The Miller file Featured

5:59pm EDT October 20, 2004
Born: Aug. 17, 1937 Brooklyn, N.Y.


Education: College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.; MBA, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; honorary doctor of business administration degree, The University of South Carolina


First job: Kudner Agency, advertising, New York City


Recognitions: President's Medal, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; CEO of the Week, CNN; Lifetime Achievement Award, Federation of American Health Systems; Industry Award of the Federation of American Health Systems; Americanism Award, A.D.L.; Entrepreneur of the Year in 1991 and CEO of the Year in 1992, Hospital Management; Outstanding 100 CEOs, 1995 and 1996, Financial World magazine


Civic contributions: President, Opera Company of Philadelphia; chairman, UNCF College Fund Campaign in Pennsylvania; director, CDI Inc., Genesis Health Venture and the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co.; served in the U.S. Army, attained captain rank as a member of the 77th Infantry Division


What's the greatest business lesson you've learned?


Run your business for the long-term, which means being involved with people of integrity and character. And do things the right way. ... Take no numbers for granted, check everything -- all numbers, ratios, etc. -- and challenge conclusions.


What is the greatest challenge you've faced, and how did you overcome it?


Maintaining profitability in a difficult business environment. If you provide great service on an honest basis and take care of your patients, they will send you more business.

If you have a lot of business, you can maintain a profitable profile, and then everything else rolls in line. UHS' facilities were founded on quality service, affordability and community relationships. But it all goes back to how well you do your job.


Whom in business do you most admire?


Fred Smith, founder, president and CEO of FedEx; and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corp. Both men started their companies with nothing but a business plan and built extremely successful industry-leading companies.