Andy Guz left his unpacked boxes in his office on his first day of work Wednesday and decided to instead walk around and meet everyone he could at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he is the new leader.
The West Virginia-born Guz, 35, was recently named the new chief executive officer at the medical center, filling a post that Manatee Healthcare System CEO Kevin DiLallo has held on an interim basis since May.
Guz comes to Lakewood Ranch from the smaller, 63-bed Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove, Pa., where he was also the CEO.
“I don’t think you have to go any further than the people,” the 35-year-old Guz said when asked what were his initial impressions of LRMC. “Any organization, whether it’s a hospital or a factory or business, without the right people in the right places, it doesn’t function as it is supposed to be.”
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Asked to sit down for a moment, Guz shared that he is thrilled to be at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center for many reasons, but one of the big perks for him is that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ baseball team trains close by at McKechnie Field.
Guz is a lifelong Pirate fan, stemming from being raised in Weirton, W.V., close to Pittsburgh.
Guz grew up dreaming of playing shortstop. But once he realized that he wasn’t going to be as good as Pirate greats Dick Groat, Freddie Patek or Dale Sveum, he decided to go into the medical administration field.
“Growing up, Andy Van Slyke was my guy,” Guz added with a grin of the Pirates’ outfielder in the late 1980s. “We share the same name.”
There was definitely a buzz around the hospital Wednesday morning as word got out via texts, emails and water cooler chit chat that the new big boss had arrived.
“We have been waiting for our CEO,” said registered nurse Christine Gonzalez, a stroke coordinator at the hospital.
Gonzales and Guz chatted for five minutes rin the main lobby. He wanted to know everything he could about her work.
Guz held posts as chief operating officer at several facilities across the country before taking his first CEO position at Jennersville.
Asked to describe his management style, Guz said “adaptive.”
“I don’t try to make people interact with me in one way,” Guz said. “I know some people need to be pushed and some need a little more hands off and so I kind of judge the situation based on observation and talking with each person and we go from there to achieve the goals we have set.”
Asked what his goals are for LRMC, Guz said he initially wanted to learn everyone’s first name.
“I think that it’s extremely important for me to understand what everyone wants to do and put my own twist on it as well,” Guz said. “At the same time the goal is to take care of patients and they have been doing that extremely well for many years. We are just going to continue to do that.”
Guz, who enjoys running, working out and playing golf — he’s a 14 handicap — is married to Tami and has two daughters, Ava, 5 and Lana, 4. The couple have already purchased a home 10 minutes from the hospital in the Bridgewater subdivision in Lakewood Ranch.
“It has been exciting this morning at the hospital,” said Lisa Kirkland, a hospital spokeswoman. “He’s already made the rounds through the hospital and it’s fun to watch everyone greet him.”
Kirkland said that Guz has shown he is comfortable with people.
“Andy has a lot of talents, but what stands out is his personal communication style,” Kirkland said. “He is easily likeable, easy to engage and he puts patient care and quality in all he does. It comes through when you talk to him.”