Leading Healthcare Change from Within

Thursday, September 6, 2012
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Jodi Balint

Jodi Balint of Huggins Hospital

Located in Wolfeboro, N.H., Huggins Hospital provides medical services to the Lake Region’s year-round population of 30,000 residents and approximately 120,000 seasonal residents and visitors who come from all over the world. Jodi Balint is the person responsible for business strategy, finance, and operational management for the 13 hospital-owned healthcare practices comprised by Huggins.

She also oversees physician recruitment and specialty service agreements.

Huggins is classified as a small, rural, “critical access” hospital—the kind of organization Balint says provides a lot of service, but must regularly contract with part-time cardiologists, urologists, neurology, vascular surgeons, and others whom they cannot afford to hire full-time.

Balint says that making sure Huggins remains not only viable but also competitive—“How can a small hospital such as ours provide better healthcare outcomes for the money spent?”—requires the kind of “booster shot” of talent and expertise her graduate work enables her to provide.

“I used to rely on simplistic charts and lists of pros and cons to make decisions,” says Balint, who is enrolled in the University’s part-time MBA program. “Now I’m much better organized.” Balint says she’s also become better at process-improvement modeling, “a real passion of mine,” in which she defines stakeholders, identifies interests, approach, and information needed, builds consensus, and finally implements change.

Balint, who started her career in the technology and banking sectors, says people are still attracted to healthcare for altruistic reasons. “When I first got into healthcare, you just treated patients, with little emphasis on cost and what patients pay,” says Balint. “Today, we still believe in healthcare but we understand that being profitable will enable us to offer better service to the patient.”

The culture is changing, says Balint, and that’s what makes the profession so interesting. “I need my graduate education to make sure I am able to deliver.”

Originally published by:

The Whittemore WIRE

Written by Dave Moore, Editorial and Creative Services