For the past 20 years, Amy Perry has been affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. Since 2002 she has been the hospital’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. Mount Sinai Medical Center is a 672 bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital with two campuses. As senior vice president and COO, Perry has been responsible for all inpatient and outpatient operations, strategic planning, marketing, government affairs, clinical services, facilities, property management, capital deployment and human resources.
Perry will succeed Neil Meltzer as president of Sinai Hospital and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health on July 1, 2013. She has been transitioning into her new role since March of this year, commuting each week to Baltimore from her home in Florida.
When we spoke, Perry had just returned to Florida from a busy week in Baltimore. Following are excerpts from our conversation.
Mehlman: Welcome to Baltimore! What are your early impressions of our city?
Perry: Although I haven’t had an opportunity yet to see much of Baltimore, I’m so impressed by the friendliness of everyone I’ve met. Everyone has been caring, warm and welcoming. There is a wonderful sense of family at Sinai, and there seems to be great pride in and affection for Sinai in the community.
Mehlman: You have been living in Miami Beach, Florida for a long time. What about Sinai Hospital convinced you to move from the Sunshine State?
Perry: I’m glad you asked that. I loved my job in Florida but I think Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital is a unique place. I’m impressed by Sinai’s long-standing mission of quality healthcare enhanced through teaching and research. Also, Sinai embodies what I see as a Jewish value of embracing diversity – in its patients, employees and the community it serves. The emphasis Sinai places on community outreach is terrific. I’m looking forward to growing our healthcare network with Sinai, Northwest Hospital and our physician partners.
Mehlman: How will your responsibilities here at Sinai be different from those you’ve had at Mount Sinai Medical Center?
Perry: My responsibilities as Sinai President will be quite similar, but I will also have the opportunity here to help Sinai and LifeBridge grow the system, to work with Neil Meltzer to develop the network so that we are ready to care for the population in the future healthcare environment. I hope during my tenure, we will build on Warren Green’s legacy and realize Neil’s vision for the future.
Mehlman: What challenges do you anticipate will be most difficult?
Perry: The transformational changes our nation’s healthcare system is undergoing now present critical cultural and educational challenges. Providers and consumers must be educated to understand not only the new rules but, most importantly, how the new and changing healthcare delivery paradigm impacts the way we provide care and the factors which our physicians and patients will focus on when seeking healthcare services. We need to take the lead in educating ourselves and all of the Sinai stakeholders.
Mehlman: Do you have some specific thoughts about how the changing healthcare landscape will affect Sinai?
Perry: It’s clear that Sinai, like all hospitals, will be required to report against newly developed measures of quality and cost performance, and that this reporting will be available to consumers, the government, insurance companies and others. This heightened public accounting requires an increased focus on performance. As consumers assume greater responsibility for the payment of services they receive and the selection of the provider to perform those services, we want to ensure that it is our healthcare system that they choose. We need to continue our dedication to putting our patients first and to providing medical care of the highest quality at the most efficient cost, and be prepared to demonstrate our leadership in these areas.
Mehlman: Does Miami’s Mount Sinai Medical Center also have an Auxiliary, and, if so, what role do they play?
Perry: Yes, Mount Sinai has a terrific group of about 400 volunteers who connect to the hospital in many ways, from reading to patients and manning desks, to taking carts around to patients’ rooms. Our Auxiliary is a subsection of our Volunteer Department and members of our Auxiliary organize social events and some fundraising.
Mehlman: I’m sure our readers would love a brief glimpse into your personal life. Please tell me a little about your family.
Perry: I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world. My wonderful husband of 21 years, Aaron, is supportive and caring and is a companion to our 12 year old son, Adam, as I spend most of my week in Baltimore. Parenthetically, we will move to Baltimore in July after Adam’s Bar Mitzvah. We are also blessed with two lovely daughters, Allie and Annie, who are away at college. I should also mention an additional perk of moving to Baltimore: I’ll be close to my brother, Steven, and his family who live in Washington, D.C.
Mehlman: Two last connected questions, and I thank you for all the time you’ve spent with me. What attracted you to a career in the healthcare business? What about your job do you find most satisfying?
Perry: I’ve always enjoyed challenges, and working in healthcare is a nonstop challenge. It makes me want to get up each morning and hurry to work. It’s an industry where you can really make a difference in people’s lives, where your greatest reward is helping people. In my opinion, you can’t beat that!
Change and transition are often difficult. All of us in the Sinai family are grateful Neil Meltzer is so able and well-prepared to take over for Warren Green at LifeBridge. After spending some time talking with Amy Perry and reviewing the amazing things she’s already accomplished, I can see why the Sinai board and staff are so excited that Amy has joined the team. Sinai couldn’t be in better hands!
-Written by Judy Mehlman
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