Just a little greater than two-and-a-half years in the past, Chris Lumsden walked out of his workplace in South Boston, Virginia, for the ultimate time, after having served 33 years at Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital — generally known as Halifax-South Boston Group Hospital when he joined the employees as chief operation officer in 1985.
The majority of his time there was because the hospital’s CEO, a submit he assumed in 1988, earlier than he had turned 30. And by the top of March 2018, his run there had reached its conclusion.
Six months earlier he’d introduced he can be stepping down, and when he lastly made that final exit from his workplace, Lumsden was trying ahead to a wholesome, rewarding retirement. Journey was close to the highest of his listing, possibly extra time along with his household, extra deal with his curiosity in actual property and fishing.
Seems, others had a special concept for Lumsden.
After leaving his job, he rapidly jumped into a few of his different pursuits, however weeks later he acquired a name from a recruiter engaged on behalf of what was then recognized domestically as Northern Hospital of Surry County.
“I instructed them I had simply retired two months in the past.”
“We now have talked to numerous your colleagues, they usually mentioned that you just’re not able to retire.”
Lumsden paused for a second, then added, with a smile, “Seems like they talked to my spouse.”
Regardless of some makes an attempt at laying aside the recruiter, Lumsden mentioned he determined to make his first-ever go to to Mount Ethereal to satisfy with a few of the hospital’s board members and Robin Hodgin, who was serving as interim CEO.
After two hours, hospital officers had a succinct assertion for what they needed subsequent: “We’d such as you to return again and produce your spouse.”
Lumsden and his spouse, Linda, each fell in love with the neighborhood, and Lumsden mentioned an opportunity to step in and work with the employees and board at Northern was too inviting to withstand.
Lumsden has labored practically his complete grownup life within the subject, with three many years as a CEO after having been kind of shoved into the quick lane towards that submit, advancing rapidly up the ladder early in his profession.
The trek towards being a hospital CEO started when the Roanoke, Virginia-native was serving in a one-year administrative residency program at Group Hospital of Roanoke Valley, after his commencement from Bridgewater School. Six months into that residency, the hospital CEO at Group instructed Lumsden there was a gap at a small regional facility not too far down the highway.
Nicely, he instructed him a bit of greater than that.
“Chris, I bought you an interview with Danville Group Hospital.”
When Lumsden reminded his boss he was solely midway by means of his one-year residency, his boss’s reply was a easy “Don’t fear about that, Chris.”
This was in December 1982. Upon coming back from the interview, Chris discovered his boss ready for him.
“How did the interview go?” he requested.
“I instructed him I believed it went okay, and he mentioned, ‘You begin Jan. 21.’” Lumsden laughs on the reminiscence whereas recounting the story. “I hadn’t even talked to my spouse but. You possibly can’t make stuff like this up. That’s how issues have been achieved then.”
His time at Danville wasn’t his favourite interval — Lumsden mentioned he wasn’t keen on the tradition inside the hospital there — and he strongly thought of a profession change after a few years at Danville, even gaining acceptance to the T.C. Williams Faculty of Regulation on the College of Richmond.
However he ended up interviewing for the chief working officer submit at close by Halifax South Boston Group Hospital, a place he took in 1985 on the age of 27. Lower than three years later he was CEO.
Throughout his 30 years as the highest government, Lumsden helped oversee the transition from a small neighborhood hospital to a regional medical middle overseeing a hospital, two nursing houses, a hospice company, and different organizations whereas rising from 500 workers to 1,250.
“It actually grew to become an enormous well being enterprise in Southside Virginia,” he mentioned.
For Lumsden, a hospital will not be solely a spot to supply wellness and healthcare choices, it’s a serious financial driver in most communities, thus he believes in getting concerned with native schooling and financial improvement companies. He additionally believes deeply in offering academic alternatives for individuals who work for him, and for the better neighborhood.
Whereas in South Boston, he served on the Virginia Financial Improvement Partnership, Virginia Group School System and Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Affiliation — together with a stint as chairman of every group. He additionally helped discovered the Southern Virginia Increased Training Heart, which was initially financed by non-public cash however is now a part of the state’s public school system.
He didn’t change these philosophies throughout his temporary retirement. Since assuming the highest submit at Northern, he has turn out to be concerned with the North Carolina Hospital Affiliation and the Better Mount Ethereal Chamber of Commerce, the place he serves as vice chair.
