Following a greater than 40 yr profession as a senior chief in healthcare, Will Ferniany, CEO of the UAB Well being System and the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance, will retire on the finish of yr.
Media contact: Tyler Greer
After practically 13 years on the helm of the UAB Well being System, Will Ferniany, Ph.D., will retire on the finish of 2021. Ferniany turned chief government officer of the Well being System in 2008, his second stint at UAB. A senior chief in well being care since 1975, Ferniany can be the CEO of the brand new UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance. On this position, Ferniany oversees a $5 billion, 11-hospital well being system.
Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice chairman and dean of the UAB College of Medication, will succeed Ferniany as CEO of UABHS and the Alliance within the new yr, whereas persevering with in his position of dean of the medical college.
“Will Ferniany has loved a protracted and distinguished profession that led to transformational change for UAB Medication and well being care in Birmingham and throughout Alabama,” mentioned UAB President Ray L. Watts. “We’re deeply grateful for all of Dr. Ferniany’s contributions to the success of the UAB Well being System, the College of Medication and UAB, and can proceed the robust collaborative and aligned management workforce strategy that has introduced us nice success during the last decade. Dr. Ferniany will proceed to be actively engaged all through 2021 in positioning the Alliance for continued success.”
After graduating from the College of Alabama in 1973, Ferniany earned a grasp’s diploma in 1975 and a doctoral diploma in 1983 from UAB in well being care administration earlier than embarking on a protracted profession in well being care administration, together with serving as affiliate vice chancellor and chief government officer of the College of Mississippi Medical Middle and vice chairman/chief administrative officer and senior vice chairman of Skilled Providers of the College of Pennsylvania Well being System.
He served as CEO of UAB Psychiatric Hospital and government administrator for the Division of Psychiatry from 1988-1990 and in strategic planning and market improvement within the UAB Well being System from 1990-1992 throughout this primary stint at UAB.
Throughout Ferniany’s tenure as CEO, the UABHS has grown from 5 hospitals to 11, with revenues increasing from $2.3 billion in 2008 to greater than $5.8 billion right now. Ferniany says among the many most gratifying accomplishments of his time at UAB is the engagement by the Well being System to enhance well being look after Alabamians.
“To that finish, UAB is actively engaged with the Alabama Hospital Affiliation, together with many different affiliations with Alabama well being care services, to broaden Medicaid and enhance Medicaid funding, develop an in depth telehealth system, and function the brand new Alabama Rural Hospital Useful resource Middle,” he mentioned.
Cooperative agreements established with most of the main well being care services within the state, together with Cell Infirmary Well being and Northeast Regional Medical Middle in Anniston, together with the forming of the Alabama Well being Alliance with Huntsville Hospital, have contributed to the development in well being care, and entry to well being care, in Alabama. UABHS now manages 4 rural hospitals — in Camden, Demopolis, Greenville and Alexander Metropolis — offering cost-savings and efficiencies that assist these services proceed to supply medical care of their communities.
UAB affiliate Medical West Hospital in Bessemer is making ready to start out building on a brand new, upgraded facility that can enhance well being look after residents within the South and Southwestern components of Jefferson County, a challenge that has been a aim of Ferniany’s for practically 12 years.
Ferniany is well-regarded for the event of a profitable Funds Move mannequin, which supplies monetary help for scientific departments from well being care revenues, aligning the departments and the hospital. Funds Move supplies new income streams that help the missions of scientific care, biomedical analysis and schooling.
“Dr. Ferniany is to be credited for his unwavering help of the mission of educational medication,” Vickers mentioned. “The Educational Enrichment Fund developed below his management aligned the Well being System with the tutorial departments, enhancing the varsity’s capacity to retain and recruit prime physicians and scientists.”
Vickers mentioned the varsity will institute the Will Ferniany Educational Medication Management Award, given to a well being system government who greatest demonstrates an ongoing dedication to the establishment’s educational mission.
Reid Jones, now CEO of UAB Medication, labored carefully with Ferniany over time because the COO of the Well being System.
“Coordinating alignment throughout the group was essential to Dr. Ferniany,” mentioned Jones. “He created programs to assist senior management concentrate on main initiatives that might be transformational for UAB. The primary was the Bridge to the Future, adopted by Group for
Success. This main reorganization melded our disparate items so that every entity labored in live performance with the better entire. That helped to maneuver us ahead.”
Jones says Ferniany’s effort to construct the alliance with Ascension St. Vincent’s is one other instance of ahead considering that can strengthen well being care throughout the state.
“High quality has all the time been a focus for Dr. Ferniany,” Jones mentioned. “He’s tenacious about producing higher outcomes. He cares about his workers, and he cares in regards to the sufferers. He all the time says, ‘Do what is correct for the affected person and all the things else falls in place.’”
Ferniany created an Workplace of Affected person Expertise and Engagement to measure, help and allow enhancements throughout the group. Specializing in the affected person expertise as a strategic precedence has resulted in year-over-year enhancements in affected person satisfaction measures throughout UAB’s ambulatory clinics. UAB Hospital continues to obtain nationwide recognition as a top-performing hospital for affected person expertise, named in 2020 as a Shopper Loyalty Finest in Class Hospital by NRC Well being, inserting the hospital within the nationwide prime 10 for affected person expertise and model loyalty for the second consecutive yr.
Different initiatives spearheaded by Ferniany addressed selling management and variety within the Well being System, beginning with the creation of the place of chief management improvement officer, establishing coaching programs and scholarship alternatives. The Workplace of Variety and Inclusion was created in early 2017. UAB Medication was named “Finest Office for Variety” by Birmingham Journal in 2018, and held variety conferences in 2018 and 2019, canceling in 2020 on account of COVID-19.
Ferniany is committed to well being fairness and established a brand new place of vice chairman of Neighborhood Well being Fairness and labored with Jefferson County to determine a College Authority to function Cooper Inexperienced Mercy Well being Providers. This effort supplied help to the county and improved entry to high-quality look after Cooper Inexperienced sufferers. UAB Medication has additionally supported the Birmingham Training Basis’s Well being Academies, enhancing entry to well being professions for college kids in Birmingham Metropolis Colleges.
The Well being System’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be a testomony to Ferniany’s imaginative and prescient of supporting the neighborhood and the state. UAB Medication quickly arrange testing websites for the virus and developed new testing strategies. When vaccines turned accessible, UAB created vaccine websites to serve all of Jefferson County and UAB’s sufferers at Parker Excessive College, the Hoover Met, UAB Hospital-Highlands and AOH Cathedral of the Cross church. UAB has administered greater than 105,000 vaccines at its vaccine areas to this point.
“I’m pleased with what our college and workers have achieved in working these websites,” Ferniany mentioned. “Vaccination is the important thing to ending the pandemic and bringing a couple of return to normalcy. We accepted the duty, as we’re one of many few organizations with the sources, the experience and the chance to keep up these large-scale vaccination websites.”
Ferniany has served on many regional and nationwide well being administration boards, together with the Alabama Hospital Affiliation (previous chair), Affiliation of American Medical Schools, College Well being Consortium, Council of Educating Hospitals (previous chair), Vizient and the College of Miami Well being System.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve UAB Well being System’s sufferers, physicians and workers, and the individuals of Alabama,” Ferniany mentioned. “The UAB Well being System and the UAB Well being System/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance will proceed to enhance well being care supply in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. Whereas it’s bittersweet to announce my retirement, I accomplish that with nice delight in all we now have achieved collectively for these we serve and understanding the way forward for continued success is in good arms. UAB won’t ever fail so long as we do what is correct for our sufferers, our neighborhood and our state.”