Published On: Mon, Nov 20th, 2017

Boca Regional Hospital CEO to retire in August 2018 

 

By Dale King

BOCA RATON – When Jerry Fedele retires as president and CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital next August, he will leave behind a legacy in philosophy and community spirit as well as lots of new brick and mortar.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital President and CEO Jerry Fedele

Since arriving in 2008 as part of a consulting team called in to prop up a facility that was hemorrhaging millions of dollars each year, “We built strength in the balance sheets. We are on strong footing. We have grown the institution and its utilization. We have gone from 2008, when we were losing $120 million a year, to now, when we have grown and are having capacity problems. But those are good problems.”

Fedele, who will retire on Aug. 31, 2018, just days after his 65th birthday, remembers Oct. 1, 2008 very well. It was the day he walked into the Meadows Road facility for the first time.

“It was a very exciting time, but one that was filled with challenges. I saw lots of opportunities, but at the same time, the physicians and board members were pessimistic. I remember thinking: we can do great things. I have to get the board and medical staff to think the same things.”

Eventually, he did it – and did it so well that Boca Hospital changed its name from “Community” to “Regional” in 2010 to reflect its enlarged service area and to underscore improvements in the level, quality and variety of services.

Within 18 months of entering Boca Hospital, “we broke even,” Fedele said. “Once we saved the hospital, it was all about redefining the vision. We started in 2010 to make the hospital the preeminent regional referral center. We also established the strategy for becoming an academic center for medical education,” working with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University.

Ask Fedele what he did a decade ago to keep BRRH from being sold or shut down due to financial and management problems and he’ll cite the work of his associates who helped him work a miracle of salvation at the hospital affectionately known as “The Miracle on Meadows Road.”

“When we succeed, we succeed as a team,” Fedele told the audience at the annual meeting of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce in October where he and his sidekicks were called to the podium to receive the Award of Excellence. Fedele himself was honored not only for his nine years as president and CEO of BRRH, but as the 2016 Chairman of the Boca Chamber Board of Directors.

“Jerry has made his mark not only on the Chamber, but on an institution, that is deeply embedded in the fabric of our community,” said Chamber President and CEO Troy McLellan.

“When Jerry took over at BRRH in 2008, the hospital was amid major downsizing and financial crisis. Nine years later, the hospital has never been stronger, having added world-class facilities and recognized financial success.”

Last June, when Boca Hospital announced it was looking to “explore the possibility of establishing a strategic partnership with another healthcare provider,” Fedele cited in a press release “a host of advances and achievements” as evidence of BRRH’s transformation from “a capable community hospital into a leading academic tertiary medical center.”

Included were: Designation as a “Top Ranked Regional Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report (the highest ranked hospital in Palm Beach County), the most “Top Doctors” in Palm Beach County as recognized by Castle Connelly, and creation of cutting-edge programs and facilities such as the Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute, the Marcus Neuroscience Institute, the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, the Wold Family Center for Emergency Medicine, the Gloria Drummond Physical Rehabilitation Institute and the Irving & Barbara C. Gutin Center for Robotic Surgery.

“In technology, we went from having no robotic surgery to being the largest robotic surgery provider in Palm Beach County with the Gutin Center for Robotic Surgery.”

Looking ahead, Fedele says: “I’ve always been a zealot about patient satisfaction. I hope this emphasis doesn’t change under whoever becomes the new CEO. But things will be different. Things will continue to evolve.”

The BRRH boss hasn’t decided what retirement will bring. He may do consulting work or return to practicing law. He noted that he still has the J.D. degree he received from Duquesne University School of Law, where he was valedictorian of his class. He also holds an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at University of Pittsburgh and a BS in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Also, he loves bike riding and photography, the latter a hobby he shares with friends on Facebook. He’ll undoubtedly be seen around town, as he is now, with wife, Terry, on his arm, and he’ll be spending time with their grown children.

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  1. Sadface says:

    I am but 51. I am being treated there and am going to die soon. I am glad I am near this hospital and being treated there. It is clean and professional. Just wish I wasn’t going to croak.

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