Last updated 17 hours ago
Many successful people in the business world look back at a parent or relative who gave them great advice, and directed them to the right career path.
For Bret Kolman, he remembers an uncle who led him to a career “I hated.”
While the current CEO of Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Mandeville laughs about his story, which involved an uncle in the banking business advising him to major in accounting at college, the path actually did lead Kolman to an incredible record of success and achievement in the health care industry that is his life today.
Kolman grew up in a small Kansas town of only 3,800.
“You had to drive an hour to get to a McDonald’s or Wal-Mart,” he said.
His father was the principal of a school and his mother stayed home to raise four children in the family.
“We weren’t poor,” he said. “But my parents knew we had to live on a budget with one income, so we didn’t have a lot of extras.”
Whether it was the frugal upbringing or not, Kolman was in his senior year of high school and had an uncle who owned a local bank. Kolman said the idea of “owning a bank” that seemed to be a way to big success so he listened intently to his uncles advice.
“He told me to work five or six years at the FDIC, then I would get a chance to buy a troubled bank,” he said. “And when I started college, he told me I needed to get an accounting degree.”
Kolman followed the advice, hoping it would lead to the promised land of the banking industry. He came out of college a highly recruited accountant as a student who passed all parts of the CPA test in one sitting—something only 10 percent of students achieve—and was sought by the nationally-known Arthur Anderson auditing firm. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to a job he liked very much.
“First of all, you would be surprised how much a firm like Arthur Anderson recruited people like me and others who finished in the top of the class,” he said. “So I went to work for them and immediately hated the job. I was never a detail guy, and audits are all about detailed numbers.”
Even though Kolman didn’t love his job with the Anderson firm, which lasted two years, he was good at what he did, and was offered a job to work for Health Midwest in Lexington, Mo. as a financial analyst. In only three years, health care powerhouse HCA purchased the company for over $1.1 billion, and Kolman found himself working for a company with many new job opportunities.
In 1995, he was promoted to chief financial officer of the Lafayette Regional Health Center in Lexington and named CEO of the hospital in 2003.
His record of achievement at Lafayette Health Center was impressive, to say the least. The hospital went from losing a million dollars a year to nine years of profit growth for the next nine years, achieving a $4.2 million profit in 2012 before being hired in Feb., 2013 at Lakeview Regional in Mandeville.
During his time at Lafayette Regional, the hospital was ranked number one in patient satisfaction out of the 170 hospitals owned by the HCA group. They were also ranked number one in customer satisfaction, physician satisfaction and employee satisfaction during his time there.
In 2011 and 2012, the hospital was ranked among the top national performing hospitals in the nation, one of only 244 hospitals recognized in both years.
“Getting into health care was something which fit me so much better,” he said. “There are so many issues to make decisions about, and ways to improve the performance of a hospital.”
Kolman pointed out several key areas a hospital CEO has to address, including capital decisions, the high cost of labor, supply lines that can constantly change, and the payment situation in the area of patient collections.
“It truly is a complex industry, but I found that I liked working in that field much more than being an accountant,” he said. “When I worked for Anderson, I was never liked much when I was the auditor showing up to review the books. You usually got a small room in the back of the building and you were always the bad guy. It wasn’t something I loved.”
Kolman and his wife, Susan, have been married for 22 years and have two children, a daughter who is a freshman at Evangeline University in Springfield, Mo., and a son who is a junior at Mandeville High.
Last updated 14 days ago
During a typical Thanksgiving dinner, the average person consumes over a day’s worth of calories in a single sitting. This type of eating is not only bad for your waist line, but it can be a risk for your heart health. To create a healthier dinner this holiday, try these wholesome recipes instead of traditional Thanksgiving fare loaded with sodium, fat, and sugar.
Mashed sweet potatoes
If you enjoy mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole, you might try this healthy alternative instead. Mashed sweet potatoes are naturally delicious with just a splash of chicken broth and low-fat milk. They can be seasoned with any number of spices from curry powder to sage and black pepper. For added fiber, try mashing in some root vegetables like parsnips or even roasted and peeled beets.
