You like to share things that inspire you. What are you reading right now?
Well, a book I just re-read and has re-ignited a fire inside of me, and is a book that I want all staff to care about, is “Josie’s Story.” It reminds me how quickly life can be altered based on communication and decision-making in health care. It’s always very relevant. It explores the space between personal accountability and empowerment. How do we get people to feel empowered beyond the job they’re accountable for? For each of us to feel so invested that we’re compelled to always follow through, avert problems and prevent crises. The book digs deep. I recommend it.
(“Josie’s Story: A Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe” is by Sorrell King. King’s 18-month-old died from a medication error at Johns Hopkins Hospital and she and her husband started the Josie King Foundation and became national advocates for patient safety.)
Do you have a favorite quote?
I’m a fan of Jim Valvano, or Jimmy V, who was a famous basketball player, coach and broadcast personality. (Jimenez has a Jimmy V quote on his office wall.) He battled cancer and talked about not giving up and how to get where you want to be and achieving goals. Last fall, ESPN celebrated Jimmy V week right around the time our local community lost our former CEO John Ives. Reflecting on both men, the question struck me: “How do you want to be remembered?” We may contemplate on things like being remembered as a caring person, a loving person … I think we all want that, and may think of it with the people closest to us. But at UF Health Shands, we’re serving about 900 patients a day in our hospitals, for example. We have a chance to make individual people’s lives better with our passion and commitment. We may take care of dozens of heart patients in a day, but to each family that is their “one” heart patient we’re caring for. When we remember that each patient is someone’s special “one,” it drives us to do wonderful things.
What characteristics do you appreciate in others?
Selflessness, humility and conversational capabilities.
Now let’s talk about your home life. TV and movies — what do you watch?
Well … over the holiday season, it was nonstop Hallmark channel, thanks to my two daughters and wife. Nonstop. What can you do? [Laughs.] Personally, I really enjoy TV and movies that touch on real events. I love insights about historic icons. I re-watch “Lincoln” [starring Daniel Day Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg] a couple of times a year. And the movie “JFK” [starring Kevin Costner, directed by Oliver Stone] seems to be rerun all the time on TV, and I keep seeing bits of that. My wife, Jennifer, and I also liked “Narcos,” based on real-life drug lords. I like “Apollo 13” (about the space program), “Band of Brothers” (a war drama) and “Miracle” (about the U.S. men’s ice hockey team). The facts may be sensationalized to a degree, but I find these interesting.
Where do you like to eat?
We order out pretty often, and when we do so it’s typically Italian, pizza or Chinese food. When we go out with the kids, stops of ours include Blaze, Chipotle or Metro Diner. Mojo BBQ and Embers are on our list, too. I have a weekend preference that reminds me of my youth. My mom was a nurse and worked many weekends. So on Sundays, after my dad and I went to church, we often would go out to breakfast. I still like to go out to breakfast Sundays with the family.
Tell us about your kids!
Jen and I have three kids. Sydney is 18 and a freshman at UF. It was an adjustment for us last fall. She’s loving college and doing well in school in the UF honors program and in the Delta Gamma sorority. She wants to be an accounting major.
Alexandra (Alex) is 15 and a high school sophomore. She’s into lacrosse and her friends. She loves to travel and she’s a navigational whiz wherever we go. She wants to be a physician.
Andrew is 13. He knows all his sisters’ friends and he’s confident. He’s Charles in Charge, the prince of the castle. He’s very athletic, he plays golf and lacrosse.
My mother-in-law is great and lives here and we see her all the time.
Jen, as some people know, went to middle school (Westwood) and high school (Eastside) here in Gainesville.
Don’t forget our two dogs: Bosco (named after my high school, Don Bosco Prep) and Lola. They’re Portuguese water dogs.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE CEO? Email Kim Rose, director of strategic communications with UF Health Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll share your question with Ed Jimenez for an upcoming CEO column.