Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 24, 2013

YOU SHOULD KNOW: Randy Christophel

IU Health Goshen’s CEO finds opportunities, challenges every day

GOSHEN — No two days in a row are the same for Randy Christophel as president and chief executive officer of Indiana University Health Goshen.

 “I’ve been here 17 and 1/2 years and every day presents new opportunities and challenges,” Christophel said. “Prior to that I changed jobs about every five years as I pursued new learning opportunities and challenges. I haven’t been bored here a day yet.”

 He’s responsible for the strategic plan, the vision and direction of IU Health Goshen.  He’s also a representative in the strategy development with IU Health state wide.

 “We are well positioned to be successful going forward,” he said. “We are developing capabilities for managing and improving population health — keeping residents healthy instead of only caring for them when they’re sick. We are ahead of the game in this area, and have been planning for the change for quite some time.”  They have created an Accountable Care Organization and are contracted with Medicare to work with 7,500 Medicare recipients on improving their health status and also have 2,200 commercial lives in the ACO.

 The IU Health Goshen Heart & Vascular Center and IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care are examples of being fully integrated with an interdisciplinary group of specialists working together to create the best treatment plan in the most effective manner for patients.  “When doctors collaborate, the patient benefits.”

They are partnering with area employers with their Get Fit, Get Healthy program to assist employers with improving the health status of their employees.  “We have many success stories with achieving improvement of the health status of their employees during the last three years”, Christophel said.

“We see ourselves in a much closer relationship with employers in the future in helping them improve the health status of their employees and reduce benefit plan costs,” he said. “There is lower absenteeism and lower costs. A healthier employee group is much more productive.”

 IU Health Goshen involves the 1,500 colleagues within the system to share their ideas on how to raise quality, patient satisfaction with services, and reducing cost through The Uncommon Leader (TUL) program.

“We have seen dramatic results from the TUL program since its introduction in 1998. During 2012, 6,100 ideas were implemented by 1,500 colleagues with a $4.5 million financial improvement,” he said. “It’s amazing how the colleagues drive the organization here.”

Christophel says that philanthropy will be of growing importance to the organization in the future.  Partnering with passionate people to leverage innovative change in our services and capabilities will be an important success factor.

He also praised the board of directors.  “I have exceptional leaders on our boards of directors. They are strong and diversified,” he said. “They push and challenge us to strive to do better on behalf of the communities we serve and are a real asset to us.”

How does he view going to the office every day?

“It’s a fun place to work. The medical staff are amazing. I would stack up this medical community against any other because they are just that good,” he said, smiling.

When he’s not in the office, Christophel enjoys being outside.

“I like walking in the woods with my two dogs and spending time with my kids when they come to town,” he said. “I enjoy fishing, camping, tennis and golf. I like being outside. I love spring and watching flowers grow. I plant way to much because I like watching it grow. Goshen is a great place to raise a family. I enjoy the quality of life here and being active in our church. This is a great place to live.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
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