Q: What is your job description?
Romine: I guess that like the CEO of any other corporation, I have to be the strategic leader of the hospital and to make sure the hospital is providing the services and the care it is supposed to provide. That we are growing as a company and always looking out for our customer, of course that is the patients that we are here to serve. Being a good corporate citizen in community and that we are supporting the community, and providing the citizens of Weatherford and Parker County with quality services that they need so they don‘t have to travel out of town.
Q: What is the biggest challenge about your job?
Romine: We have a community that has grown rapidly for several years, and even though we have an economic downturn, it is still growing. There’s so many needs out there, you can’t develop programs or recruit doctors to meet all those needs immediately. It does take a little bit of time. The challenge is identifying what the biggest needs are and knowing that it will take several years to get all the things in place that we want to get in place.
For example, when we bought the hospital we knew we needed a much bigger emergency department and so we built that, and we know we need private rooms and are in the process of that. We know that we need a cardiac program and cath lab and we are in the process of developing that. Even to the point of when you look at physicians, one of the things we identified when we got here was that there was not a full-time ENT physician in town. So there were specialties that were not represented in town, at least not with physicians that were physically here.
So it’s really been just going through and try to identify what the needs are and what we can meet now and what we need to meet down the road, so that we can meet those needs later. I wish we could do it all tomorrow, but it is just not possible. The good news is though, we’ve got the ability to, as we go, every month, quarter, year, we can do something and check one more thing off our list that we have accomplished.
Q: If you weren’t a hospital CEO, what would you be?
Romine: My daughters would tell you I would be a writer for Saturday Night Live.
Q: Best business decision you ever made?
Romine: I think from a personal standpoint the best decision was to get out of the finance side of our business, not that it is a bad side, but to pursue my MBA and get into the operations side of our business. And I think that has allowed me to bring to the table experience in hospital finance and experience in hospital operations that I can now bring to a CEO position.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
Romine: Now you’re going to get me in trouble. Actually you know, I think it’s Reata. And if I can’t go to Reata, it is the Weatherford Regional Cafeteria.
Q: What was your first job?
Romine: It was not really a job, it was several. I cleaned horse stables, I picked oranges, watermelons, baled hay, and my favorite, I de-beaked, vaccinated and moved chickens for my grandfather’s and my uncles’ chicken farms. That was in Florida, a little north of Tampa. It was a nasty job, but it was great pay for a kid in the seventh or eighth grade. That was when I decided I probably needed to get an education.
Q: What was your first car?
Romine: It was a 1973 Nova Super Sport. It was way too fast for a junior high school student, but I didn’t get any tickets.
Q: Who is your role model?
Romine: I honestly cannot say that any particular individual is a role model. I never had an individual person that I could say is my role model. But, what I have always tried to do, is, when I come into contact with whether they are coworkers or bosses or just people that I know, is try to identify things to do and learn from and also things not to do. And so I think that over the years that’s what I’ve done.
I‘ve had people that I’ve known or that I worked for that I could say ‘that’s a good trait’ and I’ve had others that I could say ‘that’s not a good trait,’ and I remember those things. I guess if I had to say one person, there was a hospital CEO that I worked for. His name was Jim Pagels, in Reno, Nev. It was my first COO position. He probably taught me more about how to run a hospital than anyone else, and not because he was my first CEO with my first COO job, I think it was because he was just a good guy. And he was the person that I think back to and say ‘how would he handle this situation?’ I usually think back to him.
Q: What is the best thing about what you do?
Romine: I think the best part of this job is it is never the same thing two days in a row. I can get bored fairly easily. If I had to do the same thing day after day after day, I think that would get old. Its probably the same for anyone that runs a business. Your calendar may say that your day is going to look like this, but it never ends that way — something always comes out of left field.
Q: Do you have a pet peeve?
Romine: I think that is probably, and this is not a business thing, but it’s the rampant misuse of the English language
Q: Your motto?
Romine: “If you are going to do it, do it well.”
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