There aren’t too many experiences more overwhelming than being sick and trying to deal with the U.S. health care system. All of us have personal stories of disconnected providers and lousy communication. “It’s like nobody talks to anybody around here!”

As a health leader it is always embarrassing to listen to the stories of friends and family who were left on their own. My response was to put in place clinically trained care navigators whose job was to stand with the patient and help them in every way (even if that help meant sending the patient to another health provider). Many other health providers have taken similar steps. But this idea really needs to be as universal as the coverage we want everyone to have.

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Author: Philip EnnenPhil Ennen is an experienced senior executive who believes in servant leadership. Phil became CEO of an independent community hospital just before the national recession. He led the organization through difficult restructuring while at the same time completing a $62M new construction/renovation on time and on budget. The hospital came through the recession much changed but since 2011 has strengthened both its financial position and clinical performance. Phil accomplished this by empowering leaders to build an environment of honesty and trust. He has nurtured lasting relationships with physicians, frontline staff, community leaders, and patients by first listening and then by sharing his thoughts with transparent honesty. Phil also became a statewide leader for Ohio hospitals, serving as board chair of the Ohio Hospital Association and receiving the James Castle distinguished service award in June 2018.