Movers & Shakers For ’99 Demonstrate Leadership

This year’s selections prove that individuals do make a difference in laboratory success

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EACH YEAR IT BECOMES more difficult to make final selections for our annual Movers & Shakers awards. The reason is simple.

Today there are more examples of leadership in the laboratory than when we first started these selections three years ago. This is a good omen. It means that the crucible of the marketplace is forging a new generation of laboratory managers who possess sophisticated business skills not needed by the passing generation of laboratory administrators.

Further, we believe this new generation of laboratory managers will acquire power and influence at a rapid rate. As this occurs, it will spark a renaissance for both clinical laboratories and pathology practices. This renaissance will bring about increased financial stability and improved profits.

We see signs of this throughout the industry. Compare stories in the trade magazines this year with those appearing in 1995. A more sophisticated level of management analysis is emerging within the pages of Advance, CAP Today, Clinical Laboratory News, and MLO, to name just a few.

Since these magazines write about subjects of interest to their readers, it is written evidence of the steady growth in the importance of management and financial skills in the administration of clinical and pathology laboratories.

In making our selections this year, it could be said that we had a “surfeit of riches.” It took time to work through the large batch of nominations submitted to us. The candidates were all worthy. We will not mention our runners-up by name, because a few of these individuals may well make our Movers & Shakers selections for 2000.

This year’s crop of Movers & Shakers share an interesting characteristic. Although each is focused on improving the performance of their own laboratory organization, their contributions are having a wider, and positive impact, on the entire laboratory industry. In motivating their own organizations to respond successfully to the evolving healthcare marketplace, they demonstrate to other laboratories that it is possible to thrive and prosper.

It is through their efforts, and those of other unrecognized leaders, that the profession and science of laboratory medicine will advance. In the next few years, the pace of change in laboratory medicine will accelerate beyond what it was in the 1990s. As that occurs, our industry will need leadership more than ever before.

Timothy J. Brodnik
President & CEO
American Medical Laboratories • Chantilly, Virginia

WHO SAYS TIMES ARE BAD in the commercial laboratory industry? Certainly not Tim Brodnik, President and Chief Executive Officer at American Medical Laboratories, Inc. (AML) of Chantilly, Virginia.

In May 1997, Tim was part of a team that purchased AML from its former owners. Since that date, American Medical Laboratories has become a beehive of activity.

Annual revenues at AML almost doubled in the past 20 months and AML is developing into a national esoteric laboratory. An emphasis on superior customer service is backed by management’s support for employees who take initiative to do the right thing for AML’s clients.

In the important sphere of sales and marketing, its sales team is making significant inroads across all market segments served by AML. Indications are that rapid revenue growth is accompanied by a solid increase in operating profits.

Tim is quick to credit the entireAML organization for the lab’s impressive turnaround. But teams need leaders and it is leaders who establish the culture. THE DARK REPORT believes that Brodnik and AML both bear watching. Their strategic plan and management implementation demonstrate that good execution of a good plan does insure success.

Phillips Gausewitz, M.D.
Chairman & CEO
Pathology Medical Laboratories • San Diego, California

EVERY LABORATORY NEEDS a Rock of Gibraltar like Phillips Gausewitz, M.D. In four decades of laboratory management, he has weathered all the storms and kept his commercial laboratory profitable and thriving.

Phil founded Pathology Medical Laboratories (PML) in 1984. Based in San Diego, it is probably the most successful private laboratory still operating in California.

In no small part, this is due to Phil Gausewitz’s business savvy and keen sense about market trends. For example, as capitated managed care contracts arrived in California in the early 1990s, PML was notable in its refusal to use marginal cost pricing to capture such contracts as a first step in the mythical “pull through” sales strategy. Few competing laboratories in California had similar pricing discipline.

Early on, Phil realized that independent laboratories and hospital systems would find mutual strength in consolidation. Thus, PML forged links with the Scripps Healthcare System and created one of the first combined commercial lab-hospital system off-site core laboratory ventures. As he approaches working retirement, it is timely to recognize him as among our industry’s most successful laboratory executives.

Jerry Goldsmith
Vice President, Marketing Programs
American Association for Clinical Chemistry •Washington, DC

HERE IS ONE LAB LEADER with infectious enthusiasm and energy. More importantly, he’s an individual known for creating positive change that benefits the laboratory industry. Jerry Goldsmith is the Vice President of Marketing Programs for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. He is also an advisor to the board of the Biomedical Marketing Association.

Jerry combines three talents uncommon among laboratory executives: far-sighted vision, an innate drive to tinker, and leadership skills capable of impelling people around him to action. In simplest terms, Jerry spots opportunities, then takes the necessary risks to convert vision into reality. In most cases, the entire lab industry benefits from his talents.

