A Conversation With A.O. Fox Hospital’s President, Jeff Joyner

A.O. Fox Hospital

February 15, 2016

Jeff-Joyner-Head-Shot.jpgWhat was it that interested you in Fox?
There are several factors that attracted me to A.O. Fox Hospital. The first being the great relationship between the community and the hospital. Fox is treasured by so many people. After speaking with staff and board members, I could sense how much passion there was for this institution.

The fact that Fox Hospital is part of a broader health care delivery system as an affiliate of the Bassett Healthcare Network also resonated with me. The relationship established with the network is invaluable given the dynamic health care environment we are trying to navigate today. It also provides access to a broader range of services across the health care spectrum for the residents of Oneonta and surrounding communities.

Additionally, the city of Oneonta offers many opportunities for me and my family. My wife and I feel this is an area where we can grow and become part of the fabric of the community.

What impressed you about Fox in your visits prior to becoming President?
To me, the staff was very impressive. Each employee I met conveyed just how much they care about their work and that they take pride in what they do for the community. The staff also expressed the desire to explore new ways in which we can provide health care to do an even better job of meeting the needs of the people we serve. It’s exciting to know that the staff is willing to take the next steps and raise the bar higher, when it comes to quality of service and patient satisfaction.

What are the similarities between Fox and St. Joseph's Healthcare System that serve you well now?
Although Fox Hospital is smaller in size, the two organizations share common ground in their ability to provide a wide range of specialty care to a broad patient base. Like St. Joseph’s, there is also a strong commitment to community health improvement, which will continue to be vital for the ever changing environment of health care. It is also refreshing to find the same loyal, dedicated staff members, who have a passion for patient care.

What do you think the most important things are for Fox to focus on?
Throughout the next several weeks, I will be spending time getting to know the Fox family, understanding the culture and getting to know the community. Like all health care organizations, we need to continue to focus on quality of care and patient safety. We will also focus on new opportunities for medical education throughout the hospital, which will allow Fox to stay on the cutting edge of care. Additionally, Fox will continue to broaden its relationship with the Bassett Healthcare Network. Continued integration is necessary to facilitate the coordination of patient care in order to achieve care that is safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-focused.


What got you interested in health care?
When I was growing up, my father served as director of budgets and reimbursements at Maine Medical Center. Naturally, I wanted to explore the ways that I could become involved in health care. At a young age, I began volunteering at the medical center assisting with delivering supplies throughout the hospital. For two years I proudly wore the blue volunteer jacket and it was almost as if that was a catalyst for my future. This initial volunteer opportunity taught me that I had a passion to serve others; I knew that a future in health care is what I wanted to strive for.

When you look back on your career to date, does a particular "learning experience" come to mind?
Looking back, I would say the experience that has taught me the most was serving in my first leadership role as the financial manager of patient access services at Washington Hospital Center. I took on a role managing a department that was upside-down and faced many challenges. I knew in order to overcome these challenges, I needed to gain the trust and support of my team members. During this time, it was important to show my department that the only way we could improve was by working as a team.

I am particularly proud of the quality monitoring and production tools that were established in the department. The tools help provide timely feedback and measurement for staff to increase overall performance. Additionally, a front-end denial notification process was implemented, which helped decrease the number of denials by 18 percent and reduced collections cost by 6 percent.

Overall, I found my strength in leading and empowering others as well as discovering that the health care environment is one that I am truly passionate about.

What can you tell us about your family?
My wife Sara and I have two wonderful children, Julia who is 8 years old and in third grade, and Jillian who is 6 years old and in kindergarten. The girls are all excited to make their permanent move to Oneonta later this spring and my daughters’ stipulation of their new hometown was that there had to be soccer, so I think we will be just fine.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy being active and outdoors. Some of my favorite activities include golfing, hiking and tennis. In my spare time, I like reading books on history and enjoy traveling. Some of the greatest memories I have are traveling to five of the seven continents, including a backpacking trip across Europe.

How are you enjoying Oneonta so far?
We are very excited to make Oneonta our new home. The area is beautiful and the people are genuine and warm. In fact, the area is very reminiscent of my hometown, Hollis, Maine. My family and I were drawn to Oneonta as it offers both cultural and recreational opportunities. We plan to take advantage of the hiking, canoeing and skiing both in the winter and summer months as well as exploring all of the local community’s offerings.

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About A.O. Fox Hospital
A.O. Fox Hospital, an affiliate of Bassett Healthcare Network, is a 60-bed acute care hospital with a 130-bed nursing home. The hospital’s primary service area encompasses a population of 45,000 and includes the City of Oneonta and parts of Otsego and Delaware counties.

In addition to inpatient hospital services, Fox also provides a broad spectrum of outpatient health care including emergency services, urgent care, family medicine/primary care, dental and other specialty care.
Last year, Fox Hospital admitted 2,764 patients, treated 15,717 patients in its emergency department, and provided 91,934 patient visits in its primary care centers.

About Bassett Healthcare Network
Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health care system that provides care and services to people living in a 5,600 square mile region in upstate New York. In addition to A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, the organization includes five other corporately affiliated hospitals, as well as skilled nursing facilities, health centers and health partners in related fields.

Bassett Medical Center, the foundation of the network, is a 180-bed acute care inpatient teaching facility in Cooperstown, New York employing 3,000 people. The medical center offers a broad range of specialty care and maintains a strong academic program through its affiliation with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Bassett was formally established as a medical school campus of Columbia P & S in 2009.
Learn more at www.bassett.org.

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