"Colleagues encouraged me to throw my hat in the ring for the interim CEO role. I did that because I felt that the mission for Parkland is so important—caring for the most vulnerable—and I felt that Parkland is such an important critical access hospital, not only for the patient population, but for all of Dallas."
Royer felt from the beginning he was a match for what he needed to do. "I certainly took the opportunity to read the CMS report and original report. I didn't feel there was anything (that) I was not unfamiliar with," Royer says, "working with a team to put into place action plans to build the corrective action process, building on all that success."
Parkland holds a historic bookmark in a tragic page of American history. For Baby Boomers growing up, the name Parkland resonates as the hospital where John F. Kennedy died following his assassination on November 22, 1963. For those with exceptional memories, it might be the first hospital name they remember as kids growing up.
Royer sees Parkland in another light—today's light.
"The volumes are usually near or at peak," Royer says. "Just last night, we had 200 people in the emergency department to be seen. We had to go to total diversion because we had no beds."
"This is a very large institution, very large and complex," he says. "I've never seen sicker patients in my life, with the comorbidities we have here."