Wild rice stuffing
Most stuffing recipes call for white bread or corn bread, which are both high in simple carbohydrates that may spike your blood sugar. Plus, bread tends to absorb more fat and sodium rich broth than its healthy alternative: wild rice. This delicious whole grain will add delightful texture and flavor to your stuffing with more fiber and fewer calories. Just remember to cook the stuffing in a glass dish rather than inside the turkey where it will absorb fat.
Roasted winter squash
For a new side dish to put on your table, try roasting a seeded winter squash such as acorn squash. Simply brush the flesh of the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of cinnamon and bake at 400 degrees until the squash is fork tender. Serve as is for a colorful and delicious side.
For more heart health tips or a closer look at your cardiovascular wellness, visit Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. You can reach us on our website or by calling (985) 867-3900. You can find more recipes and healthy living tips for every season with our H2U quarterly magazine available to H2U members at our hospital.
Last updated 2 months ago
If you or a loved one suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, our LSVT™ certified speech and occupational therapists offer the LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™ programs. These research based exercise approaches have been developed over the past 15 years. Speech therapy can help improve voice quality and projection while physical and occupational therapy help balance and improve motor control. To schedule an appointment or to learn more call 985-867-4054
Lakeview Regional Medical Center Rehabilitation Center staff includes LSVT™ certified speech and occupational therapists and was the first facility on the northshore with a comprehensive LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™ program for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
For more information or to schedule an appt. call 985-867-4054.
Meet Tonya McCoy, LOTR and Heather S. Rietschel, MCD, CCC/SLP. They work in our Rehabilitation Center and specialize in treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Tonya uses LSVT BIG™ in her occupational therapy and Heather focuses on increasing vocal intensity by using LSVT LOUD™. You can schedule an appointment with them by calling 985-867-4054.
Last updated 3 months ago
Finding medical care for your little ones can be a challenge, as hospitals can feel unwelcoming to children and sometimes neglect to provide parents with family-centered care. At Lakeview Regional Medical Center, we understand that it takes special physicians and nurses to care for kids while including family members throughout the treatment process.
To accommodate kids, we have our own pediatric wing with a playroom, DVDs and video games, and we offer a special cafeteria menu for children. Care is delivered in private procedural treatment rooms, away from the more kid-friendly areas of the wing, and kids are given surgical prep teddy bears to help them stay comfortable before they go in for surgery.
For a closer look at the pediatric services of Covington’s Lakeview Regional Medical Center, visit our website or call us directly at (888) 716-5209. We are a full-service hospital offering a number of specialized services, and we have a history of excellence dating back to 1977.
Last updated 3 months ago
Though the aging process is a natural and inevitable part of life, many people still try to delay it with cosmetic procedures. While you cannot stop yourself from getting older, you can age more gracefully with these healthy lifestyle habits.
Get up and moving
Getting ample exercise is important for people of all ages. Physical activity is not only the best way to protect your aging bones and joints, but it has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. Daily walks or bike rides are excellent low-impact activities that can get your heart rate up. You might also incorporate some strengthening exercises like yoga or even some light weight lifting.
Be socially active
Staying physically active is important, but it isn’t the whole story. You should also keep your mind active as you get older. It can be difficult to stay socially engaged as you age; fortunately, there are a number of community activities available for seniors looking to reach out to new friends. A growing number of older adults are using social media, which can be an excellent way to connect with the community from the comfort of your own home.
Eat your vegetables
Cooking for one can be a difficult adjustment. Still, you should take the time to prepare healthy meals that are filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. Preparing meals in a slow cooker is a great solution for weekly dinners, because these one-pot meals are easy to prepare, and can freeze and thaw easily for quick access throughout the week.
The Healthy Aging & Behavioral Health services at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington can offer you support in your golden years so you can cope with the most common problems related to aging. One of our other programs that you should take advantage of is our Lakeview H2U Program, which is designed to meet the unique wellness and preventative health needs of adults in St. Tammany Parish and beyond. To connect with Lakeview Regional, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 716-5209.