Wright Lassiter's Audacious Vision for Safety Nets

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , November 30, 2012

ACMC's effort to enlarge its geographic footprintis a fascinating test, but Lassiter may not be around to follow up. He is one of four finalists for the open CEO job at Dallas's Parkland Health & Hospital System, where he worked prior to joining ACMC,.

He notes that he has not sought the Parkland job, but he was encouraged to apply when the job came open at the beleaguered but promising health system, which will get an essentially brand-new hospital in the near future. Such jobs are not filled without announcing candidates, or at least finalists, publicly.

"That was particularly difficult because I'm not unhappy and I'm not looking [for a job]," says Lassiter, who has family in Dallas. "My board chair knew about it, but I'm still not talking broadly about it. The fact is, it does create some instability and the last thing I'd like is to create that. I'm haven't been comfortable sharing about it, but I have talked openly with medical staff and leadership team."

A decision will be made in middle of December on who will lead Parkland into the future. It's not a foregone conclusion that he'd accept that job if offered, Lassiter says, joking that at least he could decline the job privately even if he can't pursue it that way. Either way, he'll be carefully watching how this vision of expansion for his safety net plays out.

As previous successes at ACMC have, the outcome will rest not on him but on employees. "Employees do the work every day," he says. "I can have a grand vision and put some things in place to create some of this, but it really all comes down to execution at the front line."

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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