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Kerry L. Heinrich | President and CEO | Adventist Health

Kerry L. Heinrich: Heart of Gold, Mind of Steel Shaping Tomorrow’s Healthcare

The field of healthcare is constantly evolving, with new technologies and treatments being developed all the time. This can be a challenge for healthcare providers, who need to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations while also providing compassionate care to their patients.

However, innovation and compassionate care do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they can often work together to improve the quality of care for patients. When innovation and compassionate care are combined, the result is better care for patients. Patients receive the latest treatments, while also feeling supported and understood by their healthcare providers. This can lead to improved outcomes, such as better health, less pain and shorter hospital stays.

Kerry L. Heinrich, the exceptional President and CEO of Adventist Health, stands at the forefront, spearheading transformative change in the industry. Adventist Health is a distinguished faith-inspired, nonprofit integrated health system serving over 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. With an impressive network of more than 400 sites of care, including hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies, and joint-venture retirement centers, Adventist Health epitomizes the values and heritage of the Adventist tradition.

Kerry’s unwavering commitment to patient-centered, quality care has become the driving force behind Adventist Health’s mission–to inspire health, wholeness and hope by living God’s love. Leading a dedicated and talented team of 34,000 employees, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals and volunteers, Kerry ensures that every aspect of the organization resonates with compassion and a whole-person focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing.

Embracing innovation and progressive healthcare practices, Kerry envisions a transformative experience for patients and communities. With an emphasis on both rural and urban settings, Adventist Health is dedicated to reaching far and wide, providing comprehensive care and support to diverse populations.

Through Kerry’s exceptional leadership, Adventist Health is redefining the healthcare experience, making a significant impact on the well-being of countless individuals across the West Coast and Hawaii. As a person-oriented leader, Kerry’s vision and passion exemplify the true essence of the healthcare industry, where every individual is valued, cared for and given the opportunity to thrive.

Let’s discover how Kerry is transforming healthcare with compassion and innovation at Adventist Health!

Where Caring Hearts Thrive

Kerry began in the healthcare industry as an attorney representing healthcare organizations and ultimately transitioned into operations. His journey isn’t the traditional pathway to CEO, it has the roadblocks and overcoming challenges at a good pace, but he became so inspired by the difference one can make in people’s lives by working in healthcare that he pursued a career in healthcare management. He says, “I have been working in healthcare for 40 years and I have found it to be much more of a calling than a job.”

Harvesting Hope

Adventist Health is a faith-based organization, and for Kerry, that means that as an organization it cares deeply about serving all people, from all faith backgrounds—including those who do not consider themselves of faith. Kerry states, “My vision is to provide them with top-tier, quality care in our hospitals, clinics and ambulatory sites.”

Kerry believes high-quality care is achieved by nurturing an organization’s employees and creating an environment where they feel appreciated and proud of the company they work for, with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful.

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Maintaining a positive and inclusive work culture at Adventist Health is very important to Kerry. He says, “I believe it is the role of leadership to create an environment where employees feel valued and cared for, as well as invest in pathways that allow them to grow.

Kerry states, “We have empowered an internal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Council to help us honor each voice and create a future of greater inclusion.” He also adds, “I am grateful for our employees who believe in our mission and are forces for good in the communities we serve.”

A Game of Inches

Kerry has selected a core team of skilled and knowledgeable individuals to help develop strategic plans and inform critical decisions. He says, “We have a strong working relationship and highly trust one another.” They have the freedom to be creative and to be honest in the conversations and he is very thankful for the group’s collective wisdom.

Adventist Health also has an Executive Cabinet composed of smart, dedicated individuals who help generate ideas and formulate strategic pathways. Combined, the healthcare experience is tremendous and the conversations help to inform later discussion points with its board of directors.

The Golden Touch

Kerry says, “I am incredibly grateful for the talent we have among our physician and nurse leaders who have taken the time to thoroughly understand the quality and patient satisfaction metrics, instituted processes that bring about measurable improvement and inculcated the value of patient satisfaction into everything we do.”

