- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2005

Jere Stocks, the new president of Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, said he is dedicated to developing community relations and overseeing infrastructure changes at the acute care facility.

Mr. Stocks, 44, took over as president of the 318-bed hospital in February. The hospital, which is part of Adventist HealthCare in Rockville, is the only complete cardiac center in Montgomery County.

“It’s a fantastic environment to be in,” said Mr. Stocks, who is directly overseeing a staff of 11. “I love hospital work. Every day’s a little bit different.”

His job includes working with the community and ensuring that the strategic directions assigned by the hospital’s board of directors stay on track, he said.

Plans are under way to upgrade some of the hospital’s infrastructure, including converting some of its semiprivate rooms to private rooms, adjusting office space and improving campus parking, he said.

“I’m in the mode right now of still trying to absorb the needs of the hospital and understanding the current environment, and where we need to go in the future,” Mr. Stocks said.

Challenges Mr. Stocks cited for the hospital, and the health care industry in general, include dealing with the rising cost of health care and the number of patients who lack insurance.

Providing quality care “is a terribly expensive proposition,” he said.

Mr. Stocks said he is well-versed at operating in the “complex environment” of running a hospital.

Before joining Washington Adventist Hospital, Mr. Stocks served as chief operating officer at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., which has one of two trauma centers in the area, he said.

“We saw very interesting, complex cases,” he said.

The job required him to oversee the daily operations of the hospital and work with the “unique agendas” of the facility’s numerous constituents, including residents, faculty members, community physicians who practice at the hospital and the board of directors, he said.

“It was challenging,” Mr. Stocks said. “I enjoyed it. I wish everyone had an opportunity to [learn] about hospitals and how they work.”

Tracey Eichelberger, nurse manager of emergency services at the hospital, said Mr. Stocks has been studying the culture of the hospital and has expressed himself as a team player.

“I personally anticipate that underneath his leadership we’re going to see much growth and improvement,” Mrs. Eichelberger said.

Mr. Stocks’ family is in Omaha and will be moving to the area soon. He and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters, Logan, 7, and Chandler, 5. They will live in Sandy Spring.

Andrew Johnson

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