On March 11, 2016 Eugene “Gene” Woods will officially depart CHRISTUS Health and assume the role of Carolinas HealthCare President and CEO. At CHRISTUS, we are very happy for his continued success and wish him the best.
We also wish to congratulate Woods on being officially named on February 15, 2016 as one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare. This is fourth time he has received this honor. The following is a little more about Woods and what he has done for so many in the health care industry.
Leadership In and Out of the Office
“Gene Woods was born to lead. Sounds cliché, but let’s face it: some have it, some don’t. Woods has it.” That’s what Lexington, Kentucky newspaper editor, Tom Martin, wrote in a March 2012 article about Gene’s departure and move to CHRISTUS Health in Dallas. Since that time, Gene continues to receive this type of praise both from people within and outside of the health care industry. Most recently, he was named the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) chair-elect designate of its Board of Trustees. In 2017, he will assume the chairmanship, becoming the top elected official of the national organization that represents America’s hospitals and health systems. He also Chair’s the AHA Equity of Care Committee, and served on the AHA’s Executive Committee, Health Care Systems Governing Council, Regional Policy Board, and NOVA Awards Committee. In addition, he was a Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives, Board member for the National Association of Health Executives, and President of the Washington D.C. Chapter of NAHSE. Gene has also served on numerous community boards, including as a Trustee of the Berea College, Fifth Third Bank Board, Bluegrass Community Foundation, and Bluegrass Chamber of Commerce. One of his proudest community accomplishments was his appointment to a taskforce charged with the re-opening of the renowned Lyric Theater, an African American theater, closed in 1963, which once featured many of the leading jazz and R&B artists of the day. Gene isn’t just a high level business man, but he is also a talented musician.
As a Mentor
Gene’s former role as adjunct profession at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. teaching undergraduates about health administration and policy demonstrated not only his commitment to mentoring upcoming executives, but also his willingness to share his expertise with others. That ability to teach, inspire and motivate others continues today. Gene serves as a role model to other minority healthcare executives both inside and outside CHRISTUS Health.
He was instrumental in the launch of CHRISTUS Health’s executive fellow program, which creates another opportunity for CHRISTUS executives to identify and develop a new generation of leaders, recognize the potential of developing leaders, retain women and ethnically diverse candidates who demonstrate high potential and attract qualified external candidates to executive positions within CHRISTUS Health. Through this program, Gene served as a mentor and sponsor to one of CHRISTUS’ executive fellows in San Antonio during her two-year participation in the program. Gene served as a mentor for a young health care executive through the 2014 National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE) Mentoring Program. As part of the commitment, Gene spent a year meeting with and providing direction to a graduate student and administrative fellow in a local health care system.
Effecting Change in the Healthcare Industry
Gene’s first experience in a hospital was at the age of 9 years old. After a defective gas pedal got stuck, his family’s car slammed into a brick wall at nearly 80 miles an hour – and yet miraculously they all lived. His mother (who was driving), sister, aunt, uncle, and Gene all survived due to the heroic and compassionate efforts of EMS and the hospital team. In retrospect, that experience had a profound influence on his decision to become a healthcare leader. A lot has changed since then, but for Gene the compassion and expertise that was shown to his 9 year old self is what he aims to duplicate in his people every day. Keeping that close connection to what it means for those on the front lines delivering care, Gene has established himself as a progressive executive with both a compassionate and strategic mindset. He has redesigned and simplified the health system’s balanced scorecard to guarantee a concentrated focus first and foremost our strategic priorities. Gene’s work proves that what gets measured gets managed, as the system-wide dashboard he created has driven measurable change at CHRISTUS. However, the dashboard alone did not drive progress; Gene’s unwavering commitment for clear and timely improvement plans and willingness to model and call for accountability truly make a difference.
In his role as CHRISTUS’ Chief Operating Officer, Gene is responsible for overseeing the acute, post-acute and international operations for all of CHRISTUS Health’s regions in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile, which encompasses a health system of more than 50 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatient centers, and 30,000 Associates. CHRISTUS Hospitals and services are situated in diverse markets and contain diverse workforces. As part of his current role as chair of the Equity of Care committee, he is passionate about eliminating health care disparities in the diverse communities CHRISTUS serves.