CEO Profile: Craig McCoy, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
Jan 01, 2017 06:39PM ● Published by Makayla Gay
By John McCurry
Photos by Amy Randall Photography
Craig McCoy says his management style centers around allowing people to do what they do best.
“I enjoy being able to encourage people who are doing the work at the bedside and other areas, and doing my best to try and knock down roadblocks so they can focus on taking care of patients and putting their training to use,” says McCoy, CEO at Greenville’s Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.
McCoy, who was named CEO in June 2015, says his first year on the job was spent learning about the mission of Bon Secours and how that mission is carried out into the community. He says even though he grew up in Greenville, he was astonished at the level of care provided.
“Certainly, I was aware of the reputation of excellence in care, but the complexity of care available right here in Bon Secours is amazing,” McCoy says.
Emory Healthcare in Atlanta was McCoy’s previous stop during his more than 20 years of health care experience. There, he served as CEO of Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Before joining Emory, he served as CEO at Paradise Valley Hospital in Phoenix and vice president professional services at Oconee Medical Center in Seneca.
But before his administrative career began, he served as a Greenville County paramedic. He says that seven-year stint as a paramedic taught him a lot about life. After graduating from Furman, he says he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, so he went to paramedic school and started working for Greenville County. He says the experience exposed him to impoverished areas of the community that he didn’t know existed.
“I think the biggest thing it taught me was the importance of consistently being yourself regardless of where you are or who are interacting with, across all socio-economic scales,” McCoy recalls. “A lot of human needs are the same. I learned to be yourself and to do what you can to help other people.”
McCoy says he’s excited about Bon Secours St. Francis’ community involvement and the system works hard to execute the compassionate mission the Sisters of Bon Secours started in 1824.
“Our vision is driven by our mission and the mission of Bon Secours is to bring compassionate healthcare to the community with a focus on the poor and dying. The reality of the matter is that we are in the sick care business. The folks we see typically have something going on that they are being treated for and we do a good job of it.”
McCoy notes that the trend toward preventive medicine will continue.
“We have to realize that health is made up of a lot of components and only a small part of it is what we do here. Housing, hunger, education, employment…all those factors come together to truly create health. We work in the physical health space, but we have an opportunity to be a catalyst for change in bringing partners together, identify opportunities and look for ways to solve health needs and promote greater collaboration.”
McCoy is glad to be working in his hometown again after 13 years away.
“It’s been good to come back and kind of dive into the community and to get back into the health system,” he says. “My dad practiced here [Greenville] for 30 years. I was very familiar with St. Francis from that aspect, as well as my time as a paramedic here.”
Bon Secours St. Francis employs about 4,000 system-wide. McCoy says the system strives to maintain staffing at an “optimal” level and provide enough resources to achieve excellence in care.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to fill certain positions, but overall we aim to achieve a balance,” McCoy says. “There is a seasonality in healthcare and from an economic standpoint we don’t want to staff up and have to lay people off, so we work had to balance those resources. I joke that it would be easy to manage a hospital if an equal number of patients came in on an equal number of days so you could manage it accordingly. As you know, that doesn’t happen.”
Greenville is an attractive market for healthcare professionals due to its quality of life, McCoy says, adding that compared to other communities where he has worked, it’s much easier to recruit talent to Greenville. Education opportunities for the healthcare work force are abundant, he says, with clinical rotation agreements with nurses and nurse practioners. “We get exposure to them and they get exposure to us.”
McCoy acknowledges that keeping up with the rapid pace of technology is one of Bon Secours St. Francis’ biggest challenges. This is another balancing act, determining if the cost is worth the added benefit of a specific technology. It’s a matter of determining if the technology can drive healthcare improvements or where it’s just something nice to have and not necessarily a necessity, he says.
“Probably the biggest spend we have going across healthcare now is electronic medical records and meeting federal mandates,” McCoy says. “IT investments are huge regarding data sharing. Ultimately, once fully deployed, and if they are deployed well, it will benefit the patient. There is the ability to share information in our system with our Epic system that we run in our hospital and the Epic Connect we run through our practices. We just recently connected our home health and hospice. Any one of those components can access those records. Ultimately, it’s beneficial for the patient.”