Throughout his distinguished career in healthcare management, he has worked to impart knowledge and bring others up with him.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Chief Executive Officer, Methodist University Hospital
Why he chose Adelphi: “My boss at Beth Israel Hospital told us, ‘the future of healthcare is an M.B.A.’ Adelphi had a terrific program, and I was living in Plainview and working in Manhattan – the campus was literally on the way.”
Advice for students: ”You can take your Adelphi experience and become a national figure in your field. Always aim for excellence.”
Achieving Excellence in Healthcare
For Kevin Spiegel, a commitment to excellence isn’t just a professional mantra, it’s a deeply-held personal vision. Throughout his distinguished career in healthcare management, he has striven relentlessly for greater achievement and new challenges. Further, at every level he has worked to impart knowledge and bring others up with him.
Shortly after completing his M.B.A., he was recruited to a faculty advisory board and offered a clinical appointment to teach a practicum course at Adelphi. “My professors saw something in me,” he says. “And I was thrilled to be part of a great program. Adelphi’s degree in healthcare management gave me everything I needed to launch a career.”
A native of Plainview, Long Island, Mr. Spiegel also taught for 14 years at Hofstra University, while working as a hospital administrator in the New York region. At the Queens Hospital Center, he was a keen observer of Adelphi students as they rotated through the hospital’s training program.
“It was about translational skills,” he says, “watching students take what they had learned in the classroom and opening their eyes to how they could apply it in the real setting. That’s where education comes to life.”
Years later, those instincts have never left him. When the University of Tennessee launched a program in public policy, Mr. Spiegel astonished some of his peers by bringing his interns, fourth-year medical students, to executive-level conferences and seminars. This is an innovative program that exposes medical students to the other side of medicine.
Today, as the chief executive and administrative officer of a nationally-known academic hospital, Mr. Spiegel is still advancing strategies for academic, medical, and financial success. “I love being at an academic center,” he says, “we have the ability to do so much.”
That might just be an understatement. In his two-and-a-half year tenure at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Mr. Spiegel has taken the tertiary care facility to new level of accomplishment. A new affiliation with Columbia University Medical Center’s HeartSourcesm product, the success of AMI and Stroke certifications, tremendous increases in robotic surgery, and an enhanced reputation for liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantations all reflect his leadership and vision. Methodist has become the seventh largest liver transplant center in the nation, and boasts numerous celebrities among its grateful patients. He also oversees one of the largest neurosurgery training programs anywhere. With more than 40 neurosurgeons on staff, the department dwarfs many leading hospitals and universities.
Mr. Spiegel will admit that there are challenges, but he quickly pivots to see them as “opportunities.” “The greatest challenge is the unknown,” he says, “not knowing what will come down the road, or how healthcare reform will affect us. How do you invest in technology and talent at the same time, knowing that your resources may be impacted by lower reimbursement rates?”
And yet, he can answer his own question. “My strategy is consistent: people want excellence, they’ll look for it. If we can harness new technology and continue to push ourselves to be the best, we will continue to be successful.”
Mr. Spiegel’s leadership has not been overlooked. He was named one of the 25 Top Hospital Leaders by Business Tennessee, and he served as the President of the New York chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, of which he is a certified fellow. More recently, he hosted Dr. Mehmet Oz, a frequent guest on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show” in Memphis.
He began his professional life as a rehabilitation counselor, after completing an undergraduate degree in psychology. In the 1980s, a supervisor suggested that the future of healthcare would be charted by those with business acumen and that an M.B.A. would open doors. The turning point of Mr. Spiegel’s career came when he was sworn into office as the Deputy Commissioner in the Westchester County Department of Hospitals.
Recruited to perform a turnaround, he guided the breakaway from the county, and raised the Westchester Medical Center to prominence. From there he executed another turnaround at Southampton Hospital, before relocating to Warren, Ohio to become President and Chief Operating Officer of Trumbull Memorial Hospital. In five years, he attained national recognition for numerous programs, and guided the hospital into the nation’s top 100. Then, always wanting more, he made the move to Methodist, and clearly has found a home in Memphis.
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