Kreg Gruber, Beacon’s new CEO on November 1, 2017, is a long-time health care leader who is ready to bring his reputation as a transformative thinker and trusted colleague to the role.

“This is a fascinating time to be in the business of health care. The topics of change and rapid evolution will be with us every day for the foreseeable future,” Kreg says.

“At Beacon, my belief is that we have the talent and resources to serve our patients and customers. Our amazing people continue to be our most valuable element. There are incredible acts of healing, compassion and care that happen across Beacon every day.”

Kreg identifies five areas that will require laser-focus in the upcoming months and years:

  1. Clinical Excellence
  2. A Great Workplace
  3. Consumer-Friendly Culture
  4. Smart Growth
  5. Financial Sustainability

“As a locally governed, not-for-profit health care system, we have a tremendous amount of responsibility to the communities we serve,” Kreg says. “While it is essential for us to be thoughtful, we will also need to be decisive and confident as we choose our priorities.”

Like other health systems nationally, Beacon is operating in a time where a wide array of reliable data points inform business, customer service, and clinical decision-making.

“Leaning on data will make our decisions more informed, and tracking results will bring our organization to a new level of accountability,” Kreg says. “Caring for members of our community is a big job and we need to use every tool we have.” Beacon’s Enterprise Data Warehouse was formed in early 2017. The operation tracks and monitors data on clinical performance, market share, claims, payors, health plans, predictive analytics, productivity, and customer experience, to name a few.

“We know we excel in many areas,” Kreg says. “We also know we can continue to strive for excellence in every area. With the partnership and support of our physicians, providers and staff, our clinical services will continue to be at the core of what we do.”

With patients paying an increasing portion of their health care out of pocket, the consumerism movement is here to stay and nationally, health systems are working hard to become more accommodating. Customers expect and deserve access and service that is convenient, connected, and coordinated.

“With the work that is being done to align our electronic health record, we will have a great foundation to build out more customer-friendly access to information, scheduling, and appointments,” Kreg says. “We can expect that this movement will bring quite a bit of change to how we handle our operations and staffing.”

With a passion for quality and the operational capability to back it up, Kreg sees a natural evolution toward clinical excellence. This perspective comes from his broad exposure to all components of the health system. Since 2006, Kreg has served as president of Memorial Hospital, president of Elkhart General Hospital, president of Beacon Medical Group, and most recently chief operating officer for the system.

“It is essential that standardization and alignment of processes happen on a large scale,” Kreg says. “It is necessary for quality, service and associate satisfaction. We are not looking at a shortage of sickness in the future, so we have to be ready to care for a large number of people very efficiently. This will include supporting our clinicians with staffing and processes that allow them to utilize the full extent of their clinical talent.”

Known for his approachable style, Kreg is easy to talk with and sincerely interested in listening and learning. After he has an understanding of the landscape, Kreg is comfortable with calling it as he sees it, and being clear on direction and expectations.

“The market is moving quickly and we need to be agile enough to change direction and focus on the rapid and precise execution of our plans,” he says. “The physicians who practice here expect that Beacon is ready for the future.”

Yet don’t let Kreg’s down-to-earth, Midwest style fool you. He also serves as the incoming chair of the Indiana Hospital Association, possessing a keen understanding of the industry and of the numbers required to make a health system work.

“It’s all about being smart in what we invest in and where we grow,” Kreg says. “We will see a significant increase in outpatient services being offered outside of our main campuses. We will see increased investment in our digital infrastructure. We will see more investment in process improvement and reengineering. We will also see continued investment in training Beacon leaders and associates.”

More About Kreg

Kreg grew up in Greenville, Ohio, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Allied Medicine from The Ohio State University and a Master of Health Administration degree from Indiana University, Indianapolis. He completed the Integral Executive Management Program at the University of Notre Dame and is an American College of Healthcare Executives fellow.

Prior to arriving in South Bend, Kreg served as president of Ohio Health’s Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He also held the positions of senior vice president and chief operating officer of Amerigard Health Services Garden City Hospital in Garden City, Michigan.

Kreg, who is married and has three adult children, has a passion for health care in our community. He serves on the boards of both the YWCA of St. Joseph and Elkhart County and the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is a reading mentor at Madison Elementary School.