He’s additionally overseen some important modifications already at Northern, not the least of which was altering the hospital’s identify, and focus, from Northern Hospital of Surry County to Northern Regional Hospital.
Lumsden doesn’t discuss simply about himself, as an alternative desirous to deal with what those that work with him are doing, and the accomplishments he and his workforce have achieved. In his temporary time at Northern, he says the workforce there has:
• Enhanced the worker academic help program to financially help employees that want to return to high school for a course, certificates or diploma;
• Raised $250,000 to determine the “Robin Hardy Hodgin Nursing Scholarship,” in honor of Hodgin’s practically 4 many years of labor within the nursing subject there. Along with having served as interim CEO, Hodgin is the hospital’s vp for affected person service and chief nursing officer. The scholarship is to assist space residents pursue a profession in nursing;
• Established the Northern Management Academy with the inaugural 2020 class graduating from this six-month management improvement in the summertime;
• Recruited 17 new medical doctors and suppliers to the hospital’s medical employees and neighborhood in 2019-20;
• Changed the hospital’s older MRI with a state-of-the-art $2 million MRI unit with further diagnostic options to higher serve radiology and hospital sufferers;
• Acquired board approval to exchange the hospital’s digital medical report for the hospital’s doctor practices. “This $7 million undertaking will enhance affected person security much more so, create one single medical report for all NRH sufferers, and go reside Oct. 1, 2021,” he mentioned;
• Opened the hospital’s first pressing care middle — Northern Pressing Care — on Nov. 1;
• Developed and carried out a 30-step motion plan in March “to guard our sufferers and workers from COVID-19, with out shedding or furloughing any NRH workers;”
• Was chosen as a “High 100” Group Hospital within the US and a CMS “5-Star” hospital.
Alongside the best way, Lumsden’s friends within the enterprise neighborhood have taken discover. Earlier this 12 months he was named a C-Suite Award winner by the Triad Enterprise Journal. That publication mentioned the awards go to the “most admired” CEOs and different executives within the better Triad area. He was additionally just lately named as one of many High 20 CEOs within the Triad area by that very same publication — the one hospital CEO to be on the listing.
In a profile by that publication, Lumsden mentioned if he may go by one other title, it could be “chief individuals individual.”
That will be evident in watching Lumsden work together simply and brazenly with staffers, with visitors, with sufferers, and with others within the schooling and enterprise neighborhood. In contrast to some CEOs who keep a distance from these round her or him, Lumsden embraces constructing relationships and attending to know these round him.
And he enjoys simply having some enjoyable with them, too. He sponsors an annual Horse event — a basketball capturing sport through which people take turns capturing the ball. If the primary individual makes a shot, everybody after him should make the equivalent shot, or they get hit with a letter — H, then O, R, S, E. As soon as a competitor has spelled out the complete phrase “horse” she or he is eradicated.
Through the event, the hospital staffer who emerges as champion earns 12 hours additional trip, and the appropriate to tackle Lumsden in a sport of Horse. For the earlier two years, he mentioned the identical individual has emerged victorious among the many hospital employees, solely to have Lumsden — who performed guard on Bridgewater School’s basketball workforce — simply defeat him.
That led to a ping pong problem from the worker, who preceded to trounce Lumsden Eight-Zero once they performed — generally generally known as getting “skunked” within the sport.
His prize? A ceramic skunk that Lumsden proudly shows in his workplace, and exhibits off with fun as he relates the story of being humbled at table tennis.
Just lately, he defined why he places such an emphasis on individuals.
“There’s an previous saying, ‘No margin, no mission,’” he mentioned. “For those who don’t generate income, you actually can’t embrace the mission of the group.
“However I imagine no individuals, no margin, no mission. For those who don’t have the individuals, for those who don’t put money into individuals, there isn’t a margin, after which there isn’t a mission.”
Then he goes deeper, explaining that it’s actually about greater than merely growing individuals to perform the hospital’s mission.
“I had good mentors, good coaches, good individuals early in my profession. There’s one thing satisfying in serving to individuals who could not have had the identical benefits I had rising up … past the nice feeling, I imagine we’re right here to assist individuals. … Folks in ivory towers generally do not know the struggles individuals, good individuals, all undergo.”
Serving to individuals — by means of scholarships, by means of management coaching, by means of private mentoring — not solely helps them advance in life, however units them as much as do the identical for others, in the long run constructing a stronger neighborhood.
And that — serving to individuals, constructing neighborhood — appears to finally be what Lumsden is all about.