Whether working as a physical therapist or as a hospital system CEO, helping people has always been the driving force behind Adam Bracks.
Bracks was recently named CEO of Siloam Springs Regional Hospital and will begin his new role on Monday, Nov. 26. He brings more than 17 years of health care leadership experience along with significant clinical experience as a physical therapist.
Bracks grew up near Sydney in South Wales, Australia, and earned his bachelor's degree in physiotherapy -- the equivalent of physical therapy in the U.S. -- at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. His career choice was guided by a genuine want to work with others, he said.
"I was really driven by my desire to help people," he said.
Around the time Bracks graduated from college, a shortage of physical therapists in the U.S. resulted in recruiters trying to attract professionals from Australia. Initially, Bracks came to the U.S. for one year as an adventure, but soon fell in love with the country and eventually became a citizen.
While working in Poplar Bluff, Mo., Bracks met his wife Catherine, who was working at another area hospital as an occupational therapist. Ironically, the couple had grown up in the same area of Australia and attended the same university, but never met. Someone suggested they talk on the phone, then they met up for a cheeseburger and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Bracks made the transition from clinical work to leadership roles after opening several practices for a hospital. He was provided with a scholarship to earn his master's degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee. He went on to become director of rehabilitation services as well as occupational medicine and primary care at SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland, Tenn., CEO of SoutheastHEALTH Center of Stoddard County in Dexter, Mo., and then CEO of AllianceHealth Seminole, a five-hospital network in Seminole, Okla.
"I really went into health care for the right reasons -- I had a desire to help people -- and my clinical background gives me a more holistic view of health care," Bracks said. "Underneath what I do is really a drive to help people and that driving force has never changed, I have never changed, that passion to help people has not changed."
It's not unheard of for a physical therapist to make the transition from clinical work to becoming a hospital CEO, but it's not common either, according to Bracks. His experience as in clinical work enables him to understand all sides of health care, including the perspectives of hospital staff, physicians and patients, he said.
"I believe that gives me empathy for all stakeholders and all elements of health care and it has served me well," Bracks said.
Bracks said he was attracted to the Siloam Springs Regional Hospital because of its "fantastic reputation," as well as the community support the hospital receives, which he said is critical for the success of a hospital.
"It's a high quality organization with tremendous opportunity for growth. ... Siloam Springs is a vibrant thriving community, it deserves a vibrant thriving hospital," he said. "The other thing I like about Siloam Springs, is it is a beautiful location for my family."
Bracks, his wife, and their two children -- Luke, 15, and Ian, 12 -- enjoy an outdoor lifestyle that includes fly fishing, mountain bike riding and tennis. He called Siloam Springs a "perfect match."
Bracks said he's looking forward to working alongside all the hospital's stakeholders and described his leadership style as "inclusive."
"I seek input from all people involved in health care -- physicians, the board of directors, the leadership team, the community and also patients," Bracks said. "I want input from all involved."
Bracks said he values transparency and said he will be very open about the direction the hospital is taking or why decisions are being made. He also likes to take a collegial tone with coworkers and work alongside them as colleagues.
"I like to work with passion and I want to work with a team motivated by making the hospital better and building on the service we provide to the community," he said.
Bracks said that his vision for the hospital is to ensure it continues to provide high quality health care while increasing primary care access as well as increase the number of specialty services that are available in Siloam Springs.
"Our hospital is part of a five hospital system," Bracks said. "This gives us the opportunity to increase specialty services to our community either within Siloam Springs or within one of our other sister hospitals. We want to provide services within Siloam Springs as much as possible, but if that service is not available at Siloam Springs, we want to provide a seamless and convenient transition to specialty services within our network."
Bracks said he is excited about the recent partnership between Northwest Health, a network of hospitals that includes Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The partnership connects Northwest Arkansas patients to specialists at Mayo Clinic at no extra cost.
The ability of patients to get a second opinion from Mayo Clinic doctors free of charge is impressive and something that Siloam Springs' hospital will be promoting, Bracks said.
Bracks and his family are looking forward to their move to Siloam Springs. They plan to live in the community and join local civic organizations such as Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce, he said.
"The future for Siloam Springs is very bright and the future for our hospital is very bright," Bracks said.General News on 11/25/2018
Print Headline: Driven by desire