Rock Regional Hospital has its new CEO – and it didn’t have to look far to find him, as former Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Barry Beus was officially promoted to the role of CEO at the Derby hospital as of Oct. 5.
“I always kind of aspired to leadership type positions. I’ve been in the health care industry since 2008 and I always kind of felt like I could be successful in leadership positions,” Beus said.
Beus officially started with Rock Regional in September 2018, after working with Wellsky (a health care technology company) in his native Utah for six years. Prior to that, though, Beus was exposed to the area working at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
Having that exposure to the market, Beus became aware of the hospital being built in Derby. When he first had meetings about the VP position with Rock Regional, he noted the development in the area in the six years he had been away was surprising – in a good way, as he saw that as the sign of a community that would support the success of a hospital.
Looking forward to assisting a start-up hospital helped bring Beus to Derby, though a chance to play a role in health care solutions (something he has been doing for more than a decade) has kept him working in hospitals.
“There’s something that you feel by participating in some way in the healing of people. That is really satisfying work,” Beus said. “While I don’t work with patients directly, I like to think that I have a role in providing some of the infrastructure that allows nurses, techs, physicians and other staff to provide care that people need.”
When Beus started at Rock Regional Hospital he was one of two employees. Shortly after taking the position in September 2018, Beus began to help hire directory level staff in November/December of that same year – moving into the physical hospital in February 2019 before it opened to the public in April 2019.
As CEO, Beus noted he will maintain a lot of the same responsibilities he had as VP of Business Development – especially with Rock Regional still in its infancy.
“Rock Regional Hospital is a start-up hospital and it takes a long time to develop your identity as a hospital,” Beus said. “There’s a lot of time and attention that has to be devoted to volume growth, so I will continue to work on the growth strategies for Rock Regional Hospital, and then I’ll still maintain some operational responsibilities that I had previously.”
Hurdles to overcome
With Rock Regional being a start-up hospital, there are a number of inherent challenges Beus will have to address in his new role as CEO.
From developing an identity to finding its place in the market, and providing the right amount of services, there is a lot for Beus to consider as the hospital’s new leader – with the coronavirus situation only adding to that.
“Starting a new hospital is challenging at any time. You throw a worldwide pandemic in the middle of that for a start-up hospital, it makes it even more challenging,” Beus said. “It takes a long time for hospitals to be sustainable financially, so COVID-19 presented a challenge for us there.”
Managing expenses is another challenge Beus will take on as CEO. Rock Regional being left out on federal assistance tied to COVID-19 makes that even more difficult, but he said he will take his lead from a number of strong hospital executives he has been fortunate to work with in the past.
While those executives helped shape who Beus is as a leader, he noted it might be his family in Utah who equipped with him with the most crucial tools for his new role.
“Coming from a family of 10 children, you learn how to get along with a lot of people,” Beus said. “Within a hospital, you have a very diverse staff, so you need to have the ability to get along and lead people at various skill levels.”
Given his presence since the hospital’s start, Beus already has strong working relationships with physicians and other staff at Rock Regional. Now, the idea is to continue building that network to grow the hospital into what the community wants.
While COVID-19 has created some uncertainty around seeking medical services currently, Beus wants to eliminate that when it comes to Rock Regional Hospital. Still looking to partner with the Wichita hospitals that serve Rock Regional, he also said his goal as CEO is to continue making services more convenient for Derby residents.
Building on a network of specialists that currently includes orthopaedic surgeons, cardiologists, gastroenterologists and more, Beus is focused on making Rock Regional Derby’s center for medical needs.
“That’s what we want to be. We want to be the community hospital of Derby. When they think about medical services, they think about Rock Regional Hospital,” Beus said. “I want patients to have good experiences when they come here. I want employees to be happy working at Rock Regional Hospital. If you look at the mission of Rock Regional Hospital, it’s to improve the health and well-being of the individuals, families and communities that we serve. Ultimately, that is my goal and the goal of Rock Regional Hospital to do just that.”