great outcomes.
It has been my true honor to be affiliated for four decades with Lee Memorial Hospital, Lee Memorial Health System and now Lee Health. Most importantly, I have been blessed to work closely with mission-driven, caring people of integrity—both within the organization and in our community—who are dedicated to providing quality health services while inspiring our community to improve its overall health and wellness.
It is not an easy decision to cut back my role; however, last year, for the first time in my work career, I realized I could not sustain the same pace that I have during the past 40 years. Before I could consider any changes in my work schedule, I recognized that I needed to zero-in on vital programs that needed to be developed or strengthened. I set off this past year on a multi-month marathon run where I focused on accomplishing important work regarding major capital projects, physician leadership, system transformation, population health and succession planning. Together with others in our organization and through impressive teamwork, we made significant progress. Lee Health is well-positioned for a successful future.
With that said, now is the right time for a transition. It would be my honor to continue to serve Lee Health in a role designated by the Lee Health Board chair and CEO. I look forward to determining next steps to fulfill the remainder of my contact, and I look forward to seeing how Lee Health continues to grow, care for and enhance our community’s health and well-being as caring people, inspiring health.
Tags: Lee Health, Lee Memorial Health System, Jim Nathan