With a family legacy of nurses, Scott Evans, PharmD, MHA, always knew healthcare was his calling. He has now taken on the role of Regional Senior Vice President and Market Chief Executive for Sharp Regional, which includes three of the Sharp HealthCare hospitals, Coronado, Chula Vista, and Grossmont.
Evans fondly recalls going to work as a kid with his mom, getting coffee and calling bingo for the patients in the hospital, and always remembers being around health care. He became a pharmacy tech at 19 while still in college, and worked in a small hospital, similar to the size of Coronado, in Brea. A degree in pharmacy from the USC School of Pharmacy and a residency at the Department of Veteran Affairs were next. He also holds a Master of Health Administration from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and a doctorate in education, with an emphasis in organizational leadership, from Pepperdine University.
After graduation, he went to work at the USC Keck Hospital and became the Pharmacy Director, and then transitioned into administration as associate administrator, COO, then CEO of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Sharp HealthCare patient experience resonates with him and is why he was interested in joining Sharp HealthCare. The Sharp Experience started back in 2001, born out of the desire to make Sharp the best place to work, practice medicine, and receive care. The philosophy transcends everything Sharp does, and “is about treating people, not patients, and transforming the healthcare experience for the entire community.”
This was a change for him, coming from an academic setting, to become the CEO at Sharp Grossmont Hospital for seven years. He is now eagerly anticipating expanding his horizons in his new role in Sharp Regional. He notes that all three of the hospitals he oversees are non-metropolitan, community-based, operate independently, and have similar strategies. Each will continue to operate with their own different governing boards, medical staffs, clinical staffs, etc., and are considered stellar in their communities. This will allow them to work together in a coordinated effort. Evans stresses that Sharp Coronado still has a full-time executive team and that he will be onsite one to three times per week, with almost daily virtual meetings and communication.
While combining the three hospitals into one region offers the advantage of allowing Coronado to work closely with its partner hospitals, it also creates greater efficiencies and opportunities. He points to the example that previously Sharp Coronado offered minimal neurology services, but now they will be able to flex, and patients can stay local for more specialties, with less transferring. Evans outlines the main three goals for Sharp Coronado: completing the Emergency Department expansion and updated entrance; building out programs, like the expansion of cardiac and stroke care; and redefining the approach to long-term care. Updates will be made to Villa Coronado Skilled Nursing Facility, as well as developing geriatric surgery options. He noted that Coronado will be taking the lead for all Sharp HealthCare facilities for long-term care. Additional opportunities include adding bariatric surgery and medical cosmetic procedures.
Coronado is known for its advanced robotics and orthopedic surgical capabilities, In fact, Evans points out Coronado does more knee, hip, and joint replacements than Sharp Memorial and Chula Vista Medical Center combined. Chula Vista Medical Center is considered the pre-eminent provider in the South Bay and is unique as a border hospital, with the underserved population. With strong programs in diabetes and cardiovascular programs, they will continue to enhance these. Grossmont Hospital is a District Hospital, with one of the busiest emergency departments in the county. Sharp will continue to develop the neuroscience program there, with a comprehensive stroke center which will include a new building that will be a 50-bed dedicated unit.
Sharp has also designated a Metropolitan Region, which includes Sharp Memorial Hospital, Mesa Vista Hospital, and Mary Birch Hospital, each of which has a broader San Diego patient base.
As for Evans, he sees himself as a clinical CEO versus a business CEO and his favorite thing about healthcare is the excitement of his roots in clinical care, where you make decisions and see the outcomes. He gave an example that during the pandemic, he rolled up his sleeves and helped in the Sharp vaccination program. It was a role reversal and reinforced that healthcare is truly his calling. It’s interesting to note that his wife is also a pharmacist, and they have a college age son. They love traveling, with some favorite countries being Spain, Italy, and Portugal; and they try to get to Hawaii as much as possible. He enjoys golfing and is the designated family cook with a specialty in comfort foods, “just like my grandpa,” he laughs.
When asked for an update on COVID and flu patients, he noted that there are currently only two COVID patients in the hospital, with less and less cases. With regard to the flu season, which was predicted to be severe, this has not been a busy season at Sharp Coronado. He feels this is due partly to the fact that the pandemic gave people a heightened awareness of hygienic practices. Starting on April 3, with the pandemic emergency ban lifting, Sharp will be stepping down masking rules.
Evans is eager for this new chapter with Sharp HealthCare and is especially excited to engage with the Coronado community. For more information on the community resources that Sharp Coronado Hospital offers, visit www.sharp.com/hospitals/coronado.