Healthcare 360: Talking Leadership at BID Plymouth

April 10, 2024

Podcast: Leadership at BID Plymouth

On this week’s episode of Healthcare 360, Dr. Rob Fields sits down with Kevin Coughlin, president of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Plymouth, to discuss leading a community hospital.

The Path to Plymouth

Coughlin’s path to president of BID Plymouth was anything but common. The son of a nurse, he worked as a nurse’s aide at a psychiatric hospital throughout high school and college to help save money. In college, he studied business and spent a year as a mason upon graduating.  

With guidance from his father, who had built a career in the insurance consulting field, he took a job in the insurance industry that eventually led to him working in independent medical examination. Over the course of that job, he found himself constantly learning about health care from the physicians he worked with.

Between speaking to a career coach and a friend who worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he found himself drawn to healthcare and decided to pursue a career there. That’s how he ended up working as an administrator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a role that was brand new to him.

It was 10 years later that he’d depart for Boston Medical Center where he became Chief Operating Officer of the Faculty Group and decided to transition from academics to community medicine. He then spent four years at a community hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, before finding his way to BID Plymouth.

Quality Care, Close to Home

One of the most important aspects of providing excellent care in a community setting, mentions Coughlin, is the ability for patients to receive high-quality care without needing to travel far from home. He names three BID Plymouth programs integrated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – interventional cardiology, neurosurgery, and the community cancer program – and explains that specialists from Boston are brought in to BID Plymouth to see patients where they’re most comfortable.

Speaking about the interventional cardiology patients, specifically, he says, “We’ve got a team locally that takes care of those patients and then makes the links with the advanced cardiac surgery program up in Boston as well as the transplant program. So taking care of the patients here at a much higher level than we would have been able to do previously and then getting them into the right setting when they get to a certain level of advanced care that they need and being able to do that in a really streamlined manner that makes it easy for the patient and their family” is what really stands out.

“For those of us that work in this environment, you get to see great people every day doing really amazing things and it really takes what can be a very pressure-filled, stressful job and makes it fun.”

Every other week, we’ll chat with a leading expert in healthcare to learn about the many challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Listen to the full conversation with Coughlin here, and check in regularly for new episodes of Healthcare 360.

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