On Tuesday, September 9, Samuel Lehrfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Brooklyn Hospital Center, opened his door for a day of job shadowing - an effort he made to support TBHC HEARTBEAT in its endeavor to bring the Hospital Family together by featuring a day in the life of one of its employees. In each ensuing publication, another person and their job responsibilities will be highlighted.
On a typical day, Mr. Lehrfeld is behind his desk by 7:30 A.M. On this particular day, he was there at 7:00 A.M. to prepare for an 8:00 A.M. meeting of the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Hardly had he settled in when Rick Braun, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance, appeared at his door to meet with him. As Rick was leaving, Dr. Romulo Genato, Chairman of the Department of Surgery, stuck his head in to ask for a few minutes of Mr. Lehrfeld's time. This meeting concluded just minutes before the Finance Committee meeting began. The finance Committee meeting concluded at 9:30 , after a thorough review and evaluation of the Hospital's financial position. This was followed by a five minute coffee break before proceeding with his day.
At that time, Mrs. Anne Goonan, Senior Vice President for Nursing and Patient Care Services, appeared for her daily meeting with Mr. Lehrfeld to deliver a 24 hour report on the prior day's nursing and clinical issues, and the 24-hour advance plan.
This meeting was immediately followed by an unscheduled meeting with Tom Grosso, Senior Vice President for Human Resources, to discuss issues of concern that fall under his responsibilities. After that meeting concluded, Dr. Wilfrido Sy, former Chairman of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, appeared for a meeting with Mr. Lehrfeld to discuss issues relative to Magnexx, an imaging company. That meeting concluded at 10:50 AM .
At 11:00 AM , Nancy Petterson, Director of Institutional Planning, appeared for yet another unscheduled meeting on the day's calendar, to discuss planning issues. Before that meeting had concluded, Mike Delicce appeared to ask Stara, Mr. Lehrfeld's Executive Secretary, if it was possible for him to get a few minutes of Mr. Lehrfeld's time to discuss issues he was working on. Since Mr. Lehrfeld never turns anyone away from his door, Mike was told to wait for the present meeting to end and he would see him.
Next on the day's agenda was lunch with a Trustee. Mr. Lehrfeld has been meeting individually with each of the Trustees to give them an opportunity to know him better, as well as for him to know the Trustees as individuals. This is also an opportunity to learn what concerns the Trustees may have about the Hospital. He then had to rush back to the Hospital to prepare his address to the Department Heads at their monthly meeting.
This was immediately followed by a meeting in his office to discuss possible new business opportunities for the Hospital - a meeting intended to find means of generating extra income. This meeting concluded at 5:00 P.M. leaving Mr. Lehrfeld about 45 minutes to look over his mail and return phone calls before going to the Caledonian Health Center to meet with that Community Advisory Board. The Community Advisory Board meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM , exactly twelve and a half hours after his day began, which is very typical. It is not unusual for Mr. Lehrfeld to have to attend an event outside the Hospital in the evening hours championing the Hospital with members of the community, local and national politicians, or other leaders in the healthcare industry.
As the President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lehrfeld never misses an opportunity to meet with anyone who has an interest in our Hospital. Each meeting has the potential of providing an opportunity for a new business venture; his philosophy: every person he meets matters to him - each suggestion, each report, each grievance provides a door to improvement.
Now we have at least an idea of what A Day in the Life of the President is like.