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Exclusive: Q&A with NYU Langone dean and CEO Dr. Robert I. Grossman

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | February 14, 2013
Dr. Robert I. Grossman
For the past five years, neuroradiologist Dr. Robert I. Grossman has been at the helm of NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, serving as CEO and dean.

Recently, Grossman spoke to DOTmed News about the hospital's ambitious growth plans, what it takes to lead a major medical institution, and how Hurricane Sandy gave the hospital a chance to "come back stronger than ever."

What follows is an edited version of our interview:

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DMBN: How long have you been CEO of the hospital and how did you get to where you are today?

I joined NYU Langone in 2001, and became the dean and CEO in July 2007.

I didn't have a linear pathway for this job. In my previous positions, I was never focused on being the dean/CEO; I was focused on doing what I did at the time. But, by some measures, all of my experiences and achievements have prepared me for this role.

DMBN: Why do you think you were chosen to be dean and CEO of NYU Langone?

I think you're chosen as a leader if you can deliver on your vision and your promises. There are many people who are highly competent, but it's about rolling up your sleeves and knowing how to make a decision a reality. Ideally, you want to have a vision for what you want your institution to achieve and then you must manage the components needed to fulfill those aspirations. It isn't good enough just to be a visionary.

Additionally, the board sought a candidate with a background in research and clinical medicine who would integrate the school and the hospital sides of the institution. By having sampled a lot of different opportunities, the experience I had was quite enabling, and provided me with a skill set that our Board of Trustees found appealing.

DMBN: What are some of your goals as CEO?

As dean and CEO I set out to fulfill an ambitious vision: to be a world-class patient-centered integrated academic medical center. Key to achieving this vision, and to distinguish ourselves from our competitors and enable sustained growth, we introduced five institutional shared goals to be met by 2015. These include breaking ground on the new, state-of-the-art 830,200 square-foot Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Pavilion; improving our financial margin; launching our new Curriculum for the 21st Century; increasing our National Institutes of Health-funded research awards; and growing our ambulatory visits to most effectively position us to meet the shift from inpatient to outpatient care for many services. I believe it is critically important to have-and achieve-goals. And it's not just a few people in administration accomplishing these goals; it's the entire body of the medical center. Our goals for NYU Langone are broadly communicated and discussed to ensure that everyone at the medical center is involved - everyone has to do their share and understand that they play a vital role in making NYU Langone one of the nation's premier centers for excellence in clinical care, biomedical research and medical education.

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