Vincent Capece Jr. – President & CEO,
An accountant and a healthcare executive, Vincent is passionate about helping those who need it. He has over a decade of experience as the CEO at Middlesex Health prior to which he has held several interesting roles. In this interview, he talks to me about the challenges he has faced over the years and advice for newcomers in this field.
Starting Out In The Healthcare Domain
Vincent began his career in public accounting with the firm Arthur Andersen. It was here that he landed his first experience in the healthcare industry. Vincent recounts that one of his first clients was a hospital which at the time made him nervous as he had no prior experience in the medical industry.
However, the relationship grew well, and the client offered Vincent a job five or six years later. Vincent spent the next ten years of his professional career working for them after which he landed the Chief Financial Officer position at Middlesex Health. His passion for the field saw him continually achieve new heights and a few years later he was offered the role of Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held for the last almost 12 years now.
‘I was attracted to the hospital industry because it allowed me to be part of something that’s doing good in the world and that’s helping people.’
Talking about his prior background as a CPA, Vincent believes it has been quite beneficial. A background in finance is not the norm in the healthcare industry but is important for successfully navigating a business strategically. Combining his financial skills and passion for helping people has been instrumental in helping Vincent learn about the healthcare industry and succeed in it.
Current Business Structure And Organization
The health system has four major locations. Its main campus, which includes Middlesex Hospital, is in Middletown followed by two major satellite medical centers. The Shoreline Medical Center and the Marlborough Medical Center are in the southern and northern parts of the service area, respectively.
Both of these satellite facilities provide emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week plus a wide array of different diagnostic services. The main campus offers emergency services along with a host of inpatient and outpatient services, medical services, and surgical services.
The health system also has another medical facility known as the Outpatient Center in the near vicinity which provides a wide range of outpatient services. It includes an ambulatory surgery center and a cancer center as well as diagnostic testing and two large physician office buildings.
‘We are fairly decentralized in how we deliver care, and our philosophy has been to locate our services close to our population centers to be convenient and accessible.’
Vincent reveals that they currently have approximately 400 physicians on the medical staff. About 40% are employed by the health system, while the remainder are in private practice.
Like in other health systems, revenue cycle management is important. Talking about this aspect, Vincent states that all Middlesex’s work is carried out domestically onshore. He credits the high-end information systems technology used and the talented people working in the finance department for this achievement. He also believes it has played a prominent role in the success of the health system.
Standout Moments As A Business Leader
The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenging time that no one was prepared for. As the head of the health system, Vincent has had his share of sleepless nights and his hands full trying to negotiate all the protocols while helping the community and taking care of health system employees.
He credits the doctors, nurses, and staff who are doing an amazing job caring for patients despite all of the uncertainty. The team learns something new every day about the disease and how to treat it, along with everyone else in the industry. For Vincent, the pandemic is the most difficult challenge he has faced in his career and one he also learned a lot from.
One reason for the organization’s success is a high-performing team, says Vincent. From the board of directors on down, there is a culture that seems to never be satisfied with the status quo.
‘Everyone here seems to have a desire, at all levels, and within all of the different departments, to pursue excellence, and we work truly as a team.’
The team is constantly pursuing something better due to which the organization has made significant strides in advancing the quality of care and providing an environment that is warm and caring. The staff has been the key contributor to Middlesex’s success, and Middlesex is consistently recognized as a high-performing organization in many respects. Be it the Magnet nursing designation, recognition for patient safety and clinical quality from outside independent organizations like Healthgrades, or the designation as a leader in caring for the underserved, minorities, and the LBGTQ+ community, all these achievements are because of the ability of the staff to work dedicatedly as a team.
Overcoming Challenges Over The Years
The biggest challenge Middlesex Health has overcome is being able to continue operating as an independent health system in the face of significant consolidation in Connecticut and around the country over the last 10 years. Vincent states that Middlesex has managed to navigate through the never-ending array of difficulties all health systems have faced, whether it be shrinking reimbursement or scrutiny with regard to quality and safety, and so far has continued to win the battle.
Business Plans For The Future
Vincent reveals that the organization does have plans to develop and grow. A key component of future growth is expected to come from growing its primary care services. They have a Family Medicine Residency Program within the health system that has allowed them to train and develop primary care doctors, many of whom have stayed in the community after program completion. This has helped the primary care group to grow, and there are plans to develop facilities and contribute to this growth, particularly in communities with significant populations.
Talking about marketing as a tool, Vincent believes that while marketing is a significant expense, it has become a necessity to reach people. Advertising has become sophisticated and extremely important in terms of reaching out to the community and highlighting the various services that one has and who they are as an organization.
‘As an organization, you need to have a voice. You need to have a presence because everyone has a marketing strategy.’
Top Philosophies And Core Values In Business
Vincent is a big believer in the power of teams. Getting people to work together as a team has been a major focus at Middlesex Health and has been a fundamental element of their initiatives on improving safety and clinical quality in the organization.
The organization’s mission encompasses three elements: providing the safest care, the highest quality care, and the best experience for its patients. Everything they do comes back to these three pursuits.
Advice For Newcomers Entering The Healthcare Domain
Vincent advises everyone trying to find their way in life to focus on the things they like to do and the things they are interested in. Then, work hard at being the best one can be and the rest will take care of itself. It’s a simple formula, but it works.
Vincent states that sometimes, particularly the younger generation, tend to be less patient and want to be rewarded overnight. Sometimes it takes time for the reward to come, but in the meantime, every experience is beneficial.
‘Individuals need to be patient and learn as much as they can about as many different things as they can because you never know where life is going to lead you.’
Vision For The Future Of The Industry
To stay successful in healthcare in the future, Vincent believes people need to pay attention to their finances. While Middlesex may not be in the business of money, they do need to make money to stay in business. Additionally, focusing on safety and high-quality care is fundamental to having patients choose Middlesex for their care. The reality is that being able to provide these high-quality services requires significant resources.
Leadership Lessons Learned In Life
‘The biggest lesson that I have learned is that I can’t do anything without good people around me.’
Talking about the importance of a good team, Vincent says he is only as good as the people working with him. Additionally, he is self-aware of his strengths and weaknesses and works to fill the gaps with other people that can complement his skills.
‘Giving credit to others when they do a good job and treating people the way that you would like to be treated, I think that goes a long way in terms of being a good leader.’
Follow Vincent Capece On : LinkedIn