Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

April 2, 2015

In fourth grade I wore a bald-headed wig to school and told the teacher my hair burned off the day before in a horrendous accident.  It was April Fool’s day.  After that it went downhill for me.  My friend Jane pulled an AFD gig on me last year and told this story of her phone getting stolen and a bunch of stuff that had me really worried for her. She told me “April Fool’s” a week or two later (after I called her neighbors and family completely freaked out … she is still on my *list …)  I think the whole “pulling a joke” on someone designed to humiliate and scare them is mean. Ellen on her TV show gets a kick out of scaring people.  I wouldn’t go on her show just because of this (not that she asked). I’d probably end up a. wetting my pants, or b. punching her.
 
I’ve always led my life as someone who tries to be five chess moves ahead of what’s happening.  Sometimes this doesn’t necessarily allow me to enjoy the moment at hand, and I am working on this, but it does give me (at least in my mind) options and outs if a situation becomes sour.  On Monday of this week, Senior Leadership did strategic planning.  We talked about “political potentials” in health care — what could happen??  Who knows – but we do know that it is only getting tougher.  Will the Critical Access Hospital program change or even survive?  There is this program that is called the 340b program that we receive a lot of money from; they could kill that.  Obamacare?  Who knows?  This stuff scares me but by making plans (awesome environment drawing patients from everywhere, watching our pennies – overtime – very closely, and getting everyone to behave like an owner) we hopefully will do all right.  We will survive.
 
The old movie The Poseidon Adventure (with Shelly Winters and Grandpa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) was the story of a cruise ship that tipped upside down.  A small group of people (including Shelly and the old man) figured out the way to safety was to climb to the top of the ship (previously the bottom).  There were casualties along the way (Shelly died) but some survived.  Most of the people decided that the thing to do was to stay where they were and they all died.  Moral of the story – sometimes you have to do the tough stuff to survive.  Usually staying where you are means death or at least not a lot of success.
 
So at Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics, our goal is not to be surprised.  We will find a way out of the maze that is health care politics but not without some pain.  I tell the people I work out with that the pain we feel the next day is because we worked hard.  This stuff is difficult, but if we are all dedicated owners, we’ll be fine.

-Steve Simonin, President & CEO

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