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'The great work we can accomplish ...'

Health care finance is enormously complex, and as odd as this may sound, I enjoy the challenge and leading this area for St. Luke’s Health System. I also look forward to the challenges ahead of us. 
By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
October 12, 2012

I’ve asked St. Luke’s Health System Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Taylor to share his perspectives. His thoughts are presented here. I’ve introduced Jeff in a previous post, and you’ll be hearing more from him and other members of our executive team in this space in the future.

I joined St. Luke’s in 1994 and since then, I have been actively involved in most all business transactions that comprise what St. Luke’s is today. 

I have the pleasure of leading teams that comprise the areas of finance, revenue cycle, and health information management. My day-to-day focus, and what I enjoy most, is leading the organization from a business and strategy perspective. 

I’m a strong believer that when we provide a great patient experience and we are mindful of operational efficiency, and we couple that with thoughtful strategy, solid financial results will follow. That has been our history, and will continue to be our focus going forward. 

Over the years, St. Luke’s has enjoyed tremendous growth. From a business perspective, this growth has been the result of trusted relationships, formed over many years, and a commitment to business principles that are in the best interest of our patients and the communities that we serve. 

An important legacy of prior chief executive officers E. E. "Gil" Gilbertson and Ed Dahlberg is that they both left the organization in a strong financial position and in the hands of a community board. 

As chief financial officer of this organization, that also is my commitment, and foundational in our daily work. I’m an outspoken advocate of the not-for-profit health care system, which gives us the ability, without any business conflict, to be 100 percent focused on our patients and community.

I’m proud of our historical operating performance, which is a credit to all of our employees and to our community supporters. This past year, we enjoyed record contribution levels from donors, in excess of $8 million. That level of support is just one indication of the trust placed in us, and reminds us of the importance of being great stewards of this wonderful asset that is St. Luke’s.

On a personal note, my family and I have had relationships with St. Luke’s for more than a half-century. My grandparents were dairy farmers in the Treasure Valley; some of you with long memories will recall Taylor’s Drive-In Dairy on Fairview Avenue just past Cole Road.

My other grandparents farmed on Eagle Road, near what is now our St. Luke’s Meridian campus. I graduated from Meridian High School and from the College of Idaho. I serve on the board of trustees of the college. And I have the pleasure of being the CFO of the hospital where I was born. 

Dr. Pate and others often poke fun at me, suggesting that I seem to be related to everybody in the area. I am the second-oldest of 36 grandchildren, and between my grandparents, their brothers and sisters, numerous aunts and uncles, and my lovely wife, Christal, who is the youngest of nine children … you get the point. I have a lot of family in Idaho and like many others, St. Luke’s has touched my life significantly. My family is proud to have me as part of St. Luke’s.

During my early educational years, I had no indication what would be in store for me. I dreamed of playing professional basketball, however quickly realized I didn’t have all the required abilities.  

Today, I dream about the great work we can accomplish together here at St. Luke’s, and I am very confident in our collective abilities. I look forward to a great future.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.