Flagler Expanding, CEO Lists His Tools for Success; Gordy Places Importance on Shared Vision, the Right People, Patient Satisfaction ... and His Paintbrush

Article excerpt

Byline: URVAKSH KARKARIA

As Jacksonville hospital groups fan into surrounding counties in search for new marketshare, St. Augustine-based Flagler Hospital is moving to protect its high-growth turf.

The hospital, in St. Johns County, is planning a more than $30 million outpatient medical campus south of World Golf Village, an effort to reach out to patients where they live.

The development will initially include an urgent care center and a 35,000-square-foot medical office building. Long-term plans also call for imaging services and a 43,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center.

Chief Executive Joe Gordy fleshed out his company's growth strategy for the Times-Union and talked about industry challenges, the competition and his management style.

Q: How important is patient satisfaction in a hospital's competitive strategy? You may have good clinical results but the patients don't really know that. What they know is, 'Were the nurses empathetic? Was the staff nice to me? Did people seem to care about me?' If you do it right, it creates great word-of-mouth and great loyalty on the part of the patients.

Q: Flagler Hospital is surrounded by much larger health care groups such as Baptist Health. Is it a matter of time before competition comes to St. Johns County as it is doing in Clay? The competition [will likely] take place in the northern part of St. …