You don’t get to lead a 10,000-member team as CEO of a significant healthcare system without developing a solid leadership philosophy.
For Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health, being adaptable is an important tenet of his, and one he tries to instill in other leaders within the firm.
The health care industry changes fast, at both the systemic level and within more specific areas of expertise, forcing people to take in a wide range of views and learn quickly from mistakes, he said.
“When you’re leading people, you need to recognize that everyone has a different learning style and you have to modify your approach based on each person’s or groups’ individual style,” Meltzer said.
He favors drop-in meetings, casual lunches and one-on-one conversations in the hallways with employees at all levels. And he cherishes the feedback he gathers, using it as a guide to improve the organization.
The formula seems to be working. Since taking over as CEO five years ago, Meltzer has overseen a bump in LifeBridge’s revenue, from $1.3 billion in 2013 to an estimated $2.2 billion projected for next fiscal year, while adding more than 2,300 jobs to the health system.
And he’s particularly proud to have played a lead role in establishing a series of partnerships with his employees and the broader community. These include a health equity task force that looks for ways to reduce the disparity in health outcomes and a diversity council for the system’s workforce.
LifeBridge has also put collaboration and innovation at the forefront under Meltzer’s leadership. Establishing business relationships with service vendors like ambulance transport, home care, physical therapy, medical supplies, sleep management and most recently, urgent care, is at the heart of this push.
The health system’s Bioincubator was among the first of its kind in the U.S., and now has 13 tenants it works within the fields of biotech, including cancer diagnostics and immunotherapies.
“When it comes to innovation, we don’t want to be the end-user of a product or service, but instead, we want to be part of creating the solution,” he said.
This is a winner profile from The Daily Record’s 2018 Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs awards. Some information for this profile was sourced from the honoree’s application for the award.