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kenneth jones

Kenneth Jones

Class of 2003

What is your current role in health care?

“I am the CEO of Northwest Medical Center, part of HCA. I have been in this role since March. It is a full service acute care hospital. We specialize in women’s, cardiovascular, neurosurgery, orthopedics, as well as general surgery, with a big emphasis on robotic surgery.”

What stands out as a favorite memory during your time as an MHA student?

“For me, it was our class fishing trip. Additionally, I think being in statistics, Vern was always entertaining and interesting. I think the problem solving class to learn how to think critically, while building logistical commodore between faculty, the students, and alumni. Being able to establish those relationships and those bonds are mostly what I remember.”

How has the MHA Program helped prepare you for your career?

“I think the rigor around the academic curriculum and the early exposure to the various health systems and health organizations helped prepare me for my career. I would say the network and to be able to have the experimental experience of learning, while you’re in school, but also on the other hand to have exposure to the field and the alumni base, I think those things kind of set the program apart.”

What challenges and opportunities will healthcare leaders encounter in the next 5-15 years? What skills will leaders need to be successful in light of these challenges and opportunities?

“Healthcare leaders will encounter a continued focus on transformation and more of a personalized healthcare approach towards the pressures around quality, cost, and value. There are more non-traditional provider disruptors that are looking to improve value, reduce costs, and increase quality as well, so I think it’s just being adaptable to the environment and being open to change.

“Leaders will need to be able to have good relationships that create a work environment culture that’s focused on trusting relationships and teams. I will say negotiation always is helpful as you negotiate resource allocation and critical thinking around complex problems and different perspectives. It’s our responsibility to create vision, culture, and strategy. How you get your words across through written and verbal communication can create a sense of belonging and trust.”

If you could give one piece of advice to a current student, what would it be?

“Lean into the Minnesota alumni network and have a team of advisors who can be a sounding board for career challenges and opportunities. We’re not in this alone.  Having a team of people that can help us through our journey is something I recommend for any healthcare professional.”

Why is your class the best class ever?

“It’s a group that I appreciate and I value their input.”

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