He mentions his view is simple; How would you want your family members to be treated if they were patients in our hospital? That should be the standard that is included in the care delivery at Adventist Health.

Wielding the Tech Sword

Adventist Health is working diligently to transform the patient experience with consumer-friendly and digital-friendly touchpoints. Kerry says, “I want patients to be able to use their mobile devices to do everything from accessing their medical records to checking on lab results and imaging, scheduling appointments, to communicating with a provider where appropriate.”

This doesn’t work for every patient, not all patients want to interact with healthcare through mobile devices and that’s okay. He shares, “We’ll continue to serve those customers using their preferred methods of communication, but we know the vast majority of patients want to access healthcare through a digital-friendly platform and we look forward to providing that next-level digital experience.

Blazing New Trails

With a passion for advancing healthcare, Kerry actively engages with the California Hospital Association, a remarkable organization that stands at the forefront of healthcare advocacy and innovation. He says, the association is a fantastic resource staffed by very talented people. Interacting with an array of talented individuals within the association, Kerry finds it to be an invaluable resource, fostering a collaborative environment for exchanging ideas and best practices.

Additionally, Kerry maintains a strong affiliation with the esteemed American Hospital Association, which has proven to be an indispensable asset in keeping abreast of the ever-evolving developments and trends in the healthcare industry.

The insights and knowledge gained through this association have played a crucial role in shaping Kerry’s vision for Adventist Health, ensuring that the organization remains at the cutting edge of healthcare delivery and patient-centered solutions. Kerry’s dedication to fostering meaningful connections with these prominent associations showcases a commitment to continuous growth and excellence, ultimately benefiting the communities Adventist Health serves.

Turning Over a New Leaf

As the accomplished President and CEO of Adventist Health, Kerry possesses a visionary mindset that is focused on transforming the organization’s healthcare delivery system. Kerry’s keen interest lies in expanding the ambulatory footprint of Adventist Health, driven by a desire to enhance the overall patient experience and optimize care on an outpatient basis.

This strategic approach encompasses a comprehensive redesign of not only their clinics but also their hospital-based ambulatory settings, ensuring seamless and patient-centric interactions at every touchpoint. While recognizing the significance of inpatient care, Kerry is currently directing the organization’s efforts towards the growth and development of their ambulatory services.

Through meticulous planning and forward-thinking strategies, Kerry aims to position Adventist Health as a leading provider of top-notch ambulatory care, catering to the diverse needs of their communities. By prioritizing this expansion and transformation, Kerry showcases remarkable leadership in steering Adventist Health towards a future that embraces innovation and excellence in ambulatory healthcare services.

He says, “We are paying attention to the inpatient side of the equation, but right now our emphasis is on how we expand, grow, and develop our ambulatory footprint.”

Bequeathing Wisdom

Healthcare management is more than a nine-to-five job. It requires an unwavering commitment to the patients and to each employee. Kerry’s profound sense of fulfillment and enthusiasm in his daily work is driven by a deep-rooted passion for helping others. He states, “What has kept me interested and excited to show up for this work every day has been the opportunity to help people.” To him, this is not just a ‘job,’ but an integral part of his life’s purpose.

Embracing his role as a healthcare leader, Kerry considers it a true blessing to be part of an environment where he can make a positive impact on people’s lives. With a heartfelt conviction, he believes that healthcare providers have a sacred responsibility to approach their work with compassion and empathy, dedicated to providing the highest level of care for their patients. This unwavering commitment to the well-being of others serves as a guiding principle for aspiring healthcare professionals, inspiring them to consider healthcare as a meaningful and rewarding field.

Kerry emphasizes the importance of focusing on the task at hand, and striving for excellence in every aspect of their work. For the same, he annotates, “If that resonates with you, then maybe healthcare is the field for you. Focus on the job in front of you, excel, and pursue excellence. That pursuit of excellence will be noticed and you will grow and develop because of your commitment to excellence in all that you do.”

He believes that this pursuit of excellence will not only be recognized but also lead to personal growth and development. With Kerry as a role model, the pursuit of excellence becomes an essential virtue for those aspiring to make a difference in the lives of others through their work in the healthcare industry.