Newsmaker: Tom Bres

TomBresTom Bres

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Sparrow, 6 years

Q: Tell us what you plan to accomplish in 2015?

A: In 2015, we’re doing a number of things to provide greater access to health care. First, we’ll renovate the 6th floor of the main campus providing 40 private inpatient rehabilitation rooms through our partnership with Mary Free Bed. We’ll open that by the middle of the year.

A new medical center will be created northwest of Frandor. We’re constructing a three-story building for many of our Sparrow primary care physicians, senior services, radiology services and a full service pharmacy. We will break ground on this building in early 2015.

On our main campus in downtown Lansing, we will break ground on a plaza to be located across the street from the main hospital. A new, state of the art Cancer Center will be on the first two floors of this four-story, 120,000 square foot facility. The response from the community to this news has been incredible. Cancer impacts so many people, and this Center will give patients a more spacious, comfortable, healing environment where they can access the best medical minds and technology.

We’ll also be adding parking capacity and redesigning our main campus to increase green space and make the area more walkable. We’ll be adding retail and shopping capacity, including a “Gathering Place” and expanded pharmacy in the main hospital lobby.

Q: What will be the biggest hurdle?

A: The biggest hurdles will be time and pace. We want to accomplish so much this year, the challenge will be aligning people and resources in such a way that the projects complement each other.

Q: What trends were adopted in 2014 and do you see trends changing?

A: The biggest trend in the health care industry is the movement of health care providers to focus more on population health management. The best way to control health care costs is to improve the health and wellness of your community. It takes significant infrastructure investments for health care institutions to make this shift, and we saw a lot of that investing occur across the industry in 2014. At Sparrow we’ve invested in technology infrastructure as well as in partnerships with industry leaders like the Mayo Clinic and Mary Free Bed to bring these needed capabilities to
Mid-Michigan.

In 2015, infrastructure investments and partnership trends will likely continue. I believe we’ll also see an increase in consumer influences in the health care industry. People like to talk about the Affordable Care Act, and other politically charged topics, but consumer demands are arguably having just as big an impact on health care change. Consumers are more often paying for their health care out of their own pocket, and therefore they want the same types of technology and service convenience they see in other industries. This year you’ll see more and more health care institutions respond to that demand.

Q: What will be the biggest greater Lansing story in 2015?

A: I think the biggest story has the potential to be the coming together of different entities across the region to collaborate toward community goals. We have so many strong businesses headquartered in the Lansing area, as well as great educational institutions and civic leaders. Efforts like the Capitol Corridor and other partnerships and developments are exciting, and I think you’ll see more of these things take off.

Q: What has made it possible for you to get here?

A: Everything I get to do would not be possible without so many incredible physicians, nurses, caregivers and support people at Sparrow. More and more patients want to come to Sparrow because of our great caregivers, and that demand and growth drives the projects that my team gets to deploy. I also have a terrific team of people who have a track record of success. When your team delivers value, you pretty quickly have demand for more.

Q: What is the key to success?

A: I believe that if you have passion for what you are doing, a positive approach, and you are willing to listen and learn, then you have most of what you need to be successful.

Q: What would family, friends and coworkers say is your biggest quirk?

A: My family thinks it’s pretty odd that most days I get up at 4 a.m. And they think it’s even more odd that if I should happen to “sleep in” until 7 or 8 on the weekend I often feel disappointed that I missed a big part of the day.

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