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The guest in this episode of The Health Leader Forge is John Fernandez, the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts. Mass Eye and Ear is one of the world’s leading specialty hospitals dedicated to ophthalmology and otolaryngology care, or as John says, they take care of everything from the neck up except the brain, but maybe the brain too sometimes.

One of the things that is clearly important to John is work life balance. They talked about work-life balance both before and during the interview, and one of the pieces of advice he gives to early careerists is to get your personal life sorted out first, and then figure out what you want from work, which was interesting advice. John has a series of questions that he gives people to help guide them through that process. A reproduction of the slides he shared with those questions can be found here.

In this podcast John talks about his journey to leading this world class organization, including his progress into the executive ranks at another world class Boston organization, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Throughout the interview, John talks about his management approach, which focuses on the fundamentals: plan, execute, follow up. While this sounds like a fairly simple formula, anyone who has tried it knows that simple isn’t always easy. John tempers his management approach with a focus on kindness, which was something heartening to hear from a senior executive.

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The Health Leader Forge


Co-produced by University of New Hampshire College of Health and Human Services (UNH CHHS) and Northern New England Association of Healthcare Executives (NNEAHE).

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