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Leadership for Health Professionals: Theory, Skills, and Applications
Gerald R. Ledlow
It’s always a problem when you have famous personalities come into your hospital. I’ve had a governor’s wife deliver babies.
I’ve had a Saudi Arabian princess deliver a baby. I’ve even had a Grand Dragon from the Ku Klux Klan admitted as a patient.
Probably one of the more interesting cases was a religious singer who had won several Grammys and Dove Awards for religious music. She became a very good friend of the health system. We even sponsored a golf tournament together to help fund
a children’s clinic in a low-income area of the city. She delivered twins, which became worldwide news. We set up half a wing
for her in order to have space for her communications spokesperson, a living area for her and her family, and an area for
the two babies who stayed with her 24 hours a day because of our labor delivery room (LDR) floor concept. We put security
all over that floor to make sure that nobody could come in and try to steal either of the two babies. Generally, whenever you
have a well-known personality, you put a lot more expense into their health care and coverage than you get back in reimbursement. They usually are very expensive to take care of because of the notoriety and the extra security details you have to
take. Interestingly, we were getting so many calls from newspapers, television stations, and other media outlets that we had to
put up a hotline where we gave daily update reports on her and her two babies. In 3 days, we had 1,200 calls on this hotline.
Another interesting aspect of this case was that her admitting OB-GYN was in California when this singer came into our
labor room. The admitting OB-GYN was actually in the cockpit of an airplane giving medical orders to our nurses and to the
OB-GYN who was covering for him. At some point, the covering OB-GYN decided to insert some intravenous lines. When
the admitting physician came in from the airport, he was very upset that the covering physician had ordered the IV lines,
and he actually ripped them all off of her. Anyway, we were able to manage the 3 days and the media hype, and we ended up
developing a long-lasting relationship with this famous singer. My wife and I became personal friends with her, and I even
employed her husband at the medical center.
Ledlow & Stephens, Leadership for Health Professionals: Theory, Skills, and Applications, 3rd Edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning,
Chapter 6: Leadership Competence II
Chapter 12: Understanding Executive Leadership Roles
Copyright © 2018 by Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, an Ascend Learning Company
2 ❚ Case Study
E5. Case Study Questions
1. As a CEO, would you want well-known entertainers and other famous people to be admitted to your medical center?
Why or why not?
2. Is there any need to take action against the admitting physician for removing the IVs from the patient that the second
OB-GYN had installed?
3. As CEO, what arrangements would you make to protect and handle internationally well-known patients?
Copyright © 2018 by Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, an Ascend Learning Company
LEADING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
• Dr. Stephens graduated with a master’s degree in healthcare
administration at the age of 26.
• His first executive position was as an assistant Hospital
Director in a large university teaching institution in the South
• He settled on this position after turning down other five job
• As an assistant Hospital Director, all the secondary and
supported department of the institution were under his
• This position enabled him to gain excellent operating
experienced, that saw him become the CEO of the medical
• As a medical center executive, one of the worst fears is the occurrence of
a fire within the facility.
• The key concern is smoke and whether the fire doors in patient care and
supported areas can prevent the smoke from going down the corridors.
• The patients, physician, and employees will be exposed to dangerous
situations if the internal smoke alarms doors are not working.
• As a medical center executive, Dr. Stephens experienced this case in 1975
when a major fire occurred within the facility.
• This facility was 10 stories high.
• On each floor, employees would pile soiled patient beddings and
washcloths into laundry chutes that would be taken to laundry
department in the basement.
• Apparently, someone had thrown a cigarette into a batch of laundry.
• Smoke was rising rapidly to all the ten floors, however, the fire doors
• The smoke was contained in all the floors apart from the 10th that
contained the pediatrics. However, it was evacuated.
• The other concern was the surgery room on the second floor as it close
to the actual fire.
• The presence of oxygen near the operating room further jeopardized the
situation as the building could easily blow up.
• All the operating cases were evacuated apart from two cases of openheart operation that could not be moved due to their severity.
Course Concepts & Case Application
• Leadership Knowledge
• Comprehension, Skills, and Ability
• Leadership Styles
• As a medical center executive, Dr. Stephens is aware that
disaster risk reduction strategies and practice needs
knowledge for informed decision-making and coordinated
• Disaster risk-reduction strategies necessitates an inclusive risk
informed and multi-hazard approach in decision-making
• Knowledge is developed by accumulating organizational
information with respect to depth, breadth, and amount.
Skills, Ability, and Application
• Dr. Stephens applied the comprehended knowledge
to ensure that the patient, physicians, and employees
are not affected by smoke.
• As a leader, he ensured that all the fire doors are
working, and therefore, smoke did move in corridors.
• Knowledge, comprehension, skills, and abilities were
important in ensuring that smoke did not interfere
with patient safety.
• Transformational leadership-disaster risk reduction required
an inclusive decision-making process and his employees
trusted him when he decided not to move the patients with
open-heart surgery because it was risky.
• Servant leadership- by ensuring that he listened to the
opinions of his employees on how to manage the disaster
because risk reduction requires an inclusive decision-making
• Contingency leadership- he had to rely on all the employees
in executing their leadership abilities and roles in managing the
• To implement effective disaster reduction strategies.
• To ensure that smoke did not affect the patients,
physicians, and employees.
• To demonstrate effective leadership abilities in
handling a disaster.
Theories & Models Represented
• Bloom’s theory
• Exchange theory
• Goal-setting theory
• Knowledge, skills, and attitudes are important in
managing disasters like fire.
• Dr. Stephens applied disaster-risk strategies in
ensuring that patients and physicians are not affected
• The evacuation process ensured the safety of the
• Dr. Stephens’s followers were categorized under
cadre or in-group.
• Dr. Stephens allowed his subordinates in making
decisions leading to the evacuation of the patients in
the operating rooms and the pediatrics.
• This resulted in greater job satisfaction.
• The disaster risk-reduction strategies applied were
meant to prevent the fire from moving into the
corridors, thereby not affecting the patients.
• The purpose of the evacuation strategies was to
ensure the safety of the patients.
• Early preparation of disaster such as setting up of fire
doors ensured that patients, physicians, and
employees were not affected by smoke.
What I would Have Done Differently
• Ensured that medical center was fully prepared to
handle any disaster without jeopardizing the patient
• Ensure that the person who threw the cigarette butt
took responsibility of the heinous act.
• Media Richness Theory- improve the communication
process between the leader and the followers. This
would ensure that disasters would easily be avoided.
• Dr. Stephens managed to control the smoke,
thereby ensuring patient safety.
• The application of goal-setting theory ensured
that he managed to evacuate all the patients to
• The application of knowledge, skills, and ability
proved important is his leadership abilities.
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