Fil-Am CEO Confirms Hospital’s “Safety Net Supplier” Commitment

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Born in Pasay City, Tony Armada traded medical technology for healthcare administration and became CEO of AHMC Seton Medical Center. INVESTIGATOR / CM Querol Moreno

DALY CITY, Calif .– When the boss of a business personally oversees an event, the business credo resonates.

Over 30 years of experience in healthcare administration has taught AHMC Seton Medical Center CEO Anthony Armada to show up early on a Saturday to observe the second 2-day Covid19 vaccination distribution of the February 27 to 28 in the first and largest health complex in this city. .

Between trips back and forth to take calls on his cell phone, the Philippine American CEO observed closely as individuals in different priority categories receive their life-saving injections in the centre’s medical office building at 1850 Sullivan Avenue.

Unlike a recent boisterous vaccine rollout elsewhere in the same city, the activity was almost zen. Each client had an appointment. The longest wait was a few minutes. No one complained as they walked quietly, patiently, single file. Even the voice of Business Development Director Tina Ahn, who led the volunteers at the registration desk, was quieted. Concerns about side effects faded into serenity.

Safety net supplier

At the end of the day, 500 people were one step away from immunity, thanks to their Moderna shot, compliments of the hospital’s commitment to continue to be the “safety net provider” that it is. since its foundation.

AHMC Seton Medical Center is the largest employer in the US city with the most Filipino residents per capita.  INVESTIGATOR / CM Querol Moreno

AHMC Seton Medical Center is the largest employer in the US city with the most Filipino residents per capita. INVESTIGATOR / CM Querol Moreno

“We should have several more opportunities to have immunization clinics in the coming weeks,” Armada told INQUIRER.net. If talks prosper, Seton will partner with Blue Shield TPA to distribute snaps from next month.

Seton had asked the state and county to be a partner vaccine site to ensure access to the population it served, Armada added, citing a condition of the historic institution’s 2020 sale to AHMC. Healthcare Inc., based in Southern California, by Verity Health. .

“Being a ‘safety net provider’ means that the hospital supports a higher percentage of low-income patients compared to all patients. Our commitment to uninsured, underinsured and ineligible patients for government assistance or other insurance coverage continues through our policy of charitable care supporting people whose family income is 500% of the threshold. federal poverty and below, ”said Armada, who took the helm last year. in the high-profile cliffhanger deal.

Much to her and everyone else’s dismay, the coronavirus hit this country just as Seton’s ownership changed hands. Armada, who had gone through both “humbling and rewarding” passages in her career, quickly embarked on “a journey of passion.”

“Who would have thought that you would take an organization out of bankruptcy, move to a new business and ownership and restart new processes, relationships and culture, develop an organizational sustainability plan under the auspices of a COVID pandemic,” he said. -it describes the recurring scenario all over the planet.

A year later today, he focused on his mandate to “stabilize the organization” while starting over “in the most economical and efficient manner”, confident despite the crisis worsening a situation that had already started. “in a” deficit position “.

He recognized the employees and doctors who “rise to the challenge” in overcoming the seemingly limitless obstacles resulting from the pandemic. And yet, the mission remains at the forefront of its agenda.

When the number of COVID cases peaked and required additional facilities, Seton offered to serve the larger community by signing up to be a “designated space hospital” from March to August 2020. The movement backfired, however. him, the disease remaining a mystery. The mixed messages from the authorities, and even the denial of the risks by the highest officials, have discouraged the public from setting foot in the buildings.

‘Bad impression’

“Everyone felt like we were just a Covid hospital; we were painted with the wrong impression, ”Armada said.

The capacity of the beds motivated the decision to escalate the crisis, he stressed, directing efforts towards treatment and sharing both “learning and best practices on how to care and deliver. a safe environment during the pandemic “. The choice to welcome people with Covid fits with Seton’s identity as a “community hospital, even in difficult times”.

Security concerns were minimal, said the executive who has run health centers since 1990. Specific floors were dedicated to Covid-free and Covid-positive during the months of the space designation.

“We had a very active succession committee made up of our physicians, clinicians and administrative representatives to apply an evidence-based learning and approach to provide oversight to maintain a safe and quality environment,” he said. revealed.

Investment in upgrades

Over the next 5 years, Daly City flagship and Seton Medical Center Coastside skilled nursing hospital will have a new IT platform to implement contemporary financial applications and clinical information system in as part of the $ 10 million the AHMC is investing in upgrades. A new CT / PET (Computed Tomography / Positron Emission Tomography) scanner trailer has been purchased to elevate diagnostic capability.

    Volunteers led by Director of Business Development Tina Ahn (standing at the registration table) from the staff of the COVID19 vaccination clinic in the Centre's medical office building.  INVESTIGATOR / CM Querol Moreno

Volunteers led by Director of Business Development Tina Ahn (standing at the registration table) from the staff of the COVID19 vaccination clinic in the Centre’s medical office building. INVESTIGATOR / CM Querol Moreno

Armada touted investing in human resources through clinical staff to reduce reliance on “temporary traveler staff”.

The result was the seismic modernization of patient towers that beset previous owners and potential buyers.

Armada is outspoken about Verity Health’s terms of sale to AHMC when the county board of supervisors led by current president David Canepa last year voted 4-1 to fund the buyer $ 20 million over 4 years to help operate both sites. The council asked the San Mateo Health Plan to provide half of the funding. Armada says the AHMC is still awaiting these funds.

Filipino postman

As Daly City’s largest employer, Seton is a major contributor to the local economy. More than half of the 1,200 staff are of Asian or Pacific Islander origin. A majority are Filipino, Armada said.

The Fil-Am also represent 3% of “global managers”. The Asian-Ams make up 67% of the management team, including Armada, who was born in Pasay City just over 60 years ago and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9.

“Tony” grew up in Michigan and received his MBA and MHA from Xavier University. His name has a suffix – FACHE, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He started out as a medical technologist in a 400-bed facility, but moved into administration out of “the joy of coaching and seeing others succeed and reach potential they never thought they could”.

His career spans senior positions in the healthcare industry from the Midwest to the West Coast. In 2018, he was System COO at Verity Health.

Armada identifies as Fil-Am, which shows in his love of family and food, he said. He and his wife Racelle have two adult daughters living in Chicago. The couple reside in southern San Francisco, where Seton overlooks the famous Daly City fog.

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