CEO Scott Wester has Memorial Focused on Increasing Access to Care, the Consumer Experience, and a Workforce That Makes it all Possible
August 03, 2023
A year into his tenure as president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System, K. Scott Wester is making significant progress accomplishing short-term goals and setting a longer term strategic direction for what he calls ‘a complex business that’s part of a complex industry in a very large and diverse market.’
His vision comes from an understanding of the changing landscape for health and care providers and that a pre-COVID approach to doing business is no longer viable. Wester has Memorial hyper-focused on increasing access for South Florida communities and enhancing the consumer experience at destinations that include soon-to-be-opened urgent and/or primary care centers in northwest Miami-Dade County, Weston, and Plantation, a comprehensive cancer center in Pembroke Pines, and an expanded mobile program that is bringing primary care services to underserved audiences in Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Dania Beach, and Hollywood.
“We’ve been an integral part of the South Florida community for 70 years and the Memorial way and culture that’s been established will be the foundation of our success moving forward,” said Wester. “An engaged workforce will be a difference-maker at a time consumers are seeking convenient health solutions best delivered by a partner with a mission to serve the community, not shareholders.”
Wester leads an organization of more than 15,000 employees that features a patient and family-centered approach that is equally adept at delivering proactive expertise, services, and resources as it is reactive care. That’s resonated with consumers whose feedback resulted in Memorial being named the 18th most trusted healthcare brand in America in a recent report (Humanizing Brand Experience) from Monigle, one of the country’s largest, independent brand consultancies. That firm’s survey of more than 25,000 consumers also ranked Memorial Healthcare System the fourth best system in the U.S. at empowering individuals with the information and resources to manage their health independently.
To bolster the dedicated team of caregivers that help Memorial prioritize the individual and family, Wester’s plan places a significant emphasis on workforce development to attract and retain the best talent. The system set a record for new hires during the CEO’s first year, including more than 70 physicians, and decreased overall year over year turnover from 21% to 14%.
He has also connected with leaders at South Florida colleges and universities to help align degree programs and employment opportunities in a Memorial environment named one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s “2023 Best Places to Work in Healthcare.”
Understanding there is much more work to be done, Wester begins his second year with an aggressive plan to expand services that will include:
- An $88 million infrastructure upgrade at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood to construct a new Family Birthplace and upgrade its trauma center and emergency department.
- Development of approximately eight acres of land Memorial recently purchased at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and State Road 7. Previously part of the footprint of the Hollywood Fashion Center, current conversation focuses on a mixed-use, health and wellness hub that will serve the area.
Looking back on the year gone by, Wester says the keys to early success were his ability to build relationships, willingness to collaborate with strategic partners, and a laser focus on value-based care that focuses more on the quality of patient outcomes than the quantity of services provided.