Hometown: Warwick, NY
Family: I’m married with three daughters, and have a family dog, a guinea pig and a hedgehog.
Hobbies: Running and swimming.
Currently reading: Always reading The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. I think ongoing learning and education throughout one’s career is very important, so I read a lot of books on change management, leadership and business. Currently I’m reading “Great at Work” by Morten Hansen.
Best part about living in Kentucky: The people and the culture. Kentucky is a wonderful place and its central location makes it ideal for family and friends to visit and enjoy the wonderful restaurants, beautiful landscapes and thoroughbred history.
Words to live by: Don’t be afraid of new challenges or opportunities. Sometimes you have to make difficult changes in order to improve outcomes.
Medical News: How’d you end up being CEO of Baptist Health?
Gerard Colman: It was a long journey that started when I was 17 years old in the U.S. Navy where I began my education and my service. Over the years, I sought progressive education and career opportunities. Now, after a 30-year career in healthcare, I am living out my ultimate goal of being the CEO of a successful health system with a mission and values I can be proud of.
MN: So, what’s it like?
GC: It’s exciting, challenging and ever changing. Healthcare is a dynamic field, you can never be bored.
MN: How’s it different than you expected?
GC: I was familiar with Baptist Health and some of the employees, which drew me to take the position. What I wasn’t aware of is how truly focused the caregivers are on the mission. The caregivers’ belief in the mission is at the very core of the foundation of Baptist Health. The focus on our patients and commitments to excellent outcomes is stronger here at Baptist than anywhere I’ve ever seen.
MN: What’s been the hardest part?
GC: The hardest part of my position is balancing community commitments with the demands of the health system while having enough quality time to spend with my three daughters.
MN: If you had to choose a totally different career/path, what would it be?
GC: I’m not sure I would have picked a different career path or industry. I truly love what I do and really enjoy being part of the healthcare community. If I was forced to make a change, I think I would try to become involved in health education or perhaps social sciences. I think as long as you really believe in what you are doing — and you have the opportunity to give back — you will have a fulfilling career.
MN: What advice would you give to someone just starting out trying to do what you’re doing?
GC: The advice I would give someone would focus on being open to change. In other words, don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and always seek out opportunities to learn. Shadow doctors and nurses, they are at the very heart of our healthcare community and would love to help you understand what they do and how they help patients every day. If you do those things, you can be a better leader and really make an impact on the community.