Smith took a circuitous path to Penrose-St. Francis system

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If it hadn’t been for the dot-com crash, Jameson Smith might never have returned to health care management.

If it hadn’t been for the dot-com crash, Jameson Smith might never have returned to health care management.

Jameson “Jamie” Smith has traveled around the country, but he says Colorado Springs has everything he needs in a city.

Smith is chief operating officer of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and is busy juggling limited financial resources with the demands of operating a health care system that encompasses three campuses.

Smith recently took time to tell CSBJ about himself and his organization.

Organization: Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

Position: Chief operating officer

Hometown: I was an “Army brat” growing up, but my family adopted San Antonio, Texas, as our hometown.

How long have you lived in the Pikes Peak region: My wife, Anne, and I live in Castle Rock. We’ve been there for almost two years.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity University in San Antonio and a master’s degree in business from The University of Texas. I am also a Fellow in American College of Healthcare Executives.

A few words about your company: Penrose-St. Francis is primarily a provider of hospital services, with 522 licensed inpatient beds at three campuses – Penrose Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center and St. Francis Health Center. We also provide outpatient services such as radiology, rehabilitation, radiation therapy, urgent care and laboratory services.

We are part owner of several joint ventures with physician partners, including Audubon Surgery Center, PenRad outpatient imaging and the Vascular Center of Colorado.

Recent accomplishments: Opening St. Francis Medical Center last August. The transition of Penrose Community Hospital to the new campus was a huge challenge.

The other accomplishment I want to mention is having a part in bringing CyberKnife to the Penrose Cancer Center. The CyberKnife is the most advanced radiosurgery technology available and can treat cancerous tumors previously thought to be inoperable.

Biggest career break: I was a medical service corps officer in the Army for four years. When I got out of the Army, I joined a software start-up company and thought that I had found my niche. The market crash during 2000 caused the company to go under.

I decided to go back to school to get my MBA, which eventually led to being recruited into a management training program with a national for-profit hospital company, Tenet Healthcare. That was my big break. I made a full circle back to hospital administration.

The toughest part of your job: Meeting never-ending needs with limited resources.

Running a hospital is capital intensive and we never seem to have enough to go around. The toughest part of my job is deciding where to best use our limited resources in order to benefit the organization the most.

Someone you admire: The enlisted men and women in our armed forces. They work so hard and sacrifice so much despite earning relatively meager pay.

About your family: Anne is a nurse in the Level I surgical trauma ICU at St. Anthony’s Central.

Something else you’d like to accomplish: I would like to be the CEO of a hospital some day. Personally, I need to find something to do that is as challenging as a marathon because my wife just finished her first one.

How your business will change in the next decade: Electronic medical records will be ubiquitous during the next decade. The ability to easily share health information will improve the way providers access and use it, and individuals will “own” and understand their personal health information more.

I also think there will be major changes to the reimbursement system because the current one is not sustainable over the long term.

What book are you currently reading? I just finished “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathanial Philbrick, and I’m re-reading “Lincoln’s Virtues” by William Lee Miller.

What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? You can’t ask much more from a city and community. I wouldn’t mind a full week of warm spring weather!