CHOC Leadership Q & A: Matt Gerlach

In today’s blog post, we sit down with Matt Gerlach, CHOC Children’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, to discuss CHOC’s role in the current and future health care landscape. In his position, Matt is responsible for the CHOC health care system’s hospital operations. Matt joined CHOC in September 2013, bringing more than 30 years of healtMatt Gerlach 3h care management experience.

Question: As CHOC Children’s new executive vice president and chief operating officer, what are your goals for the organization? 

Answer: I want to successfully fulfill our strategic plan (CHOC 2020) and our annual organizational goals. Our new vision – to be the leading destination for children’s health by providing exceptional and innovative care – is an inspiring call to action for all of us, including our physician partners.

Question: What do you believe are CHOC Children’s greatest strengths?

Answer: Our focus on excellence and our compassion for our patients, their families and our community is extraordinary. When I see our associates in action on a daily basis, providing high-quality care and patient safety with great service, I can easily see how we have earned our reputation as a top children’s hospital as measured by the Joint Commission, Leapfrog and U.S. News & World Report.

Question: How will CHOC Children’s new strategic plan affect delivery of care?

Answer: Health care in America is transitioning from a model of “sick care,” where health care providers give episodes of care to individuals when they become sick, to a model of “population health,” where health care providers assume responsibility for the total health for a given patient population – in our case, the children of our communities. Recognizing this shift in focus, our new strategic plan is designed to create structures, processes and, most importantly, relationships that will allow us to establish a “pediatric system of care” designed to care for the children in our communities.

Question: What is CHOC Children’s doing to manage in the current health care landscape?

Answer: I am excited about our future in the current and upcoming health care environment. For CHOC Children’s, or any hospital for that matter, to be successful and thrive in the future, we must be focused on providing value to our patients and the communities we serve. This means we must focus on excellent quality and service-oriented care with compassion, while ensuring that the cost of our care doesn’t prevent those who most need our services from being able to access CHOC. Our goals now, as well as into the future, must include a regular “check-up” to ensure that we remain excellent in quality, safety, service and caring, while being affordable to those who seek to access our care.

Question: How would you like to see physicians partner with CHOC in the coming years?

Answer: Our physicians are essential partners in our efforts to not only provide excellent patient care for each child entrusted to us, but also to help us design and implement our pediatric system of care. I look forward to working collaboratively with our physicians, including our community-based physicians, to ensure we have the elements in place for the health of children in our community. And when these children do need care, we will work together to provide the best possible care in the most appropriate setting.