Healthcare innovation

Donald Lloyd on how he sets up…

Donald Lloyd on how he sets up…

Donald Lloyd serves as president and CEO at Moreland, Ky.-based St. Clair Healthcare. 

Mr. Lloyd will serve on the panel “The Most Impactful Change We Made Last Year and How We Did It” at Becker’s 10th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker’s is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the roundtable, which will take place in Chicago from Nov. 7-10, 2022.

To learn more about the conference and Mr. Lloyd’s session, click here.

Becker’s Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare’s brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speakers had to say.


Question: What is the smartest thing you’ve done in the last year to set your system up for success?

Mr. Lloyd: From the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an influx of financial resources from state and federal programs that have enabled institutions to survive and offset the significant financial burden that COVID-19 caused for hospitals. While these resources were helpful in many regards, our system recognized that these resources were one-time benefits that offset expenses attributed to primarily COVID-19 response operations, not to be used in place of sound operating discipline. As a result, to evaluate a sustainable level of operational performance and not to become dependent upon the CARES Act or other stimulus funding, our leadership team and medical staff have operated our system as if the supplementary resources did not exist to assure our continued viability.

Q: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous?

DL: During the last three years of this pandemic, we have seen the entire healthcare industry innovate, develop and implement operational, clinical and strategic initiatives at a pace unlike anything we have seen previously during my 40-year career. I believe that our rapid adoption of technologies, the development of efficacious clinical responses and our ability to overcome tremendous obstacles like supply chain, labor and extreme acuity have reenergized our industry for the better. However, I am extremely concerned about the resiliency of our clinical and non-clinical staff to endure another round of COVID-19 surges. We must pause and examine how we as healthcare leaders can cultivate and harvest a culture that is more resilient and sustainable going forward.

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two?

DL: Given the economic inflationary pressures we are facing in the U.S. today, our approach to growth is measured and extremely mission focused. The guardrails for our system’s growth are aggressive yet assured via our vetting process. We are keenly aware that not all growth is healthy or sustainable in our served markets. Our growth initiatives are tied to well-vetted business plans that require a high confidence threshold of success. Prudence and accountability are the foundation of our growth strategy in today’s market. With respect to investments, our leadership is investing heavily in the development and resilience of our medical staff, our clinical and nonclinical employees, and building pipelines of future employees with regional secondary, technical and higher education institutions throughout the Commonwealth.

Q: What will healthcare executives need to be effective leaders for the next five years?

DL: For many parts of our health system in this country, the pandemic exposed significant opportunities for the identification and development of future leadership. We must continue to consistently observe and cultivate new leaders for and in our organizations. In this regard, effective leadership will require a new understanding and appreciation for the expectations of a new generation of physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists, allied health professionals and leadership – clinical and non-clinical. Future leadership will also need to embrace operational change at a much faster pace than our present or past practices indicate. We were forced to embrace rapid change in response to COVID-19. I am hopeful our traditional aversion to managerial and strategic change is behind us as health system leaders. Additionally, leaders of the future must not forgo the principles of sound financial management as the headwinds of inflation, supply chain deficits and labor shortages will greatly affect the success or failure of leadership in the foreseeable future.

Q: How are you building resilient and diverse teams? 

DL: An effective and responsible leader will proactively engage their team. This engagement provides incredible insight to a team’s effectiveness, culture and abilities. In today’s available talent pool, good leadership demands a conscious effort to seek and cultivate diverse talent at every level of the organization, from the bedside to the back-office. We have so many opportunities in society to create diversity of thought, perspective and skill. We as leaders must lead by example in this paradigm as the future success of our healthcare system, and those we serve, depend upon us to create that welcoming and compassionate environment of care.