Better Together

This article first appeared in the Florida Business Observer on March 31, 2017.

Better Together

After two decades in executive marketing roles, some with a national golf course and country club operator, some with a billion-dollar RV business, Stewart Schaffer found himself in an odd place: a room full of 100 hospital system employees.

It was 2009. Schaffer, with experience at ClubCorp International and Lazydays RV Supercenter, was recruited to oversee marketing and strategy at Clearwater-based BayCare Health System. Then with nine hospitals in the Tampa region, BayCare was one year into a major transformation of its model, to go from a hospital-centric system to one more patient-centric. Schaffer was brought on to bring his run-it-like-a-business experience and Wharton MBA mindset to the transition at the nonprofit medical system — an unusual marriage.

Schaffer sought to set the tone from the beginning of his BayCare stint. “I told everyone that my primary reason to be there was to drive top line revenue,” Schaffer says. “I told all the people: ‘If you’re here for any other reason then to grow patient care revenue and patient lists, then you are here for a different reason than me and you should think about working in another department.”

The devotion to the top line mission paid off. Over six years, Schaffer’s department helped the health care system increase revenue 25%, a gain of $500 million. The system’s net margins, adds Schaffer, increased from 5% to 7% during his tenure.
Schaffer, 65, is no longer with BayCare, but he remains in health care.

Read the full story here.

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