The Ainsworth file Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2008

Born: Indio, Calif.

Education: Brigham Young University, bachelor’s degree, psychology; master’s degree, public administration

What leader do you admire the most?

It has to be Jack Welch — the fact that he spent so much time mentoring employees, mentoring leaders. I’ve heard him talk about spending between 50 and 80 percent of his time educating and mentoring employees.

To think strategically enough to realize that organizations succeed because of people. They succeed because of vision and because you’ve got people who are bought in to that vision.

It can’t just be one person. The CEO can’t be the sole mover and shaker in terms of connecting everyone to the strategic plan. That’s an impossibility. You have to use the organization.

What has been your greatest accomplishment as a CEO?

Just to back it up to the 30,000-foot level, over the 30-plus years I’ve been in the industry, hospitals have had to become much more focused on their bottom lines in order to survive.

If you look at the data from the California Hospital Association, they’ll tell you that 54 percent of the hospitals in California cannot bring a positive bottom line. It’s extremely difficult to bring a positive margin, have enough capital to properly refit your facility and buy the kind of equipment you need to serve the community.

The focus over the last 10 to 20 years from management has more and more been on the financial outcomes of the organizations and not the way we treat people at the bedside. Our major thrust here at St. Joseph Hospital has been to focus on both.

We’re well-managed from a financial standpoint, but we’re really proud of the kind of compassionate care we’re recognized for in the community.