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Paul Hiltz says his goal is putting patients’ first at NCH

We are hearing from the new CEO of NCH Healthcare System in Naples, months after its former CEO stepped down following controversy.

Paul Hiltz has a new goal: putting patients’ first. Hiltz said it is his first order of business to do away with the past.

“I do think that the community and the employees and the doctors are ready to turn the page,” Hiltz said. “We certainly will have a pluralistic medical staff model where patients can be cared for by their doctor.”

Richard McCullough, a cancer patient, told WINK News he depends on his doctor to help him beat the disease.

“Makes a difference [when its] somebody you don’t know,” McCullough said. “You get to know your doctor. You get to trust them. You want them to be able to be the ones who make decisions for you.”

Mark Langer told us the old NCH leadership damaged the reputation of the hospital. Now Hiltz, who replaces the former CEO Allen Weiss, has work to do. Weiss set up a new doctor policy requiring NCH doctors to take care of you within the hospital.

“I think we’ve learned the lesson,” said Langer, a patient at the hospital. “I thought that whole idea of saying our family physician could not use the hospital; I think that was a terrible, terrible idea, so I’m not surprised there had to be a change.”

“We want to make this a great place to practice medicine,” Hiltz said. “A great place to work and a great place to be a patient.”

For the first three months, Hiltz said he would focus on listening. He will take over as CEO in early September. He will resign from Mercy Medical Center in Ohio on Aug. 30, where he has been at since 2017.

Hiltz hopes to make his mark by the end of the year at the two-hospital Mayo Clinic Care Network affiliate in Naples. One of the ways Hiltz plans to reach his year-end goal is by making medical services at NCH more affordable. He points out supply costs and matching staffing to demand, as examples.

“We will look at everything from top to bottom,” Hiltz said, “in terms of getting waste out of the system.”

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