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Q&A with Dr. Narendra Kini, CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System

February 09, 2018
Narendra Kini
HealthCare Business News profiled Dr. Narendra Kini, the CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System, for this issue’s Hospital Spotlight.

HCB News: What inspired you to get involved in health care?
Narendra Kini: I’ve always been interested in the overall health and welfare of children. I was raised in Africa, and health care was a passion of mine since I was a child. Given the opportunity to train in health care, I jumped at it.

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I obtained further training not only in clinical medicine, being a pediatrician and ER physician, but also went ahead and got a graduate degree in hospital and health administration. It’s been a very fulfilling life choice to date.

HCB News: Was there any experience or a person who inspired you to pursue this career?
NK: There were two major influences. One was my mother, who was a professor of biology. I developed an initial interest in health science watching my mother prepare for her lessons, going with her to her laboratory, looking at some anatomical specimens and things of that nature.
The second was a mentor who involved me much more in the care of children who were orphans. I think those two experiences really drove my desire to be involved in health care.

HCB News: How long have you been with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Nicklaus Children’s Health System?
NK: I’ve been CEO for nine years. I joined as CEO of the hospital, and as we evolved to a health system, I became CEO of the health system.

HCB News: How did the hospital hold up during Hurricane Irma?
NK: The hospital fared extremely well. We were able to maintain all our services through the storm, maintained adequate staffing and at no point in time were there any issues with patient care. But we’ve always drilled and prepared for this type of event.

Disaster drills in Florida are very common and mandated because we obviously face weather-related phenomena.

There’s a very robust system of response that’s built into our operation and we call it the Alpha-Bravo Response.

Basically, what happens is that the Alpha team comes into play where we secure the hospital, we ensure our supply chain is adequate for a period of up to 20 days, we have an in-house generator and adequate water supplies.

Also, the team to care for patients actually stays in the hospital for three to four days and we even allow their families to stay. That team mans the care for the first four days. Should there be a need for further care, the Alpha team is relieved by the Bravo team, which provides care for another three days.

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