Ben Salinas, the Vice President of Ambulatory Services at Children’s in Dallas has been named one of Modern Healthcare‘s 2018 Up and Comers.
The award recognizes young medical executives who have made significant contributions to healthcare administration, management or policy. Salinas’ work is inspired by his own time in the hospital as a child for foot surgery and has helped reduce staff turnover from 25 to 14 percent according to Children’s Health.
Dr. Ray Tsai, the Senior Vice President of the Dallas Market and Salinas’ direct report, nominated him for the award. Tsai has served in a variety of roles at Children’s over the last 12 years, and Salinas stood out amongst his peers.
Tsai noted Salinas’ ability to analyze the operational complexity of the ambulatory services with over 200,000 patient visits, solicit feedback from a variety of stakeholders, and explain changes to his staff while making everyone feel heard.
“He is a remarkably genuine individual,” Tsai says. ‘It allows him to quickly work out that rapport with staff and physicians and be able to earn their trust.”
As a part of implementing initiatives such as Children’s Health’s 10-5 plan, where employees are expected to make eye contact 10 feet away and greet coworkers at five feet, Salinas was known to be there early greeting folks on the way into the building with donuts, leading by example.
Salinas diverse set of roles means that he has to be a jack-of-all-trades, meeting with physicians, helping to redesign space, implementing new programs and equipment, developing teams, and having challenging conversations with difficult units. He has been a part of Children’s for seven years.
“That speaks to the breadth of his role and his ability to change as needed over 200,000 visits,” Tsai says.
Salinas told Modern Healthcare that his favorite part of his job is seeing “the kids improving, smiling, going from really scared to excited to see their doctors and the care team because they’ve established those relationships.”
Tsai says Salinas impact on retaining staff in a strong healthcare market is especially impressive. “People have options, if they are unhappy at work,” Tsai says. “It is a testament to him that despite the strong economy he has been able to relate to a lot of our colleagues across ambulatory to develop a sense of relationship with him so that they feel the VP knows them. He is able to build that political capital with his staff.”
“We have given him a lot of responsibility and he has been knocking it out of the park.”