New ARH CEO: Pride here impressive

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 13, 2015

Barely a week into his new job as CEO of Andalusia Regional Hospital, John Yanes had already found a few things that impressed him.

0205-John-Yanes,-ARH-CEO“Driving around the community, I see pride,” he said. “What has really impressed me is seeing the city taking care of trimming bushes, tending flower beds, and taking care of things.”

And he had already reached an important conclusion.

“I think what I have discovered this week is that I made the right decision in coming here,” he said. “I have been pleasantly surprised with the attentiveness of the staff here, and the friendliness of the community.”

Yanes came to ARH from Select Specialty Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where he had served as CEO since 2012.

He said the expectation of Lifepoint, ARH’s parent company, is that he work with the local staff to build on past successes, and put the hospital in a position to serve several generations into the future.

“We can have no compromising on quality,” he said. “And no compromising on service. This is much in line with my philosophy and approach. Regardless of the size of the hospital and the community, there can be no wavering on quality and service.”

Health care today is very much metric driven, he said.

“The bottom line is you have to meet those metrics,” he said.

In the short term, he said, his goal is to become familiar with the culture of the hospital, the people, the medical staff, the hospital’s history, and past challenges.

“Next year, the hospital will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first year of when it opened. There is a lot to celebrate,” he said. “I am discovering, not just the challenges, but what is right.”

ARH has a very strong medical staff, he said, adding there are certain medical specialties ARH needs to recruit to complement existing medical staff.

“This is a top priority,” he said, adding that those specialties include pediatrics, orthopedics, and ear, nose and throat. A recently-recruited OB-GYN will begin practicing here later this spring.

As health care changes, he said, it is important for people to become informed consumers of health care.

“I’m a big believer in wellness,” he said. “Everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves. Eat right, exercise, and do the fundamentals that make you healthier.

“That way, when you do get hospitalized, you have a better chance of getting through that illness a lot quicker,” he said.

Hospitals also need to change their focus, he said, serving consumers not just when they’re sick.

“We need to focus on wellness and education, as well as increasing the average consumer’s awareness of health care.

“We need to understand the unique needs of the community, demographically, and make sure the hospital continues to change with the community.”

Yanes said he chose health care as a career path while still in high school.

“I thought about medical school,” he said. “I had several family members who were physicians or nurses.

When he learned about a hospital administration program at the University of Florida, he set that as his career path and never wavered.

“I liked the combination of helping patients, and also business aspect of it,” he said.

Yanes and his wife, Cheryl, have three children.

Their oldest son is a UF student and a fourth-generation Gator who is about to complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture and has applied to several graduate schools.

Their second son is a senior in high school, and plans to pursue a sports administration degree, and is leaning toward the University of Cincinnati.

choice of several universities. Florida is one, Indiana, Bolling Green and Cincinnati. Sports administration; leaning toward Cincinnati.

Their youngest child, a daughter, will be a high school when the family moves here at the end of thos school year.

Yates said his children are all competitive swimmers, and he and his wife have been involved in their sports activities. He also enjoys biking and gardening.