Jerry is the mastermind behind the AACC’s respected “Diagnostics Day” Program for financial analysts at the AACC’s annual convention. Wall Street money managers attend an exclusive briefing about the diagnostics industry, then spend the next several days on the exhibit hall floor connecting with executives from the leading diagnostics companies.

Jerry’s innovations and ideas are too numerous to list. Expect him to continue his high-energy onslaught of converting good ideas into reality.

Gene Pawlick, M.D.
Regional Director of Laboratories
Kaiser Permanente-Northern California • Berkeley, California

WORKING INSIDE THE NATION’S largest not-for-profit HMO creates challenges seldom seen by most hospital-based and commercial laboratory executives.

But Gene Pawlick, M.D., Regional Director of Laboratories for Kaiser Permanente-Northern California, seems to have adapted with great success. He played a key role in revitalizing and operating what is known as the TPMG Regional Laboratory. It serves 2.9 million Kaiser plan members and processes 17,000 specimens per day. It is one of the largest lab operations in California.

What is equally intriguing is Gene’s contributions to the concept that laboratory data, when properly assessed and presented, can make a positive difference in both healthcare outcomes and the cost of care.

Kaiser’s Northern California division is a fertile testing ground for all sorts of diagnostic technology. Kaiser is a leading participant in clinical trials covering a variety of technologies. Clients of THE DARK REPORT are familiar with Gene’s contributions in evaluating new technologies for Pap smear preparation and screening.

Gene’s successful role in mediating so many “conflicting” lab activities and moving the science of laboratory medicine forward earns him recognition as a 1999 Mover & Shaker.

Al Sirmon
Chief Financial Officer
Pathology Service Associates, LLC • Florence, South Carolina

HERE’S OUR PICK FOR THE GUY with the toughest job in pathology: handling the money and finances of a national pathology network.

Al Sirmon is Chief Financial Officer for Pathology Service Associates, LLC (PSA), the umbrella company for pathology networks operating in nine states. With 78 practices and 386 pathologists participating, it is Al Sirmon’s job to keep the money straight. He also has a responsibility to help practices increase their cash flow as a result of their participation in PSA.

That’s a tall order for any individual. Yet Al Sirmon seems to combine the diplomacy of an ambassador with sophisticated financial skills. As he travels the country working with PSA’s member pathology practices, he has an uncanny knack of unlocking additional cash flow from individual pathology practices.

Al validates our belief that people make the difference. He’s the right individual for a tough job, and he’s gained the respect of pathologists from coast to coast for his integrity, skills, and trustworthiness. Of equal importance, he demonstrates to pathologists that good business skills are essential for financial stability and prosperity.

Not resting upon prior laurels…
Our Past Movers & Shakers Continue Shaking Things Up

Michael Snyder, M.D.
Director, Clinical Labs and Pathology
UMASS Health Systems Laboratories
Worcester, Massachusetts

This 1998 Mover & Shaker recently helped create an off-site core lab which serves a newly-merged combination of several hospitals. His lab is considered a strong regional player in Central Massachusetts and is being courted by several commercial labs for joint venture opportunities.

William Hagstrom
Chief Executive Officer
UroCor, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

After almost a full decade of sustained growth in revenues and profits at UroCor, 1998 was the year that Bill Hagstrom found intractable challenges on his doorstep. Profits are under siege and UroCor is reassessing how market dynamics are changing the way urology services are delivered and reimbursed. Don’t count this 1998 Mover & Shaker out too early. Change is the game in healthcare today and Bill Hagstrom is dialing in new strategies for UroCor.

Louis D. Wright, Jr., M.D.
Pathology Service Associates Florence, South Carolina

While the pathology PPM (physician practice management) movement got big play in 1998, Louis Wright was quietly moving the PSA organization forward. A Mover & Shaker on our 1997 list, Louis helped create a series of statewide pathology networks that give pathology practices the option of retaining independence while bidding as a consortium for managed care contracts.

Robert Hamon
Vice President, Marketing
Premier, Inc.
Charlotte, North Carolina

Selected in 1997 when he was at Presbyterian Laboratory Services, Bob Hamon moved to Premier last summer to develop its clinical laboratory services group. Although its been quiet at Premier in recent months, look for Bob Hamon to launch some provocative services that benefit laboratories at Premier’s member hospitals.

Robin Felder, Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology & Director of the
Medical Automation Research Center University of Virginia Hospital Charlottesville, Virginia

Robin Felder continues to advance the cause of laboratory automation. Each January, his San Diego conference attracts more exhibitors and attendees. Selected as a Mover & Shaker in 1997, Robin is widely respected for his willingness to support emerging technology. He is active in helping manufacturers demonstrate the effectiveness of their products, then move them into the marketplace.

Ken Freeman
Chief Executive Officer
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
Teterboro, New Jersey

Quest Diagnostic’s bold move to acquire SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories is consistent with predictions we made when Ken Freeman was selected as one of 1997’s Movers & Shakers.


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